There are certain times of the year when you might go out of your way to show your clients you appreciate them. For example, you might regularly get gifts for clients, or something to send them around the holidays.
If you want to be a thriving business, though, you may need to go above and beyond to show clients you appreciate them not just during the holidays but year-round.
When you show your clients you appreciate them, you’re cultivating a positive environment for everyone. You’re setting the tone of gratitude, and you’re making yourself distinct from your competitors.
In today’s environment, your customers have so many options available to them, which is why you have to consistently show them what they mean to you. Customer satisfaction is a critical component of your company’s success.
When you take the time to appreciate your customers, you’re making them feel as if you value them on an individual level. They aren’t disposable, and you’re leveraging consumer psychology to help cultivate loyalty.
Other benefits of regularly showing appreciation include:
- Increased market value. Businesses with happier customers tend to get better reviews and feedback, giving them a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
- Higher retention rates for customers. When your customers are appreciated, and they feel that from you, they’re more likely to then become your repeat customers.
- Increased profit. Studies indicate that when businesses have loyal customers, they spend 90% more often with that business, and with every purchase, they’re spending 60% more.
- Word of mouth. You want people to share positive things about your business, whether that’s with people, they know in person or online. Showing customers you appreciate them is going to encourage them to go out of their way to talk about your business, your products, or your services. It creates a positive impression that’s going to benefit your business in all ways.
So how can you show client appreciation?
1. Have a Gathering
You can host an informal event, like a barbecue or a happy hour, or you can do something more formal and invite your employees along with your most valuable customers. You can encourage the guests to bring their friends and family, which will give you the chance to meet other potential clients while getting to know your existing ones.
2. Use the Element of Surprise
Many companies who are going to send a gift or token of appreciation to a client will do so after they make an initial purchase or buy a service from you. They also send something in the last quarter of the year, but these are predictable ways to show appreciation. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do these things too, but integrating the element of surprise into your efforts is also helpful.
Try sending gifts when your customer doesn’t expect them.
For example, maybe you send something for their birthday or a major life event. Yes, they might expect cards and gifts from people in their personal life at these times, but getting something from someone they do business with will be a surprise.
You can also send letters of appreciation or gifts on holidays that are less celebrated.
Maybe you even come up with your own customer appreciation day. If you do this, time it to a slow period in your business, if possible, so you can generate some business by putting your organization top of mind.
3. Send a Handwritten Note
A handwritten note can be a lost art in today’s business world. We tend to underestimate how meaningful it can be to receive a note that says thank you or demonstrates true appreciation. Almost all of our correspondence these days is digital, so a beautiful card with an authentic note in it goes beyond simply saying thank you.
4. Speak Authentically
You should show appreciation for your clients when that’s truly what you’re feeling. You don’t want to come off as inauthentic because not only is that not going to help loyalty, but it could lead customers to go elsewhere.
Simple types of acknowledgment spoken or written from the heart mean something.
This is also a chance to reach out with no communication about sales.
You shouldn’t be asking anything in return when you’re sharing appreciation.
5. Send a Personalized Gift
If you want to show appreciation to someone, personalize a gift. For example, you can have something engraved with their name, or maybe you personalize the item to something going on in the client’s life. Maybe they had a baby recently, as an example, so you send an outfit.
Just make it something that goes beyond the generic.
6. Ask for Feedback
When you ask for customer feedback, you’re showing that you value their input and their opinions. This makes them feel important to you. Ask your customers more about how they use your products or services and how they get the most out of them.
If they’re comfortable with it, you can even share some of their feedback on social media or in blog posts.
When you get feedback, even if it’s not entirely positive, make sure you’re responding to it. People want to feel seen and heard. When you may your customers feel heard, they’re going to feel positive about your company.
Along with letting customers know you hear what they’re saying, when relevant, let them know what’s being done in response to feedback. You’re then developing a two-way relationship.
7. Have a Customer of the Month
A fun way to show appreciation and also give yourself something you can use for social media content is to have a customer of the month. You can choose a customer and promote them online, and also give them something like a special discount as part of being chosen.
Businesses struggle with customer appreciation and feel like they have a balance between doing too much and not enough. Just try to keep things heartfelt and genuine, and also realize that simple things go a long way. You don’t have to send customers elaborate or expensive gifts to show that you appreciate them. Sometimes, just offering good everyday customer service can even be enough.