When you think about your life, you can probably find people who appreciate you at some point. People at work, in your private life, your colleagues or even your tennis teacher. The people who appreciate you, are the ones who say how important you are, how great you do your job, or how they like spending time with you. And you probably like to share your time with them as well because they make you feel good.
But you’re not the only one who benefit from appreciation. According to Sonja Lyubomirsky’s study, gratitude accounts for 40% of a person’s happiness. That’s just an additional reason for why you should appreciate your customers. Doing this will not only make customers happy but your team as well.
How appreciation can benefit your business?
You increase value in the market – companies who have more happy and satisfied customers have better reviews online. And today online reviews can give you a competitive advantage in the market. A lot of people read reviews before they decide to go with a particular vendor.
You increase customer loyalty – customer appreciation is a critical ingredient to increasing the number of loyal customers. And I don’t have to convince you that having loyal customers who love your products and services is a key in running successful business.
Loyal customers stay with you for good or worse.
Increased profits – Customer profitability tends to increase over the life of a retained customer. Customers know you for so long and they trust you, so they are more likely to purchase more products from you. Also, it’s six to seven times cheaper to sell to an existing customer.
Since you know all the benefits of customer appreciation I’m sure you are curious about the ideas and examples you can try. Here are customers appreciation ideas that can inspire your actions.
Become personal in an uncommon way
Here’s the thing. It’s OK to contact your customers for something else than just reminding them about the payment. “Thank you notes” are a very popular appreciation idea. Like I mentioned in the post “How to live happily ever after with your customers,” when you decide to write a note for customers, write it with your own hand. That’s a must if you want to be personal!
Also, pick an exciting and memorable day, like: International T-shirt Day. There’s a big chance customers are not even aware of that kind of holiday. Since they don’t expect that kind of recognition, they are more likely to appreciate the gesture.
Our customers use LiveChat to help their customers through chat. People who talk with customers on chat are support agents. Or that’s what we thought for a long time.
Many years of experience teached us, that either support agents at our company or in our customers’ companies are not just ordinary support agents who work on chat. They are SupportHeroes. They handle so many complicated situations each day and deal with so many types of difficult customers, that they truly need superpowers to stay sane and come back to work the next day.
And what is a super heroes attribute? A cape of course. And that’s how the story begins.
Our social media manager, Agnieszka, came up with the idea of SupportHero capes. We were delighted because we all think that our customers deserve to feel like heroes.
From the companies that have been the longest with us, we've picked a few that we have a strong relationship with, because of all their conversations with our sales and support team and case studies we made together. It was also important that their agents have a lot of chats and a high customer satisfaction score. Then we decided to surprise them and send them SupportHero capes. But that’s not everything!
Agnieszka put customer appreciation to another level and wrote almost 100 hundred notes that she attached to the packages with the capes. Yes, almost 100 hundred notes and each of them were personalized – depending on the humor the company likes, their industry and our relationship.
Quite some time after sending our packages, we started getting tweets, emails and photos full of happy and satisfied customers.
It was a big thing in our marketing department. Each time a company tweeted us that they received capes we were super excited and wanted to take a look at their picture. So besides surprising and appreciating our customers, it gave us a lot of happiness too. Here's the example:
It's the picture from the Chat Shop. Check out our Facebook album to see more.
I think it was a great experience that helped us strengthen the bond with our customers.
Plus, the "support hero" phrase came to our dictionary for good and we hope you’ll also use it for your agents, as they sure deserve this title.
Promote your customers
If you have customers who are also running a business, a good appreciation idea is to include their profile (logo) on your website. It helps you to highlight the customer, but it also shows potential customers how your product or service is helping other businesses succeed.
You can also “like” their Facebook fanpage. One of the things we do at LiveChat is to show our customer tweets in which they tell us how LiveChat helped them in running their business. We have a Testimonials website were we collect all the tweets. Take a look!
We hope customers don’t write those just to appear on our website, and they really mean it.
You can also promote your customers by showing their work in your newsletter. For example, if somebody wrote a guest post on your blog, you can send a newsletter in which you inform about that guest post from this particular person and the company they work for.
Another good way of appreciation by promoting your customers is to create something together. Jacob, who does reports and ebooks for LiveChat, often asks other companies to take a part in it. For example, to the last ebook he created (A Complete Guide to Self-service Materials) he invited our friends from iLos and The Chat Shop to share their experience. At the end they took part in something great and they are promoted by us. You can also try something like this with your customers.
Continued great support
On a daily basis there are the little things that matter. These are the things that make a difference. These things like continued great support or little discounts make you stay with one provider. The little things create a bond and maybe even the law of reciprocity.
Providing customers with discounts and ensuring the same or even greater customer service along the years makes them feel happy and appreciated. It also creates good memories for customers and a great experience. Companies sometimes forget about customer experience once they gain a new customer. They are not trying as much as they did at the beginning.
Many years ago, when I wanted to open a bank account, I decided to go with the newest bank on the market. Mostly, because it offered cash for any new member I brought with me. So I went to the bank, sat down and for the first time in a place like this I was offered coffee. I looked around and there was a coffee maker in front of the entrance. "It’s a nice start" - I thought to myself and I went with a Cappuccino. The visit was very pleasant. And that’s how our relationship started.
After a few years, when I went to the bank to resign because they were charging me for numerous new things, I looked around and there was no coffee maker anymore. They didn’t even offer water. But just to be clear, I didn’t go there to drink free coffee and make them beg me to stay. But this change caught my attention.
I remembered how it was at the beginning and I saw how everything changed. I thought that the customer experience was important at first, only to gain new clients. But it wasn’t continued, so I left.
We have many choices to make each day. Once you create a relationship with a customer, they are more likely to go to your store which is far away from their home than to order something online and save 10$. Seriously. Just because they like you and the experience they got with you. So provide a great service for everyone, all the time, not only at the beginning. It’s the best way to show appreciation for a customer who will come back, especially for you.
Customer appreciation that lasts
Some companies are great at making the first impression. But somehow they can’t make it last. They forget to show their customers they’re important. Customers create an emotional connection with you and once that’s interrupted they’re not likely to trust you again.
I hope that the ideas for customer appreciation that I described above will help you avoid it.
Don’t be afraid telling somebody that they’re important and you love doing business with them. Remember that those who feel appreciated come back to you. So be ready to show some gratitude, it feels really good.