Do you love your customers? How do you show them? Hopefully not by saying you provide them with stellar service, because that’s not enough. Think about it like this: Your customers have put their trust in you and are paying your business good money because of it.
The least you can do is show them how much you appreciate them. This festive season and with the advent of the New Year lurking a month from now, it’s important to know what customer appreciation is and the importance of valuing the customer.
Why is customer appreciation important?
You might be wondering just how come great service isn’t enough. It’s because great service is expected nowadays. It’s no longer a luxury to have a company who solves your problems efficiently with empathy. Thus, companies have to go the extra mile to really drive customer loyalty.
Customer appreciation is more than simply being extra nice to your customers or writing a quick “thank you!” on one of your emails. It’s about making your customers feel like they really matter to you and are one in a million because they do and they are.
Customer appreciation day
Technically, National Customer Appreciation Day is April 18th, but you are in control of this day and every other day to appreciate the customer. Choose a date (or week) during which your company is especially dedicated to customer appreciation. You can also celebrate it in small ways throughout the year, or target it towards customers on their birthdays.
The important part about creating a specific customer appreciation day is to make the day known to your customers. Advertise it in advance and make your customers feel part of the entire process. The point is to show them that you appreciate their loyalty to your company and that it doesn’t go unnoticed.
Customer appreciation ideas
- Write thank you cards: A simple way to show your appreciation of your customers is by writing personal thank you letters. It is a touching way to convey to your customer exactly how much they mean to your company and how much they’ve helped you grow.
It’s never okay to turn a thank you card into a “Thanks for being a loyal customer. Here’s our latest product.” card. This is your one opportunity to make it all about the customer, and not your company.
Be as sincere as you can be, and that includes handwriting each card when you can. Obviously, companies with a large customer base would probably benefit more from an email template card, but smaller companies can add that extra level of personalisation. The most important thing is to be genuine and thoughtful, and your customers will feel special.
- Throw a networking event disguised as a party: Throw an elegant party for your customers. You could host it right in your office building or rent out a restaurant or other space. Your customers will love the chance to attend an event and get to know the people behind the company they love.
This is also a great chance for your customers to mingle and meet. They could network with each other, giving the event professional value. This option could end up being fairly expensive, what with potentially renting out a space, decorating, and providing food and drinks, so definitely make the decision wisely. However, if your company can afford it, it would have a huge impact on your customers and truly show them how much they mean to you. Nothing says “thank you” like a whole night dedicated to them.
It is essential that you treat this simply as a party to celebrate your customers and not as a chance to get more of their business. However, brand consistency still matters when making event planning decisions, make sure you are still presenting your company as the same company your customers love doing business with. That means, if you work in the fitness industry, maybe don’t get a fast food chain to cater.
- Send out coupons or gift cards: For a customer appreciation option that could go hand-in-hand with a thank you card, consider emailing your customers coupons, gift cards, or discounts on products and services. They’ve probably paid for plenty of your services, why not treat them to the next one?
It may not be possible to give a gift card or to cover the entire cost or a product or service, depending on your company. However, even offering a 50 percent off discount would show the level of commitment you have to your customers.
This most times makes them feel seen, and that’s one of the best ways to show you care.
- Do spotlights on some of your customers: Why not brag to the world about how great your customers are? It could be a fun idea for you to create spotlights on some of your customers to be posted on your website, blog, LinkedIn or social media.
Send out an email encouraging customers to submit their story and a photo for the spotlight, and then post them a few times a week. Not only does that give you interesting content for your digital channels, but it also shows your customers that you are proud to have them.
It’s an exciting chance for your customers to talk about their lives on your platforms. It could even lead to a professional opportunity. But, most of all, it deeply shows your gratitude to them.
More to follow on the same subject next week!
The views given herein are solely for information purposes; they are guidelines and suggestions and are not guaranteed to work in any particular way.
Robert Gonye is a Business Growth Expert and Influencer. He writes in his personal capacity. Comments and views: [email protected]