Do you truly love your customers?
If it’s a ‘YES’ then how you are going to show them? If it’s a ‘NO” then you should go through this blog.
If you think loving your customers means only providing excellent service to them, then you are absolutely wrong. Trust me, it’s not enough. You need to think in this way: customers are paying a good amount for your product or service, and they are dealing with you because they trust your company.
In return, the least you can do is appreciate your customers and make them feel you are thankful.
You need to understand the eternal truth: “Customer is everything.” Your every initiative, communication, and business choice revolve around them. Here in this blog, let me explain everything about customer appreciation including its importance, some examples, and ideas to master it for your company.
What is Customer Appreciation All About?
Customer appreciation is basically the art of showing gratitude to your consumers, making them feel important, cared and valued.
You must be thinking about why providing great service is not enough for customers. The reason is they expect that it is your responsibility to provide the best service, it has become obvious. Now, you need to do more to appreciate customers. In short, you have to be extra nice to them.
As per a recent study, “75% of customers give favor to brands that offer rewards”, and 70% of customers recommend companies that offer loyalty programs.” So, here let me give you a detailed view of why customer appreciation is important and how it can increase your ROI, overall customer retention and referral rate.
Customer Appreciation Day
Though worldwide, National Customer Appreciation Day is celebrated on 18th of April, but you can be flexible here. Choose a week or a day during which the organization will be specially dedicated to appreciating customers and their efforts.
The main motto of celebrating this special day is to make customers understand that you care for them and their loyalty to your company is appreciated. Let them know about this special day beforehand so that they can be a part of this celebration.
Why You Should Appreciate Customers?
Customer appreciation makes customers feel secure. It is much needed for many reasons:
Firstly, Customer appreciation makes your customers very happy. A happy customer is more likely to come back to your company for further business but also may refer the brand to others. Thus it helps to create a good reputation for your brand to do business with.
Secondly, in the era of a fast-paced lifestyle, eCommerce business, and globalization customer appreciation can be seen as a lost art. So, following an old-school approach, and going the extra mile to make customers feel important can help your brand to stand out from others.
Thirdly, we all like to feel loved. It’s true for your customers also. Don’t forget, you have to be genuine and true to your heart while appreciating customers. If you truly care for your customers, they will definitely understand your feelings and appreciate your effort.
Some Customer Appreciation Ideas for You
Sending Thank You Cards
A beautiful way of showing your appreciation to the customers is by sending them handwritten ‘Thank You’ notes. You can make them feel how important and valuable they are to your company and how much they have helped your company to prosper.
The ‘Thank You’ note should be all about appreciating your customers and not about your company. Please don’t turn them into some promotional sales pitch.
Surprises are Sweet
Surprises always stimulate the pleasure centers of our brains. So, sending them appreciation notes with small gifts on expected days make all your efforts more special.
From time to time, you can offer your loyal customers some unexpected discounts, an upgradation, special offers or gift cards just to make them feel special. All these nice gestures definitely will help your company to stand out form your competitors who always send gifts at predictable times like during Christmas or sales promotion.
Greet a Customer on His Specific Holidays
Many people celebrate their special days differently depending on their culture and geographic locations. Always keep this in mind and personalize those gifts for relating to those who may not celebrate Easter or Thanks Giving.
So, check your customers’ backgrounds and cultural aspects much before planning your surprise gifts. Trust me, your customers will definitely love your sincere appreciation.
Make Customers Happy on Their Special Days
Make it a point to greet them on their special days like birthdays, marriage anniversaries or that special date when the customer first came to you for business. Trust me it’s one of the best gestures to make them feel appreciated. We love to get birthday wishes, it makes us happy. Your customers are also no exception.
You need to save these special dates on your database and should get notifications regarding these special occasions. Calling them for wishing, sending small gifts, gift cards, coupons or even a sudden upgrade free of cost are some of the best examples to think of.
Sending ‘MISS YOU’ Notes
While setting up the customer appreciation strategies, don’t only focus on the existing and loyal customers. Consider those customers also who are not doing any business with you now. Sending them handwritten ‘Miss You’ notes with some discount coupons or gift cards attached would be a nice way to make them feel that you still appreciate them and want them back.
You do not know some of them may come back to give you a new start.
Loyalty or Referral Programs
Launching loyalty or referral programs are great ways to foster customer appreciation. Though both may take some effort for setting up but once launched they generally run independently without even regular monitoring.
These are quite effective in such a way that if done well, loyalty or referral programs sometimes turn the one time customers into frequent buyers thus the loyal ones to your brand. It always helps to grow the lifetime value of the consumer. How to appreciate loyal customers? Let’s dig in.
An effective loyalty program has two major components:
- Always maintain a balance between the rewards that are large enough to attract a customer and profit margins for the orders
- Customer should earn those rewards easily otherwise they may feel cheated or loose interest and chances are they will never entertain you in future.
Promote the Important Customers
You spend a huge time, energy, and money to promote your company or services but you can actually do the same for your customers also. Why don’t you promote them or their companies along with you? Well, it’s a great way to make them appreciated and build brand loyalty.
If you have a company website, you can display several customer profiles there in the testimonial or case study section to make people aware of how your customers are getting benefited from your service or company. You can also share customer success stories with others through newsletters.
We appreciate our customers and the benefits are huge. Here not only do your customers come to know that you are happy with them and their success but also your target audience will also feel that you are a good company to trust and do business with.
Stay in Touch With Your Best Customers
Always value your best and loyal customers and take some interest in their businesses too. Don’t forget to send them ‘Congratulation Notes’ on their achievements.
How to do that? Well, let’s look at some great ways:
- Create Google Alerts to get notified of their business-related news and announcements.
- Visit their company web pages on social media to get updated.
- If a customer has a LinkedIn profile, you can get connected there too. Take out time to post a comment on their business-related posts and social sharing.
- If your customers publish some useful articles, do like and share those for making them feel happy and important
All these nice gestures together may make customers feel that your company values your relationship with them.
Appreciate Customer Referrals
Customer referrals can be called the lifeblood of any company. When a customer recommends your company to his friends, relatives, or even business partners, it’s a big thing. You should send a handwritten thank you card to him without a delay. It will be better if you call him personally and appreciate his effort. Most importantly, do this even when that referral does not bring any business.
On the other hand, if you really get sales from those referrals, send follow-up letters to customers letting them know about the business that happened and thank them again. You can send them a gift card, discount, or coupon as a token of love and appreciation from your side.
Don’t Miss Your Social Media Advocates
We all use social media to express our thoughts, opinions and refer to the brands that we love. So do the customers. But sometimes, companies have unseen them. Don’t ignore your social media advocates. It’s a humble request. Customers take their time out to share feedback about your company, the service and refer you to others. Take these initiatives by them as valuable customer feedback and thank them.
How to know about those great social media advocates? Well, you can follow some of these ways:
- Look for the social media mentions of your company or products by the happy customers
- Include Facebook tags, @nameofyourcompany, and hashtags related to your service to refine your social media search
Thank them wholeheartedly by liking, mentioning, and commenting on their posts.
Some more beautiful ideas to look into
- Take your time out for face-to-face communication
- Offer the gift of knowledge in the form of webinars, tutorials, webinars etc
- You can sponsor your customers for several events
- Feature customer profiles on your company blogs
- Host some customer appreciation events
- Provide free shipping
Some Gifting Ideas
Customer appreciation gifts come in various forms. Companies run customer appreciation programs in various forms and throughout the year. From holiday gift hampers to free merchandise, from discount coupons and gift cards to free upgradation of service, theer are different ways of appreciating customers.
Some of the best gifts include:
- Travel and laptop bags
- Company merchandise may include coffee mugs, pens, notebooks, water bottles, stickers, selfie sticks, clothing accessories, and many more
- Electronic items like power banks, headphones, Bluetooth speakers, etc
- Travel tickets and accommodation for specific events
- Nuts, chocolates, cakes, and cookies
- Customized gift items include flowers, wine glasses, wine or champagne
What Customer Appreciation Strategy is All About?
It is basically defined as a part of the marketing strategy adopted by organizations to appreciate and reward their best customers. These rewards are basically for their existing customers.
Showing how grateful your company is to the customers is the primary objective of a customer appreciation strategy.
Why Do You Need a Customer Appreciation Strategy?
There are two things closely related- what people think about your company and their readiness to become your customers. Customers are only concerned about themselves and their benefits. If they feel important to you and are handled with care and love, then eventually you will get some loyal customers.
Developing an effective customer appreciation strategy plays a vital role in making your business successful. The basic three benefits of developing a successful marketing strategy include:
Gain Importance in the Industry: If you have more loyal and happy customers, chances are that you will get some great reviews and feedback, thus can stay ahead of your competitors. It gives you a competitive advantage in the industry.
More Loyal Customers: Your loyal customers love you and enjoy doing business with your company. These customers will never leave you and go to your competitors no matter how enticing offers others are giving them. You would definitely want more loyal customers for your company and a customer appreciation strategy can help you to achieve them. It will always help to make your customers fall in love with your brand.
Increased Sales: If you make the customers feel special and happy, they will definitely come back to you for more. Since they trust your business, they will buy more. Gradually you are definitely going to see an increase in the profit margins and sales revenues.
Customer Appreciation Quotes
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”-William Arthur Ward
“If you give appreciation to people, you win their goodwill.”-William James
“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.”- Zig Ziglar
“Develop an attitude of gratitude and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.”– Brian Tracy
“People will soon forget what you said. They will never forget how you made them feel.”- Dr. Maya Angelou
By now, you must have understood the importance of customer appreciation. You need to find out what makes them feel special and develop a proactive strategy to let your customers know how much you love them.
You need to make customer appreciation an important part of the overall business plan. Customers will definitely notice all your effort. Once they feel secure and start believing in you, they will come back to you again and again, even referring your brand to others.
You can use these unique ideas and create your own customer appreciation strategy. Do you also have a customer appreciation strategy for your business? If yes, then let us know about it in the comment section below.
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