How Showing Gratitude for Customers (Customer Appreciation) Is a Wise Investment for Businesses
For many businesses and retailers, Thanksgiving is mostly about Black Friday and the start of the holiday shopping and spending season. This isn’t surprising of course, and totally understandable, since some companies and service providers make a significant chunk of their revenue in this short period.
Yet, this time of giving thanks and gratitude is also an appropriate time to think about customer appreciation.
Why is customer appreciation important?
Customers are the lifeblood of any business. As such, customers – or lack thereof – can make or break business success. It’s also easier to keep customers than find new ones.
A big part of keeping customers is keeping them happy. And just as is the case with anyone, one key to maintaining a positive relationship with customers is showing them appreciation—that they matter.
That’s a primary reason loyalty and reward plans have gained so much popularity recently. With the right systems in place to track purchasing behavior of your best customers, you can even tailor offers specific to them and their likes, preferences, and desires. Of course, this even further cements the favorable impression held in their mind regarding your company and products or services.
Customer appreciation also demonstrates that you’re making the effort to show you value their business.
Thus, it’s not just the rewards themselves that show you care about your customers, it’s the mere act of considering – and then making – the gesture. This also builds your reputation, both in the eyes of those customers and those they know and talk to – personally and online – about your business.
Customer appreciation keeps customers coming back.
All the above is important. However, what’s most important is that these things you do that show you appreciate your customers, keeps them coming back—over and over. In fact, studies show that loyal customers are five times more likely to return to your business than those who aren’t loyal.
What are some of the easiest ways to show customer loyalty or start customer loyalty programs?
First, you need to be able to track who your customers are and what they purchase from you, no matter whether that is goods or services.
Therefore, you need a customer database. Without such, you don’t know who your customers even are, much less their true value to your business. You can gather this information via your own database and subsequent surveys or even via social media.
Most recently, push notification services for apps and websites allow you to capture customer data so that you can send notifications to them later. This is one way to work backwards with existing customers, so you can capture their information too, if you don’t have a database already. In the notification, you can send them to an opt-in or survey where their data can then also be captured for future use.
Next, you demonstrate your appreciation! Here are some ideas:
- Appreciation and loyalty programs
- Birthday clubs
- Frequent buyer or frequent customer perks
- Personal notes and calls
- Spotlighting loyal customers
- Invite customers and clients to special events
- Send personalized gifts
- Small, utility, items with your brand or logo
- Gift baskets
- Gift certificates
- Periodically offer upgrades or free, additional, services to the most loyal
None of the above ideas or steps take a lot of money, time, or effort. However, all can go a long way to making customers feel truly special and more loyal than ever before. And any and all effort is truly a win-win for both you and your clients or customers.