Yes, customer appreciation is important in terms of your company culture, and as far as how you conduct business in general. Customers are why you are in business—without them, there would essentially be no company. Customer appreciation goes beyond just good customer service. It's about thanking your clientele for supporting what you do and (hopefully/) for their continued loyalty. So what are some ways that you might express your thanks to your customers…Below are several ideas that we know your clients will love!
1 A handwritten note of thanks
While emails are the convenient way to communicate, there's just something about saying thank you through writing. It's far more personal and it shows that you actually took time out of your day, not to toss off a hasty email, but to sit down, pen in hand and compose a note. All it takes are a couple of sentences and your customer will get the message!
2. Send a gift
Who doesn't love a gift…The key here is to take some time to figure out what a particular client might really want. Which means you need to know at least a little bit about them. If they've subscribed to your email list or a social media account, you may be able to get a glimpse of things they like. And certainly, a gift is the perfect way to show your appreciation.
3. Hold a Customer Appreciation event
This way you can invite your VIP customers and really express your thanks. From appetizers and snacks to beverages, make it special. Show them that you truly want them to feel comfortable and consequently appreciated.
4. Donate in their name
This is a great way both to give back and show your customers your appreciation. Plus, it says a lot about what type of values your company holds as important. You can donate to a charity that aligns with your industry. For example, if yours is a business that deals with the outdoors, you might donate to some sort of environmental cause in their name.
5. Make a thank you video
Along the same lines at the written note, the video shows that you spent the time and effort to really do something special. Send it via Twitter or Facebook. This can certainly brighten someone's day.
6. Buy them lunch (or dinner/)
Who doesn't enjoy a good meal now and then? You could either do it with a gift card to a local restaurant or perhaps invite them to dine with members of your team. You might even think about surprising them at work with a hand delivered lunch.
7. Give them a book that means something to you
What better gift than the gift of reading. You can share a text about which you're passionate about. Something that inspired you, a book from which you garnered life lessons. Again, this goes a long way toward demonstrating that you put thought into your "thank you." Not to mention, it may give you a great conversation starter down the road after your customer has read said book.
8. Invite them to participate in a referral program
Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tactic. By encouraging your clients to refer you to friends, co-workers, family, you name it, you're not only helping to build up that client base but by offering rewards in the process, you are saying "thanks." Such rewards might include discounted or free products, an upgrade in membership status, maybe even a gift certificate to a spa or someplace special.
9. Know their special days
Keeping track of special occasions such as your customers' birthdays is a great way to show you care. And then when those days do arrive take some time to celebrate that customer. A video card or greeting, mailing an actual card, maybe even a small token are all great ways to express your thanks and your investment in their lives and well-being.
10. check in and say ‘hi'
They probably aren't expecting a quick check-in and especially one just to say ‘hi.' People are so bombarded by sales materials and marketing efforts that they are automatically thinking you're trying to sell them something. So don't. You don't always have to be selling. In fact, customer appreciation is most effective when there is no ulterior motive. A simple hello goes a very long way.
11. Upgrade them
If a customer has been with you over a span of time, then you may want to show your thanks by offering to upgrade their account or membership. Or, you could also do this after X amount of purchases. A number of companies take this type of approach to customer appreciation. It's a terrific way to say thank you and it also helps better your customer retention as they will be more apt to buy from you again.
12. Take the time to listen
Probably the simplest one on this list and yet it is the most important. The things that your customers care about, the ideas they have regarding what you do, and their general feedback is vital not only to your relationship with clients but also when it comes to fine-tuning your company.
People grow frustrated when they're ignored—this is an undeniable fact. So listen, and then actually act upon what they've said. Pushing off their comments or concerns is going to lose you, customers. On the flip side, showing that you are listening and you are responding is a great way to demonstrate your appreciation.
What Other Creative Customer Appreciation Ideas Can You Come Up With?
There are plenty more great ideas for showing your customers you appreciate them and their support of your business. Get creative and don't be afraid to think outside the box on this one. The more you do, the more creative you are, the more your customers will see that you do actually care and you are invested in the B2C relationship. Just make sure that it is honest—in other words, don't just pay lip service to the term customer appreciation…but actually mean it.