Thanks to technology, business competition has never been stiffer. Sites like Yelp and G2 allow customers to perform easy research, and marketing technologies allow companies to reach out and grab your customers’ attention. As a business owner, it is wise to make your company unique and stand out from your competitors.
There are many ways to stand out from your competitors. You can provide a unique service or product and have exceptional customer service. However, as much as we think we are unique, the chances are that your competitors are doing the same thing and have a similar product as you.
So, what else can you do to stand out? For one, you can thank your customers with a strong focus on authenticity. Many businesses these days forget entirely to thank their customers. Others only thank their customers in an attempt to sell more. However, if the gesture of appreciation is authentic, it can create a stronger bond with your customers.
Why is this important? Well, according to research, acquiring a new customer is 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. By keeping your existing customers happy, you can enjoy faster company growth and a bigger bottom line.
How do you retain your current customers? By embracing something known as “customer appreciation”.
What is customer appreciation?
How do you feel when someone recognizes your hard work and congratulates you? Pretty good. This should also apply to your customers to make them feel appreciated and they won’t ever want to leave you.
Customer appreciation refers to the efforts a business has towards retaining its customers. It means showing how grateful you are to your customers. Customers are the engine force to any business. Without them, your business is doomed.
Why is customer appreciation important?
There are a lot of reasons why customer appreciation is vital. For any business to have a smooth and easy time, especially for startups, it is important that you have happy people in the business environment from your employees, suppliers, partners, and customers.
Satisfied customers help you sustain and grow your business. Your brand grows, revenues increase, and you have a better return on your investment. What else could a business owner ask for?
How do you authentically thank customers?
By now, you are aware of the great importance and benefits of appreciating your customers. A typical “thank you” won’t cut it. You now need to be a bit more creative to make your customers feel valued. We have come up with eight ways to thank your customers and stand out from competitors.
#1. Send handwritten thank you notes
Thank you notes are a classic way of showing gratitude to your customers, and they work better than ever. It is a great way to show appreciation. Getting a thank you note feels like you are living in a different time since very few people still do this in today’s hectic world.
The secret is in personalizing your handwritten note by mentioning your customer by name and unique information about the customer. Not only does it show that you remember them, but also you value and appreciate them for shopping with you. Your end game is igniting a spark in your customers that will leave them with a memorable experience.
#2. Have discount codes for your customers
It is good practice to offer a discount to your loyal customers once a while as a business. Loyal customers always buy your product or service and have been with you through both good and challenging times. Why not reward them for their support?
There are different forms of discount you could consider, like having a reduced price in the commodities they buy frequently or surprising them with discount codes in their email. Your customers can then redeem the discount codes at your business.
Discount codes are also an excellent way for marketing your business, and they may bring in new customers and make people go on a shopping spree for items they wouldn’t buy.
#3. Have a customer appreciation event or early access to a sales
As we outlined earlier, customers are an essential aspect of any business—that’s why there is a customer appreciation day celebrated worldwide on April 18th. However, that doesn’t mean that you only have to appreciate your customers on that day.
If you value your customers, you can have your customer appreciation day specifically for your business. You could even decide to offer them lunch and host some outdoor activities to make the day more fun and memorable. Get to know them better and know how you could also support them in their business. This will surely be a great way to create a lasting bond with your customers.
#4. Give shoutouts on your social media pages
We live in a digital world where the majority of the population runs their business online. In today’s world, it would be detrimental if a company has no online presence. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok are great ways to get to know your customers.
Once you have built that customer relationship, why not commend their efforts on your social media pages and thank them online for shopping? You can have a photo with your loyal customers, and of course, you should first seek their permission to post it on your social media. You can also support their activities by retweeting or commenting on their posts. They will be thrilled when you help expose their talents, business, or services and be appreciative.
#5. Send personalized gifts
As you get to know your most loyal customers, it is good to start personalizing and send something you know they will like.
Customers are different, and getting to know what they are interested in personally can be a huge advantage. Some people are advocates of nature, cars, or animals. Once you get to know what makes your customers tick, it will be a massive plus for you to help your customers in their cause.
The critical thing is to treat every customer as an individual and thank them personally by offering something unique. Sending them personalized gifts is a great way to show them that you care and value them.
#6. Have giveaways to celebrate milestones
Each business has goals and objectives to archive. When a business obtains specific goals, it’s always a good practice to notify your customers of the milestones reached. Achieving milestones is no easy feat.
Customers always want to know how businesses are faring, and notifying them of the milestones archived makes them feel proud of the business they are supporting. What better way to reward customers than awarding them with gifts once a particular milestone has been reached.
You can offer gifts to your customers celebrating a particular milestone like commemorating ten years of running a successful business or saying thank you for reaching 10,000 subscribers on YouTube.
#7. Send personalized videos
Customers are different, and not everyone has the liberty to read long text messages. An alternative for reading texts is watching videos. Platforms such as YouTube have gained an enormous subscriber base due to their personalization.
As a business, you can create personalized videos for your customers and show your appreciation for their continued support. The main objective is to get to know your customer and mention them by their name in the video when appreciating them for purchasing a particular product or service.
Personalized videos can be sent to customers via email address. Remember not to act too salesy when recording the video—this may turn them off. Customers will appreciate you taking your time to record a video just for them.
#8. Wish them a happy birthday
Birthdays are some of the most emotional moments in our lifetimes. People tend to go out and party during their birthdays and celebrate a new year, hoping to achieve new milestones.
As a business, you are likely to know your customers’ birthday, especially if they have subscribed to your mailing list. If you are aware of your customer’s birthday, you can go the extra mile and wish them a happy birthday.
You will make them feel unique and valued, and if possible, you could offer them a discount on their birthday to personalize their experience and make it memorable. Your customers will be flattered that you remembered, and you will have created an unforgettable experience.
About the Author!
David Wachs is a serial entrepreneur, David’s latest venture, Handwrytten, is bringing back the lost art of letter writing through scalable, robot-based solutions that write your notes in pen. Developed as a platform, Handwrytten lets you send notes from your CRM system, such as Salesforce, the web site, apps, or through custom integration. Used by major meal boxes, eCommerce giants, nonprofits and professionals, Handwrytten is changing the way brands and people connect.