Without your customers, your business would be up the creek without a paddle.
This year, show your customers just how grateful you are for them.
Regardless of what industry your business is in, or how big or small it is, your customers are the lifeblood of your business. You rely on your customers day in and day out, and when they show you loyalty, going out of your way to show how grateful you are can go a long way.
Not only will showing your customers how thankful you are for them help to encourage them to keep coming back to you instead of your competition, but when you go out of your way to show that you care, it will also encourage them to leave reviews for your business online. Every business needs reviews. Let’s face it; gone are the days when people would ask their friends and family for recommendations when looking for a local business. These days, most prospective customers research local businesses online instead, and if you don’t have any reviews, the fact of the matter is that you’re missing out on business.
In addition to helping you attract new customers online, reviews also help to make your business more visible online by improving your rankings.
The bottom line is that it pays to show gratitude for your customers, and we’ve come up with a long list of ways to do just that!
10 Ways to Show How Thankful You are for Your Customers
#1. Provide next-level customer service.
One of the best ways to show your customers how thankful you are for giving you their business is to go above and beyond when it comes to customer service. Go out of your way to ensure that, regardless of whether they’ll be spending a lot of money or a little money with you, they’ll always get an unbeatable experience with your business.
How does providing good customer service show your appreciation when it’s something you should be doing anyway? Customer service isn’t always focused on by all businesses, and the ones that do focus on it don’t always focus on it enough. And you’ll be surprised at what a difference it can make to simply take the time to listen to your customers and to follow up with them to ensure that their needs have been met.
Furthermore, consumers highly value customer service, and many of them will even be willing to pay more for it. In fact, 86 percent of consumers say they’d be willing to pay up to 25 percent more for the same service in order to get superior customer service.
#2. Politely educate your customers.
From plumbers and electricians to financial advisers and real estate brokers, local businesses are littered with industry experts with a wealth of knowledge to share. And if you really want to impress upon your customers just how thankful you are for them, then it behooves you to share some of that knowledge with them! This doesn’t mean that you have to — for example — give a client a crash-course in replacing knob-tube wiring, but it’s important that they understand why it’s important to replace it.
No one wants to feel stupid or like the wool is being pulled over their eyes, and that can, unfortunately, be how a customer might perceive the situation if you don’t take the time to educate them on the problem, as well as on the various options available to them to solve the problem.
When it comes to educating your customers, it’s important to talk to them on their level. You should never talk down to your customers, but it’s equally important that you don’t overcomplicate the situation by using a lot of industry jargon that no one can understand. Be honest and straightforward without using more detail than you have to, while still ensuring that they’re well-informed in the end.
One great way to educate your customers (and to gain exposure and attract new customers) is to host a class or a tutorial on something related to your industry. For example, if you’re an electrician, you could host a class on holiday lighting safety.
#3. Say thank you in person.
So you want to say thank you to your customers? Hands down, the simplest and — arguably — the most effective way to say thank you is to literally say thank you at the time that service is rendered and in person.
Almost nothing is more meaningful for people than a heartfelt thank you, and the fact that you took the time to express your appreciation will show your customers just how genuine you are. Saying thank you will also have a big impact on your clients and help to make the experience you’ve provided a memorable one.
#4. Remember who they are.
Depending on what kind of business you are in, it may or may not be possible to remember all or even most of your customers, but the more you can remember about who your customers are, the more of an impact you’ll make, and the more appreciated your customers will feel.
Remembering your customers’ names and/or what they like to order or how best to interact with them is a great way to separate a business from the pack. However, this is easier said than done for businesses that work with a high volume of customers, but even in this case, you could keep track of something simple, like their birthday, and send out birthday wishes by mail or email.
#5. Host a customer appreciation event.
People love to be wined and dined, which makes hosting an event for your customers — both past and current — a truly wonderful way to show your customers how thankful you are for them. Does the idea of throwing a big party for your clients sound exhausting and downright expensive? There are a lot of different ways you could honor your clients with an event, including:
- A picnic
- A lunch and learn
- A beer/wine and cheese pairing
- A yoga or art class
- An event featuring a renowned speaker
Hosting an event may cost more than many of the other options we’ve discussed so far, but it can have far-reaching impacts for your business in more ways than one. In addition to saying thank you in a meaningful way to your customers — helping you create customers for life — hosting an event will help your customers get to know you in a new way and will help to attract new customers to your business. So yes, it may cost more and take more time to host an event, but if done right, it can certainly be a net-positive for your business.
#6. Create a loyalty program.
One of the biggest benefits of genuinely thanking your customers on a regular basis is the long-term service it helps to earn. The fact is that it’s much cheaper to hang onto your existing customers than it is to put forth the cost and effort to attract new ones. Plus, long-term customers tend to spend more than new customers, creating even more value for you.
Those long-term customers don’t happen overnight, and a loyal customer today can easily become your competition’s customer if you don’t make sticking with you worth their while. And one of the best ways to do that is to inspire continued loyalty with a loyalty program!
Create a VIP program for your long-term customers to reward them for sticking with you for so long. With this program, you could offer your customers discounts or free services, an invitation to select events, access to premier services, regular check-ins from management, gift cards, etc.
#7. Listen to and respond to feedback.
A big part of appreciating your customers is making sure that, when they have feedback, you take the time to listen to that feedback fully and take it to heart. The fact of the matter is that people like to be heard. And when someone has a complaint about your business, they want to know that someone is there to hear it.
Listening is just the first step; you also have to show your customers that they’ve been heard by enacting change. This may mean big, sweeping change, like putting a new policy in place or replacing an old piece of equipment, but it could also mean making a small change, like additional training with an employee.
Listening and responding to feedback should be done whether the feedback is given in person or online in the form of a review, and if you play your cards right, it can could end up with you earning long-term loyalty from the customer in question, as well as anyone who has read the negative review and your response to it.
#8. Give them some love on social media.
Every business needs an active social media presence, which means that posting on a regular basis is a must. The problem is that it’s not always so easy to figure out what to post. After all, there are only so many tricks and tips you can share that are relevant to your business. Luckily, you can both fill up some of those posts and demonstrate your appreciation for your customers by giving them some love on social media. Before you post about a customer, though, it’s important that you ALWAYS ask for their permission first.
Not only should you use social media to say thank you to your customers, but you should also encourage your customers to interact with you more on social media and to say thank you to those customers who already interact with you. When a customer “likes,” comments on or shares one of your posts on social media, or they start following you, offer them freebies, swag or discounts to say thanks!
#9. Surprise them with swag!
Nothing says “thanks” quite like a physical gift does, and whether a gift is given on a special occasion, like a birthday or a holiday, or it’s given after a customer has reached a certain milestone, i.e. years of service, money spent or number of service calls, it can have a big impact. There are so many great gift ideas that won’t break the bank and can make an impact, including tasty treats, flowers, cards, phonebooks or organizers, stamps, etc. But nothing makes a better gift than swag.
Swag, like pens, sticky notes, t-shirts, koozies, bottle openers, keychains, bumper stickers, refrigerator magnets and so much more, makes such a great gift because it’s often something useful and it has the added benefit of having your name on it! Every time your customer sips a beer out of their koozie or jots a note down with their pen, they’ll see your brand, reminding them that you exist and keeping you fresh in their mind.
Take the first step toward getting the swag you need today!
#10. Give back to your community.
Your customer base is made up of the people who live and work in your community, so when you give back to your community, you’re also giving back to your customers. You’re also making a name for your business as one that truly cares and is dedicated to making a difference in the world.
There are a number of ways that you could choose to give back to your community. You could sponsor a local team or make a donation of gear or equipment to a local school or retirement community. You could organize a paid day of volunteer work for your employees to build a home, work in a soup kitchen or even help to run an event. You could donate a portion of your profits to a cause that’s near and dear to your heart.
There are so many things you can do to make your community — and the world — a better place, and it can make your customers feel appreciated and like you truly care about their needs. Plus, you get the extra brownie points that come with the good publicity that giving back earns our business.
Become a Top Rated Local business today!
As we discussed, one of the easiest things you can do to show your customers how thankful you are for them is to respond when they have feedback, especially when that feedback is a review. When you sign up to become a Top Rated Local business, you’ll get real-time notifications of new reviews, giving you the ability to respond promptly to your customers’ feedback. Best of all, becoming a Top Rated Local is easy and free! Get started today!