31 Ways to Thank Your Customers This Season
Saying thank you is one of the simplest ways to show customers that you appreciate their business. There are many different ways to thank your customers, however, and some require more thought than others. Thanksgiving is the ideal time to consider the best ways to remind people how important they are to us. In this article, we'll look at a range of ideas to show customers they're the most important part of your business. We're sure there's something here that every business can use, from the smallest local store to online retailers and nationwide chains!
31 Ways to Thank Your CustomersIt's easier to connect with customers via digital channels, but some forms of thank you can only be achieved in the real world. Our suggestions are split down the middle, with half of the ideas delivered by digital means, while the rest rely on offline efforts.
Ideas to Offer Thanks Online
- 1. Record a video to say thank you to a specific group or individual customers. Whether you post it to a public channel like Facebook or e-mail it to them privately, the fact that you've taken the time to create something personally will make the message stand out.
- 2. Offer an upgrade. If your business has multiple service levels, offering a complimentary bump up to the next tier shows the customer what's available without having to sell them on the benefits of paying. You might even upsell them to the tier beyond that, or win some word-of-mouth marketing for your premium services.
- 3. Send an article about their interests or industry. Not every gift has to be purchased. Sharing new research or a little-known insight shows your customer that you pay attention to their needs and/or understand their business.
- 4. Feature their business on your social media accounts. Attention is appreciated and referrals generate new revenue. Sharing a social page or recommending a service is a small gesture that can lead to big things, especially if you have a large social presence.
- 5. Contribute to a cause they support. When personal and business gifts don't feel appropriate, making a charitable donation to a suitable cause is an attractive alternative. The key? Make sure it's relevant to their business or the recipient's personal interests so that it shows some thought!
- 6. Send a subscription. For the online gift that keeps on giving, a subscription plan to entertainment services like Spotify, Netflix, or Hulu is something that reminds your customer you care every month!
- 7. Give them easy access to support and feedback. Some businesses have to automate customer service due to sheer scale. While that's okay in some circumstances, it can easily alienate those who loyally use your product or service. Providing a direct line - or dedicated service rep - for them is actually considered a thank you, as long as you do it before any issues arise!
- 8. Follow up on their ideas for your business. Regular customers are a rich source of ideas to improve your business. Not all of them will be appropriate, but the simple act of following up to say thank you for an idea and explaining why it can't happen will be appreciated. And if you can make it a reality, don't forget to offer them the first trial!
- 9. Commit random acts of discounting. For customers who buy from you on a regular basis, a VIP discount can be the best way to reward loyalty and keep them coming back for more.
- 10. Follow and engage with their social feeds. It costs nothing but time to participate in an online conversation. Make sure you like the pages and profiles of regular customers on prominent social networks, stay connected, and share their positive news whenever you can.
- 11. Offer some free training or online support. Many products and services are improved by helping customers learn how to use them more effectively. In some cases that support comes at a cost, but there are times when waiving that fee and providing complimentary online training will bring you closer to your customer.
- 12. Send a digital coffee. When you're not close enough to your customer to stop in, an online coffee meeting is the next best thing. Online coffee cards provide an easy and affordable way to check in with lots of customers without leaving the office.
- 13. Create a custom thank you page. When someone signs up for a newsletter or shares your web content, they're typically redirected to a bland page offering a line or two of thanks. For that reason, the humble thank you page presents an opportunity to stand out from the crowd. Put some thought into what your customers care about, how you can help them, and channel that spirit into a more creative thank you page.
- 14. Follow up after a purchase. Online sales make the purchase process easy, but it can also feel impersonal. Checking in a week or two after they buy helps to put a real name to the company, say thanks for their business, and see if there's any way you can help them get more from your product or service.
- 15. Make your business available at any hour. Sometimes just being there is enough. When your business invites customers to connect regardless of the time or day, it feels like a form of thanks. This can be used exclusively for certain segments of your customer base or everyone who buys from you. Either way, it should be framed as a special service that makes your customers feel important.
- 16. Ask for (specific) feedback. Most people feel good when you ask for their opinion. That effect is amplified when the request is based on their unique perspective or area of expertise. Craft specific and individual requests for feedback as a way to reconnect with customers and thank them for their business. This approach has the added benefit that you could uncover new ways to serve your customer and encourage referrals.
Ideas to Offer Thanks Offline
- 17. Refer a new customer. What better way to say thanks than by understanding what your customer does and recommending them to a friend or colleague? Referrals are the lifeblood of many businesses and you want your name to be the one that comes up as the source.
- 18. Throw some extras into their order. Did you ever receive a package with unexpected items, as well as the item you ordered? Little extras feel good, especially when they're personalized to explain why you included these particular items.
- 19. Invite them to have coffee. Buying someone a hot drink is the accepted standard for reaching out to reconnect. It's a thank you, an offer to listen, and a gift of your time all in one gesture. Sure, you can only meet in-person with a handful of customers, but those you meet will appreciate it all the more for that reason.
- 20. Send a handwritten card. In a world of digital mails and messages, the humble handwritten note stands out more than ever. The time and thought it takes to write an individual message and mail it off to the recipient is sure to set you apart from competitors.
- 21. Send them your favorite book (or one relevant to their business). Book recommendations are personal. Whether it's an author you love or something that will help your customer in their professional life, the thought speaks volumes (pardon the pun). Write a personal note of thanks in the cover for extra brownie points!
- 22. Send cards for individual achievements and/or non-traditional holidays. Unlike a personal note, cards for established holidays are still quite common. Nonetheless, there are some exceptions. A card for Christmas or Hannukah might not stand out from the crowd, but sending one for Earth Day or National Donut Day are sure to. If you're struggling to find one, check out the fun holiday calendar for inspiration.
- 23. Offer a private tour of your business. You might be genuinely surprised by how many customers want to know what goes on behind-the-scenes at the businesses they love. Sending an invite to a personal tour, when your facilities warrant it, says that you're confident about what you do and want people to see where the magic happens. Depending on your business, it's also an opportunity to throw in little extras like free samples and +1 guest spots for your most loyal customers.
- 24. Contribute your time to a cause they support. It's one thing to place a donation in their name, it's quite another to show up in-person to offer your time. Helping your best customers support a cause they love is an excellent way to show gratitude and make a positive contribution in one move.
- 25. Give them VIP status with "sneak peeks" and early access. If your business uses samples to introduce new products, sending complimentary packs to your best customers is an easy way to make the most of them.
- 26. Invite them to an event. Beyond your own office, what social occasions do you enjoy that customers might be able to join? We're all familiar with sponsored suites at sporting events and guest passes to conferences, but there's really no end to the local events that would make your clients feel welcome. Take another look at what's on your calendar and think about who you might invite.
- 27. Collaborate on a joint project. Are there areas where your customer's business interests and your own intersect? Many non-competitive companies find that working together on a shared project brings forth new ideas and helps both parties to reach a new audience. If your company is the one who comes up with a successful suggestion, it's sure to be received gratefully and strengthen the business relationship.
- 28. Blend physical with digital. Even if you're offering a digital thank you, like a subscription or a gift to redeem, send a personal letter or card to explain why you sent it. The time this takes might mean that you reserve this approach for your top customers or leads you really need to nurture, but the combination of physical and digital gifting sends a strong message to those who receive it.
- 29. Maintain a "drop in" space for customers in your office or retail space. If you have an interesting place of work - or if you're based in a destination city through which a lot of people travel - imake it easy for customers to stop by. Just by offering a comfortable rest stop, complimentary coffee and free wi-fi for customers, you can offer an ongoing, physical thank you space that keeps you top of mind.
- 30. Support or co-sponsor a local event. If you're lucky enough to have lots of your best customers right on your doorstep, make the most of it! Chances are that some of them have a desire to support and attend local events, which you can do by encouraging co-workers to attend with you. Sponsoring an event or partnering with them to promote it is another way to take this form of thanks to the next level.
- 31. Empower customer service reps to get creative. All of the ideas above are useful if you own the business or set customer service policy. To spread this kind of service across the entire team, however, you'll need to encourage and empower employees to use their initiative. Make room in your budget for this kind of creativity and see how fast it improves the diverse ways your business thanks and delights loyal customers!
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