Recognizing customer patronage is not only the polite and personable thing to do, but it can help lead to loyal customers and more business in the future. Customers are the lifeblood of a business so it’s important to always display your gratitude to your loyal customers.
National Small Business Week is celebrated May 5-11, and this week is the perfect opportunity to let your customers know you appreciate them through your marketing. Although you should be making an effort everyday to recognize your customers, take advantage of this week to showing customers a little extra love for their support.
Use some of these ideas to let customers know that you appreciate them. Customers will also understand their importance to the success of your business. The root of a successful business is strong relationships with those that support it so let your customers know you are grateful for them!
The easiest way to give back to your customers is to offer a special discount or promotion just for them. Send out an email newsletter letting them know that you want to show your appreciation to those that support you throughout the year. The purpose of your email should be obvious when your customers see it so check out these examples of email subject lines for thank you and customer appreciation emails.
In a heartfelt and personal note, explain your gratitude and then offer a desirable discount or a free offer. Bakeries can hand out free cookies, restaurants can offer a special dessert, and professional services like cleaning companies can offer a discount on the next service.
In addition to sending out an email newsletter, post something on social media to thank your customers. You can even mention that customers will be getting a special discount in their inboxes. This will encourage people to sign up for your newsletters to get exclusive offers and deals.
When a customer comes in to redeem the promotion, send them off with a coupon to be used at a later date as a thank you for their continued support. The next time the customer comes in and uses the coupon, they will remember how much you truly care about their ongoing support for your business.
Exclusive freebies are another easy and great way to reward your customers. Samples of your products or vouchers for free trials of your service will ensure your customers leave with the notion that you acknowledge their special support.
Branded swag like stickers, temporary tattoos, or sunglasses with your logo not only rewards your customers, but advertises your business to the public! Make sure you give away something with relevant use to your client base. This ensures that the item is not only useful to them, but reusable too. Everytime they use your free product, your customers are advertising your business for you in a relevant fashion! For example, a salon should give away branded lip balm rather than a bottle opener, as lip balm is more relevant to a salon than a beverage opener. Branded sweatbands or water bottles would be a better freebie than custom cookies for a fitness center with health conscious members. Keep your free stuff on brand and relevant to what your customers want.
If you have a brick and mortar location, show your customer appreciation in store by holding raffles or giveaways in store. For every customer who makes a purchase on Get to Know Your Customer Day (or any other day) enter them into a drawing for the raffle or giveaway. You can have them write their name and contact information on a card as they pay so that if they win, they can be notified. This is also another great way to grow your opt-in email list.
If you are more service oriented, use a random generator with customers emails and surprise the winners with a surprise note letting them know what they won. Make sure to post the contest and announce the winners on social media so that customers who want to be entered can come into your store and be entered to win. The prize can be a popular product or vouchers for your services.
Always make sure to engage with the social media users that constantly engage with your business’s accounts.
Spotlight top social media followers on the platform and let users know why they are special. Feature multiple people that have supported your accounts for years—those that constantly interact with your posts and make an in person appearance at your business as well. Be personal and sincere, but short and quick with your reasoning. You can even feature a Fan of the Week or a Fan Photo on your Instagram account to give some of your best customers some love.
Not only will this unexpected attention bring a smile to the featured follower’s face, but other followers know that you pay attention to your followers. People are more likely to become customers of a business that interact with its followers and care about them individually.
Start a customer retention and loyalty program or rewards club for customers that show consistent support for your store. Customers will feel special to be offered a spot in this type of program as it can be seen as a gesture of recognition for their loyalty. Not only will it lure in customers that might not patronize your business as frequently, it could also motivate new customers who like good deals and promotional systems.
Common practices include birthday discounts or freebies or points accumulated per purchase that lead to money off once you reach a certain amount. Rewards cards can also just offer a small discount on a certain type of service or product you offer.
Some companies create tiered levels for these programs for amounts that customers spend. The more you spend, the greater the reward. Each tier can offer specific benefits from your business, and those at the top can receive exclusive rewards.
If you have the resources, host a party or open house at your store exclusively invite only to your customers. You can advertise it as an after hours event so as not to lose valuable business during the day. If you can’t facilitate the event in store, host a barbecue or picnic at your home. Get to know the guests on a first name basis for future interactions. Learning their wants and needs can help you promote your product or service to better fit your target audience.
Make sure the activities you plan not only promote interaction between you and your customers, but your customers with each other. This creates a personal and more intimate atmosphere, leaving all the attendees with connections.
Another way to show your appreciation for customers is to give back when they’re looking for help. Does one of your clients coach a Little League team? Become a sponsor! Help fitness center athletes organize a team for a local charity race. Volunteer your painting or pottery studio to a local Girl Scout or Youth Group to come and paint for free. Cater or donate food or drinks to a business networking event, charity event, or other local activity that is looking for donations. Ask around or listen to customers to seek out ways that you can help them by giving back.
How do you let your customers know you appreciate them and their support?