How and why should you show your appreciation?
How you treat your customers is a direct reflection of your brand values and 91% of people said they are also more likely to do business with companies that actively show appreciation for their customers. When you make your customers feel special and valued, it shows that you care about them as more than just a business transaction.
You can go the extra mile to say thank you at random times throughout the year, around the holidays, or continuously through a loyalty program that will help build an ongoing relationship. Did you know that 66% of customers will even modify their purchase amount to cash in on loyalty program rewards? It’s true!
Other times to show appreciation might be when your customer has reached a certain milestone, like a dollar amount spent, a number of purchases they’ve made or years they’ve been doing business with you.
30 Thoughtful Customer Appreciation Ideas
Our favorite customer appreciation ideas aren’t difficult or expensive. In fact, some of them are as simple as sending a handwritten letter. Think about how you can make people smile. Look for ways to add value to their lives (that doesn’t always involve you talking about your product or company), surprise them with an unexpected gift or solve a problem that they have.
- Remember their name — and their favorite sports team. Have employees take notes on your POS system so that you can remember thoughtful details for future conversations.
- Start a text-to-redeem loyalty program. Just make sure it’s easy to sign up and intuitive to use. Studies show that 70% of people that don’t join loyalty programs said it took too long to sign up, but 72% of people said they would join if the process was simplified by having an option to sign up via text.
- Host an event (with no selling or promotions). A casual happy hour, dinner party or end of year bash is a great way to connect with people and more than 50% of customers appreciate the face-to-face time.
- Celebrate your anniversary. Commemorate your customer’s first purchase or membership by sending them a discount each year on the same day.
- Remember their birthday. Another day to celebrate is your customer’s birthday. Send them a coupon code for a gift they can get for themselves.
- Surprise them with VIP treatment. Unexpectedly giving someone a discount or upgrading their services is a great way to make their day better.
- Pickup the phone. It doesn’t get any more personal than a quick phone call to say thank you.
- Help them grow professionally. Give your customers recommendations of your favorite business books. Or, you can send them a copy of your favorite one!
- Promote their business. Show people you care about what they are doing by featuring them or their business on social media or in your company blog.
- Help them decorate. Send a small, low-maintenance plant, like a succulent or lucky bamboo to brighten up their home or workspace.
- Let them test new products first. Give your VIP customers access to new products and updates to reward them for their loyalty.
- Send some treats to their office. A gift basket with office-friendly snacks like healthy fruits and chocolate dipped pretzels are sure to be a hit.
- Get involved in the community. Sponsor a local event, like a little league grill-out or a 4th of July bounce house that is family-friendly and brings people together.
- Create a personal video. Have the CEO or founder of your company create a sincere video saying thank you to your customers.
- Give loyalty members free shipping every day. People love to see small perks like this. Plus, 74% of women and 67% of men will refer a friend to a loyalty program that they engage with regularly.
- Involve them in your business. Release a poll for people to share what colors they’d like your product to be offered in or have them vote on your next event venue.
- Host a free Q&A. Schedule an event where you answer any of your customers’ questions – with no selling! You can do this online via live video or in person.
- Celebrate life events with a handwritten note. Do you know of a customer that is about to buy a home, get married or have a baby? Say congratulations and, if relevant, send a coupon that will help make the transition smoother.
- Launch a social media contest. Everyone loves some healthy competition, and 45% of customers said they appreciate when businesses host contests or giveaways. Have a photo contest and give the person with the most social media shares or likes a prize.
- Send some peace of mind. Gift loyal customers a certificate to a local yoga studio or buy them a meditation app that they can use each morning.
- Buy them a coffee. When someone gives you a referral, get them a gift card for their favorite drink. Add a fun note like, “Coffee and your referral keep my business running. Thank you!”
- Make introductions to other customers. Help your customers network by making valuable introductions and encouraging beneficial partnerships.
- Donate on their behalf. Let people choose a nonprofit they care about and make a donation in their name. It could be a percentage of sales or a one-time gift.
- Spread some luck. Buy lottery tickets as a holiday gift and wish your customers luck!
- Give swag they actually want. Think out of the box when buying branded or personalized items as swag. People might not need another t-shirt, but they might enjoy a pair of sunglasses.
- Dedicate a day to them (with perks). Create a customer appreciation day where you share exclusive promotions with existing customers only. When asked, 63% of people thought businesses should offer discounts and specials to loyal customers.
- Help them cheer on the team. If your city has a local sports team, you probably have some customers who are fans. Choose a contest winner or random person to gift a pair of tickets to.
- Lend a listening ear. Read the questions and comments people share about your company online – and then write a personal response to them to show you are listening.
- Satiate their sweet tooth. Send candy, baked goods or popcorn to your customers’ homes with a thank you card.
- Buy them a subscription. Give your customers a subscription to their favorite online magazine or news source that you know they read.
- Host a free continuing education night. Bring in a local subject matter expert to talk about a topic that is top of mind for your customers or teach them a skill that is relevant to your services.
Customer Appreciation Guide
To remind you of all the ways you can show appreciation to your customers, we created this guide. It highlights what types of customer appreciation people crave the most, and proven ways to win your customers over.
These ideas are sure to make your customers feel like a valued part of your business. Just remember that the kind gestures shouldn’t be limited it to only your best customers. While it might be easier to find those people who enthusiastically share your content and visit your store often, it’s important to remember less-loyal customers, too.
You have the opportunity to say thank you to your long-time customers while showing someone else who may be on the fence about your products just how great your company really is!