5 Customer Appreciation Ideas For Your Small Business

Acquiring a customer is the first step, but retaining them is the key to building a mutually beneficial relationship. In other words, it’s very important to show your customers you value their business. Research shows that customers who feel unvalued can lead to an increase in customer churn. With National Customer Appreciation Day coming up on April 18, we’ve put together 5 ways for your business to show appreciation to your customers and help prevent customer churn!

1. Send Thank You Cards

Do you remember when your local dentist office would send you a thank you card after your visit, or your local body shop expressing their gratitude for continuing to choose their business? Handwritten notes are understated and a “dying art” in this digital age, but they add a personal touch to the experience for customers. You can make a long and lasting impression on customers by sending out handwritten notes, and overtime win their trust and loyalty.

Below are examples of ways you can express your gratitude with handwritten notes:

  • Include them in your customers’ packages.
  • Mail them after they’ve come in for an appointment or service.
  • Send them on holidays, customers’ birthdays, and customer appreciation day.

2. Create Special Offers

Who doesn’t love a special offer? Surprising your customers with unexpected discounts or free gifts can drive positive customer interactions and build loyalty. It can be a free sticker or swag item to throw in with their purchase, or a free upgrade for one month. This shows you are looking out for your existing customers and thanking them for their loyalty. Don’t forget the handwritten thank you notes!

3. Create a Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs are a great way to thank your long-term customers for continuing to do business with you. There are many ways you can reward their loyalty such as:

  • Offering discounts or coupons after they spend a certain amount. For example, a punch card program is the most popular loyalty program, and it’s most used by coffee shops, restaurants, and beauty salons.
  • Giving complimentary upgrades after so many visits or being a customer for a certain period of time.
  • Giving free items for signing up for a program or buying a certain product or service.
  • Offering free shipping after they spend a certain amount with your business.
  • Giving them access to exclusive sales.

4. Ask for Feedback

Customers feel valued when their voices are heard. Getting their feedback boosts customer morale and provides valuable insight about your business. You can learn more about how your products and services are impacting customers, their recent experiences and interactions with your business, and opportunities for improvement.

Whether it’s receiving a 5-star review or a complaint, it’s important to acknowledge and engage their feedback. You can send out a scheduled customer survey by email or text, call customers directly, or direct them to your social media pages or Google business profile to leave a review. In addition, receiving positive customer feedback is an opportune time to collect testimonials, and share them on your website and social media pages. It makes them feel more appreciated by giving he/she a special shout-out, and it makes you look more appealing to prospects!

5. Hold a Customer Appreciation Day

Even though Customer Appreciation Day is on April 18, it’s entirely up to you when you want to celebrate your customers. In fact, some companies will do a Customer Appreciation Week! Holding an annual Customer Appreciation Day is a great way to show how much you appreciate your customers. Also, as a marketing strategy, it’s an effective way to boost foot traffic during your slowest times.

It can be an in-person event with drinks, food, music, giveaways, small gifts or goodie bags. For example, a local restaurant may want to host a cocktail party, and they serve their signature cocktails and small bites. It’s a fun and free event that gives your customers to look forward to each year. If you’re hosting an in-person event, spread the word by advertising it on your social media pages, send postcards, and attract new customers with a sign or banner at each of your business locations.

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Written By Brittany Bowlin, Director of Marketing