If you’re running a successful business, you owe much of your success to your customers. Despite having many brands to do business with, your customers have chosen to remain loyal and committed to your brand.
So, it’s only fitting to make them feel loved, valued, and appreciated in return. Even if you don’t have enough budget, you can implement several inexpensive ideas to show your customers that you value them.
This article discusses what customer appreciation is, why it’s important to your business, and how to say “thank you” to your customers all year round. Let’s get to it.
What is Customer Appreciation?
Customer appreciation is defined as the act of actively and consistently expressing gratitude to your existing customers for their patronage and support.
A simple show of gratitude, i.e., including a handwritten “thank you” note with a customer’s first purchase, can go a long way in creating a positive customer experience and changing how they view your brand.
Unfortunately, many businesses still don’t give customer appreciation much thought despite knowing that they would not exist today without their customers.
Such businesses end up losing most of their customers to competitors who make them feel valued. So, you have to prioritize customer appreciation to avoid losing yours too.
The Top 6 Benefits of Customer Appreciation
Here are the benefits of showing gratitude to customers.
1. Makes Your Customers Happy
When you take the time to say “thank you” to your customers individually, you demonstrate a genuine desire to know them better and continue building a good relationship with them.
Giving them such personal attention makes them extremely happy and satisfied with the overall experience they’re getting from your brand.
And when customers are happy, they’re more likely to become your brand ambassadors, talking positively about your business (through word of mouth, social media, etc.) and recommending it to their families, friends, co-workers, and beyond.
Happy customers are also more likely to turn into repeat customers who will make many more purchases from you in the future. This benefit means more sales and profits for your business.
2. Helps to Build Better Relationships with Your Customers
Reaching out to your customers to appreciate them also helps break the ice between your business and them and creates a more conducive environment for an excellent relationship to thrive.
The more you appreciate them, the more they’ll feel comfortable telling you what they like about your business and what they don’t like so you can improve.
This benefit can help you serve them better and build a closer and more meaningful relationship with them.
3. Shows Customers the Human Side of Your Business
When you’re doing business on the internet, where there’s no physical contact with your customers, it’s imperative to show them the human side of your business.
Appreciating your customers by sending them a handwritten “thank you” note or a customized gift is one way to prove to them that real human beings are serving them behind the scenes. This benefit is crucial for increasing their trust and loyalty to your brand.
4. Gives You a Competitive Edge
This edge remains true due to many businesses failing to make an effort to show genuine appreciation to their customers.
Since some of them are your competitors, there’s a high chance that their customers will leave them for you if you can make them feel loved and valued. This benefit will increase the number of customers you have to sell your products to, ultimately increasing profits.
5. Provides More Selling Opportunities
Regular customer appreciation also helps you to know your customer base better and understand their unique needs. This understanding puts you in a better position to suggest to them some of your products or services that can solve those needs.
However, it’s advisable to wait until an opportunity to sell presents itself and then grab it, like when they ask you for a product recommendation. It would be best if you never used your conversations to persuade them to buy more products from your business.
6. Improves the Mental Health of Employees and Customers
Lastly, expressing gratitude can also lift the spirits of your staff members and customers. This benefit is important for reducing negative emotions such as aggression, resentment, frustration, regret, envy, etc., and improving their mental health.
Now that we have run through 6 of the top benefits of customer appreciation, the next step is to begin planning for ways that you can begin implementing ways to start showing appreciation to your customers. These simple and creative methods don’t have to require a lot of capital to get started, nor do they need to break the bank.
10 Creative Ways to Start Appreciating Your Customers Today
Now that you understand the importance of customer appreciation, let’s now look at some of the things you can start doing today to express your gratitude.
1. Send Handwritten Thank You Notes to Customers
Handwritten thank-you notes are considered old school in our modern era, so including them in a customer’s order will put a smile on their faces and make them feel valued.
However, without enough resources, writing and sending a thank you note with every order may not be possible. This is why you should sit down with your team and set a realistic goal that you can meet effortlessly.
For instance, you can decide to send just one handwritten thank you note daily to a random customer to appreciate them for their support. This will go a long way in creating a culture of gratitude in your company.
2. Give Customers Thoughtful Gifts
Another way to appreciate your patrons is by giving them gifts. Many customers love it when you give them unique, thoughtful, and personal gifts.
For example, if one of your customers informs you that they’re moving out of town, you can gift them a book about the new city they’re moving into or introduce them to a friend who’s already living there. Such a thoughtful gesture will remain in the heart of that customer forever.
3. Support Your Customers’ Businesses, Interests, and Work
You can also show gratitude by supporting your customers in every way possible. Here are a few ways to do so:
- Give them more exposure by highlighting their work on your blog or social media platforms.
- Hire them if there’s a vacant position in your company.
- Support the causes that are dear to their hearts.
- Partner with them to market each other’s businesses.
- Refer people to their businesses to buy their products and services.
4. Give Them an Unexpected Upgrade
You can also appreciate your customers by surprising them with an unexpected upgrade.
For instance, if you’re running a hotel business, you can offer one random customer every week or every month a VIP suite for the price of a regular one.
Similarly, if you run a restaurant, you can offer one customer the best meals available in the house for the price of a regular meal. Such top-notch experience knocks people off their feet and can increase their loyalty to your brand. It also gives them a story to share with their family and friends and creates a genuine memory.
5. Record a Video Thanking Customers
You can also take your appreciation efforts a step further by recording a video of yourself thanking customers for their support.
Genuine and personalized video recordings are seen by many as very thoughtful because they take time to produce. It’s something you can do regularly to make your customers feel valued and appreciated.
Video recordings come in handy for reaching out to customers during the holidays and special occasions and for post-purchase follow-up.
6. Give Post-Purchase Discounts to New Customers
A post-purchase discount is a discount you give to a customer after making a purchase. It’s a great tool to thank first-time customers for their previous purchases and encourage them to return.
However, when it comes to regular customers, offering post-purchase discounts isn’t advisable as many will want to wait for such deals to happen before buying anything from your store.
7. Offer Free, Valuable Content to Customers
Valuable content is a powerful marketing tool for businesses. When used correctly, it can increase your brand awareness, establish you as an expert in your industry, attract many visitors to your website and increase people’s knowledge of your brand, products, and services.
Besides being a marketing tool, valuable content can also be used to appreciate your customers.
Many people thirst for knowledge in this era that we live in, so creating and sharing different forms of content with them for free can go a long way in improving their lives.
So, start learning how to create webinars, e-books, social media posts, blog posts, infographics, email newsletters, etc., and share them with your customers regularly. If you use emails in this regard, consider using an email marketing platform to help you manage and keep track of your communications.
8. Appreciate Customers who Refer Others to Your Business
If you have customers actively recommending your business to people and bringing you referrals, you should also thank and reward them for their efforts.
Go a step further by giving them a discount coupon, customized gift, or any other token of appreciation to motivate them to continue the excellent work.
9. Use Social Listening to Your Benefit
Your customer appreciation efforts should also involve some social listening. This simply means listening to what people say about your brand and your competitors on social media.
To do so, enter your company name on the search bar of each social media platform and go through the results to see where your company, product, or service has been mentioned. Be sure to reach out and appreciate those people talking positively about you.
Also, don’t forget to go through different review websites like Trustpilot and respond appropriately to the reviews people are leaving about your business.
10. Organize an Annual Thank You Event
Lastly, you can also host an annual in-person thank you event if all your customers live in the same geographical location as you. But, if this is not the case, consider hosting a webinar to appreciate them for their support.
These events help bring your customers into the same space so they can know each other better and feel part of your brand community.
You can go the extra mile by inviting their favorite celebrity to the event to address them or by giving them special discounts or gifts.
Overall, developing a culture of gratitude can benefit your business in many ways, including making your customers happy, increasing your retention rate, increasing your referral rate, and giving your business a competitive edge.
You can implement several ideas with your team to say “thank you” to your customers, so be sure to implement them.