Showing your customer how much you appreciate their business can sometimes fall to the side. However, it shouldn’t be neglected. Customers often feel that companies are indifferent to them. And why shouldn’t they? If your company doesn’t even have time to peek up from day-to-day operation to offer a thank you, to show that you genuinely value their business, how will they feel appreciated? When your only interaction with your customers is the moments when they make a purchase or when they have an issue or complaint, then you need to reconsider your brand’s values.
We know how it feels to be appreciated—sometimes it feels unexpected—and that’s why we should do it more often. It is a good feeling. Here are 12 ways to show your love:
1. Thank You Notes:
We know how tacky it may seem, but a handwritten thank you note is a sincere, personal gesture that is rarely overlooked. While emails, text messages, and retweets have a place in showing customer appreciation, a thank you note goes many steps beyond and is especially lovely when it’s a surprise.
2. Connect With Referrals:
Your business should be a part of a greater network, a community if you will. Your customers are a part of this community as well. For B2B companies, referrals build awareness and send business to your customers and in return they will send business to you. Together, the whole network prospers.
3. Share Your Knowledge:
Knowledge is a utility that your customers can use to enhance their lives—and perhaps better understand the product or service you are offering them. That’s a gift that keeps on giving. The knowledge you share doesn’t have to be directly related to your business either. If you are selling active wear, and know that your customers are dedicated to fitness, host an event about nutrition and health. Join your customers as they discover something new.
4. Public Display of Appreciation (via social media):
While a private “thank you” is good, sometimes it’s more effective to shout it out loud and let the whole world know how awesome your customers are. In 140 characters, you can let a customer know how much he or she means to you on a platform where everyone can see. This little gesture reaffirms their choice for doing business with you and will leave them with some cheer the next time they come around.
5. Surprise An Individual Customer:
What makes a customer stop and say, “Wow!”? It can be in a form of a discount, customer service, gift, prize, or whatever you feel your customers would want. By surprising an individual customer, not only will you give a positive lasting impression of your company, but you’ll also have a customer retelling all their friends, family, and co-workers about his or her experience with your brand. You made the customer feel special, lucky and appreciated.
6. Give VIP Status or Upgrade:
Treat your customers by offering them a celebrity treatment. You don’t have to integrate a loyalty program, just keep an eye on those loyal, high-value customers—by using a CRM tool—and reward them with VIP treatments or unexpected upgrades. Let them know they are very important even if you don’t have a specific tiered program for them to join.
7. Offer the Gift of Charity:
There is always an event or campaign coming up that is seeking donations or sponsorships. These are great opportunities to help customers out who are involved. In addition, you can openly reach out to a group of your customer-base and ask if you may contribute to a charity of their choosing.
8. Host An Event:
There is nothing like getting people together: be it for a celebration, a product launch, or a performance. For an online business, it’s easy to feel distant from your customers; an event allows you to get personal and really learn something about them. By delivering a great time and a memorable experience, a recurring event can become a day people look forward to.
9. Give An Unprompted Discount:
Discounts aren’t always about increasing sales, sometimes it can just be for appreciating your customers. While they are checking out, feel free to offer them a surprise promotion code or free shipping. While these little savings can feel minuscule at times, it goes a long way in showing that your brand is not all about profit. You care about your customers and you want to thank them for choosing you—out of all the other stores out there.
10: Give SWAG People Want:
So often businesses give out free stuff that ends up being garbage. Don’t waste money on that stuff. Instead, consider what your customers want in relation to your business. Being generous is great, but being thoughtful is taking appreciation to the next level. Before you order 1,000 pinback buttons ask: “Do my customers really want this?” If it conveys an important message that your brand instills, maybe they would.
11: Celebrate Their Milestones:
Like a free coffee every 10 purchase at the coffee shop, your brand can reward customers for shopping at your store or using your services. Celebrating a milestone is a way of commemorating a relationship. This makes a customer feel like they are a part of a larger family. Even welcoming a new customer with a gift is a solid way of showing appreciation that most customers don’t expect.
12: Make Them Laugh:
Nothing beats a good laugh. A company with a good sense of humor stops being this faceless organization. After all, there is nothing more human than laughter. Suddenly you are connecting with your customer on a deeper level. It’s worth being a little silly, a little witty, and a little creative once in awhile to get your customers to laugh, chuckle, or even just smile.
How do you want your customers to view your brand at the end of the day? Sincerity is becoming quite rare in the world of commerce dominated by marketing and sales. You can change that by being personal, generous, relevant, and most importantly, thankful.
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