It’s important to say “Thank You” to your customers, during the holidays and furthermore. A whopping 82 percent of small businesses in a Constant Contact survey said that loyal customers are the number one cause their business is growing. Showing your customers' appreciation is a great way to build that loyalty, especially with new customers.
Here are a few ideas that every business can use, from gift cards to cookies.
An Extra Check–In Call
This seems simple, but every customer, especially your needy ones, will love getting a call from the rep they work with just to say “Happy Holidays.” It shows goodwill to customers, increasing loyalty and strengthening the relationship between them and the person they work with within your organization.
A Free Month of Service (Or Product)
There’s no better way to say “We appreciate you!” than a free month of service. They’ll love the extra room in their January budget, and you’ll keep happy customers exactly as they are. You may even convince customers who otherwise would be cutting ties to stay for another Year.
This is especially valuable for new businesses which are trying to build a loyal customer base. “The absolute BEST decision I made this year was to provide a free sample of my product as a gift to all locations that we were launching,” said BJ Dowlen, from Body Works Ball.
She continues, “Not only did they appreciate being provided a sample of our product, but it allowed my new customers the chance to try it out and they LOVED it. In the history of our company, this is the BEST 4th quarter we've ever had as a result of this move.”
A Branded Piece of Clothing
Clothing is the second most wanted present according to a 2016 holiday survey, and luckily, it’s an easy gift to prepare and ship to customers. While you can go with a traditional t-shirt, step it up this season with a high–quality sweatshirt. And, instead of just sticking your logo on the front or top left corner, add a cool quote or graphic related to your business. Depending on how many customers you have, you could consider customizing them with their first or last name as well.
If you want to give customers more options, create a page with a few branded products to choose from, including mugs, lanyards, t-shirts and sweatshirts. Allow customers to choose which one they want; everyone loves a freebie, especially when they get to choose it themselves.
A Gift Card
This sounds like a boring present, but gift cards are easy to purchase online and send via email. Gift cards from a major coffee chain are easy to get and always welcome, but if you want to be more creative, consider your industry. For example, realtors would most likely love a gift card from sign–making website instead.
Most bakeries can deliver to nearby locations, so send your customers a big batch of freshly baked goodies this holiday season. This is especially a great gift for B2B businesses because you can treat the whole office to a few cases of cookies and everyone will be able to enjoy.
Simms PR found well–made cookies to be a great gift for their clients. “Sending these gifts has been a great way to keep that top–level connection healthy. I think it helped that the cookies were really, really good (handmade with ingredients from small farmers), and not just run–of–the–mill holiday cookies,” says Jason Simms, Principal at Simms PR.
A Useful Tool
Your customers and clients likely use a variety of tools and products, whether they’re a business or consumer. This year, show them you appreciate their business by buying them a useful item, but don’t forget to be a little selfish.
For example, Marquis Gardens bought their wholesale customers and contractors iPads with pre–installed programs they know these people could use on a regular basis, including: water scraping ideas, useful technician ideas and 3D models for designers.
“We hope that it will be a useful tool our contractors will use in their day–to–day operation. The endgame is to maintain and grow our brand loyalty and make it easier to showcase our products to potential customers,” says Ostap Bosak, Manager at Marquis Gardens.
Invite everyone into your store or office space for a holiday get together if you work with customers that live in your local area. Make sure employees are present as well, so they can enjoy some much–needed non–work time with customers. Making personal connections via casual conversation will only strengthen the business relationships you’ve already formed.
Provide drinks, food and music, and plan for a 4–hour window of time so people can come, even if just for a moment, they might have other plans that night.
Show your customers some much–needed appreciation this holiday season, increasing loyalty and tightening relationships before moving into the New Year. There are plenty of fun ideas, so consider which will resonate most with your customers and start spreading the holiday joy.
If you want to learn more about customer appreciation, read the post Take Appreciation to Another Level: Customer Appreciation Ideas.