How do you show customer appreciation? You can do it in many different ways. One way or another, you need to be aware that appreciation plays a big role in customer retention. Retention is a part of a bigger process we know as a customer journey.
Our guide to the seasonal ecommerce rush focuses on five stages: awareness, consideration, purchase, retention, and advocacy. While customer appreciation can be a vital part of the advocacy stage, in this article, I’d like to focus on how it can help you retain your customers. Take a look at the seven ideas that will show your customers that you genuinely care about them.
Keep in touch with your customer after the purchase
Quality customer service doesn’t end with a purchase. How you treat your customers after they buy from you is what separates a brand that people love from hundreds of other brands that only focus on making money and not building relationships. Add the human touch, and build your relationship with them outside of the sales process.
It’s even more critical during the holiday season. Reach out and talk to your customers. Whether it’s an email, a phone call, or a message in a chat, let them know that they’re valuable and mean more to you than just another invoice. A simple “Happy holidays” can work wonders and keep your customers attached to your brand the next time they consider a purchase.
Let your customers know about special offers
Giving your customers a discount code or giving away your product or service for free for a limited time is one of the best ways to show gratitude. Consider the big expenses we all have towards the end of the year. Your customers will love the fact that they’ll be able to keep a few extra dollars in their pockets.
You might also think about a special deal for your newsletter subscribers. I browsed my Facebook newsfeed the other day, and I stumbled across a post from one of the shops I follow. They were mentioning their fall sales that they made available to their newsletter subscribers through early access. This message is one of the ways to show customer appreciation. It’s also cleverly built upon psychological mechanisms like scarcity and rewards.
Send your customers a piece of branded swag
You can never go wrong with a piece of branded swag. 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. Also, 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 like mugs, lanyards, t-shirts, and sweatshirts. Let customers decide which one they want. Everyone loves a freebie, especially when they get to choose it themselves.
Lazy or not, think about a gift card
I’m still on the fence when it comes to gift cards. I understand why some of you see a gift card as the most boring gift there is. On the other hand, isn’t it more practical? You can spend it on whatever you want instead of pretending that you love a present that you’re not going to use. I’m sure we’ve all been there.
The fact that gift cards are easy to get and easy to give away makes them even more appealing. Hand out physical gift cards in your store or email them to your customers with a personalized note. Plus, there are so many gift cards to choose from, including Starbucks, Netflix, and PlayStation. Who wouldn’t want something from one of those companies for free?
Don’t forget about those with a sweet tooth
Swag and gift cards are cool, but you can’t eat them. People at LiveChat will ask you for a cake on every occasion. You passed your trial? Bring a cake. Birthday? Cake. Work anniversary? Cake. I know that’s just anecdotal evidence, but don’t we all love something sweet now and then?
Chocolate, cakes, cookies. There are almost too many options to choose from. Most bakeries deliver to nearby locations, so place your order and send your customers a big batch of freshly baked goodies this holiday season. Throw in a bag of coffee beans while you’re at it.
Share the stories of your customers on your channels
I’m sure your customers will love any gifts that you send their way. If you’re selling to other businesses, your customers will love it even more if you tell your audience about them. Share their success stories in case studies, give them shout-outs on social media, and mention them in your company newsletter. At the end of the day, exposure to a new audience can be more beneficial than any tangible gift that comes to mind.
Forget about in-person events
Remember when you could invite customers to your store or office space for a holiday get-together? Well, that’s not the case in 2020 anymore. COVID-19 has paralyzed many aspects of our lives, and it won’t make an exception for the holiday season. Forget about in-person events like holiday parties, at least for this year. Instead, think about Zoom conferences, Q&As on your Instagram Stories, or webinars with your customers as special guests sharing their tips for the holiday season.
This holiday season is going to be unlike any other we’ve experienced before. Brands will have to rethink the ways they approach their customers and how they communicate with them. We like to feel appreciated, and, this holiday season, we might need that feeling even more. Many people won’t have the opportunity to spend time with their family and friends in the ways they used to in the past. Businesses should make an effort to get closer to their customers. There are countless ways to show customer appreciation this holiday season, and those who do it well will capitalize on it in the future.