Customers are quick to switch to another business as soon as they feel their needs aren’t being met, so it’s essential to let them know they are valued in your company.
Yet, repeatedly thanking loyal customers isn’t enough. You have to go above and beyond if you want to be memorable.
We’ve compiled a list of seven creative ways you can express your appreciation and brighten your customers’ day.
From thank-you cards to meaningful actions, there is a lot you can do to show the customers you care.
So, let’s see how you can say thank-you in an original way.
Send Small Gifts That Show You Pay Attention
Most companies say they appreciate their clients, but customers want more than that; they want to see you prove that sentiment. So, consider showing loyal customers your appreciation by sending small gifts.
That doesn’t mean you have to splurge on extravagant gift baskets.
A survey conducted by a corporate gifting company has shown that apparent value is not among the top three qualities recipients care about in business gifts.
Instead, it’s more important to make sure your gift is creative and specific for your business or the client. If the gift is a physical product, you should make sure it’s good quality.
Source: Packed with Purpose
For instance, the branding agency Tote and Pears shows customers appreciation by sending gifts and offering giveaways.
What makes their approach special is the fact that they customize all gifts, or as they call them, love drops.
The agency takes note of what customers mention during the onboarding or while they work together and tailors the gifts accordingly.
Here’s how the agency’s co-founder sees the importance of giving gifts to clients.
“Each love drop is customized for our clients, and it’s developed by the heart. Showing people that you ‘see them’ helps create long-lasting relationships that matter”.
It’s not only businesses that sell products that can send gifts or samples to customers. Service-based companies can also show their appreciation.
For example, if you’re running a gym, you could send your loyal customers a voucher for one group training session.
If you manage a children’s camp, like many of Regpack’s clients do, you could consider giving your applicants access to one of the workshops already taking place.
When choosing a gift for your customers, don’t limit yourself to customary corporate gifts. Try to find a way to stand out and give your clients something they haven’t tried before.
Prepare a Personalized Thank-You Note
Thank-you notes are an excellent way to show there are real people working behind the scenes.
Most of the customers are used to receiving automated emails every day, so you should try to imbue your notes with a lot of personality and warmth.
You absolutely don’t have to break the bank to show the customers you care.
A simple note on a piece of paper with your company’s logo can make you stand out from all other purchases your customer has made.
Take a look at how a sock company made their customer’s day with two handwritten sentences.
The company kept the thank-you note short and sweet, and it still made an impression.
The authentic, unpolished nature of the handwritten note makes it even more memorable. Writing your note by hand will remind the customers there is a real person behind the brand, which can strengthen your bond with them.
You can thank your customers even if you don’t sell physical products. Let’s say you have an online course business. There’s no need for mailing a card–you can film a short video and edit it with a free online video editor instead.
We know you don’t have hours to spend in front of the camera. Good news; customers enjoy promo videos of under 90 seconds the most anyway.
A good example of video notes comes from Wistia, a hosting platform.
When customers sign up, they are assigned a customer success coach. Each representative attaches a short video introducing themselves. The data shows customers like that practice.
As you can see, nearly 90% of customers played the video, and some even rewatched certain parts.
So, saying “thank you” doesn’t have to cost you a lot of time and money. All it takes is a little note acknowledging your customers in whichever format you prefer.
Offer Discounts for Future Purchases
No business can survive without loyal customers, let alone thrive. To thank them for shopping with you, you can offer repeat customers a discount for future purchases.
In addition to being recognized individually, customers also appreciate financial incentives.
Discounts are likely to attract new customers, but it’s the repeat customers who spend the most.
You can encourage your loyal customers to keep doing business with you by offering exclusive member discounts, as this cycling company does.
Source: Cycling Australia
The discounts and offers the company provides are not available to one-time purchasers. Only monthly and yearly members are eligible for exclusive offers.
A display of exclusivity like this one shows the customers you recognize the value of their repeat purchases and want to reward them.
Still, setting up discounts may sound intimidating because they are a change in the billing and payment process.
This is why Regpack, our registration and billing solution, created a straightforward way of applying discounts.
Our clients can set up and manage the discounts they offer in a matter of clicks.
You decide whether to reduce the price of all purchased items or only select items. Regpack also allows you to choose between discounting a fixed value or a percentage.
When you finish with the setup, you can notify your loyal customers or email them a code for activating the discount.
Remember, as much as customers like thank-you notes and small gifts, they’ll certainly appreciate an occasional display of gratitude in the form of a discount.
Show Up During Difficult Times
Maintaining good client relationships is easy when all is well. However, if you are there for your customers when times are tough, you show them they’ve made a great choice doing business with you.
Just like we’ve mentioned that customers enjoy knowing there is a person behind the brand, sometimes it’s useful for business owners to remember that their purchasers are also regular people.
Let’s take gyms and other types of businesses that take recurring membership payments as an example.
When people sign up for these services, they expect to always be able to visit the facilities they’re paying for.
In reality, business owners know that illnesses or other factors preventing customers from visiting can occur at any moment. This is why Fitness First offers the possibility of an extended membership freeze to those with medical or financial issues.
Source: Fitness First
The company recognizes the value of regular customers, so this service comes free of charge in case the client temporarily stops coming in due to some medical reason or major financial issues.
There’s no better way to show appreciation for your loyal customers than being there during difficult times.
Similarly, you can consider extending payment deadlines for those customers who have had a clear payment history so far.
Zoom is another example of a company that stepped up during a crisis.
The platform offers a free plan with limited meeting duration, and paid plans for more participants with longer meeting times.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Zoom extended the unlimited plan to all K-12 schools for free, providing assistance to numerous educators and students.
Of course, you don’t have to sacrifice your profit to display altruism. It’s enough to lend a helping hand when you notice your loyal customers might need it.
Create VIP Content to Thank Your Loyal Customers
When you interact with customers and thank them, you create a sense of community. You can further develop it by creating exclusive content for your loyal customers, such as behind-the-scenes content or client spotlights.
If you have returning customers who repeatedly choose to buy from you, this means you’ve built a great company culture. Your customers trust you and feel comfortable with your services.
You can leverage that culture by giving customers a peek behind the scenes.
A glimpse into your day-to-day operations shows your customers the work that goes into their product. This is what chocolatier Toby Garritt did by filming a day behind the scenes in his store.
You could make such content publicly available, but you could also make it VIP and share it with your loyal customers only.
VIP content can be approached from a different side, by focusing attention on your clients. We use this method ourselves in our Client Spotlight section.
This section showcases some of the clients who’ve been with us for several years. We wouldn’t be where we are without them, and we’re proud of the work that we do together.
Our way of saying “thank you” to our clients for their loyalty is showing them to the world. The opportunity to talk about their business also increases their exposure.
All in all, content is a powerful tool. If you make it VIP, you give your customers something they can’t find anywhere else.
Show Them You Value Their Feedback
Gifts and premium offers are an excellent way to show the customers you care. Still, these methods are somewhat passive.
However, when you ask the customers for feedback and act on it, you give them a chance to actively participate in your business.
Still, it may require more than just asking your clients for feedback to spur them to action.
Ask yourself how many times you’ve received a “your feedback helps us improve” email and ignored it. Probably many, since email surveys only have a response rate of 33%.
Even if you took five minutes and filled in the survey, chances are that was the final step in the process—no updates, no changes.
That’s why it’s important to signal to your customers that completing those surveys will be worth their while, by promptly acting on their feedback.
If you want your customers to feel involved, you should implement the changes they want, and keep them posted on the progress.
An example of a business that has mastered the feedback loop is Project.co, a project management company.
The company collects customer feedback regularly. When the feedback team comes across a customer suggestion feasible for implementation, they notify the person who made it.
This is an excellent approach to keeping customers in the loop.
They then file the change in a publicly available roadmap, where all customers can see which changes have been accepted, as well as the stage of the implementation process they’re in.
Finally, the roadmap includes a list of all completed changes, so that customers can see the company is truly listening and acting on the advice they get.
Taking customer feedback into consideration is direct proof they are valued at your company. If the customers know they’re part of the story, they are more likely to stay with you.
Support a Cause Your Customers Care About
If your customers enjoy uplifting others, you can help them in that mission. Show your appreciation for them by supporting a cause they care about.
When multiple businesses sell the same category of products or services, customers are likely to base their purchasing decisions on the values espoused by the company. Sixty-four percent of consumers choose a brand based on its social values.
Since causes are so important to customers, you can become their ally and help them spread the message they’re passionate about.
For instance, Nissan turned to cause marketing by volunteering their toughest pickup to help clean UK beaches.
However, such grandiose gestures aren’t required for your small business to participate in the community. You could also help fundraise for a local cause or offer space to host events.
For example, the founders of a Baltimore gym Arenal Fitness often support local events and charitable causes important to them and their gym members, such as hosting the annual Memorial Day Murph Event.
Source: Arenal Fitness
The gym provides the space for the participants and gives them an option to donate money and support the charity. That way, the community sees the gym as more than a profit-oriented business.
The bottom line is that writing about your beliefs may help you attract new customers—but it’s your actions that make them stay.
Creative displays of gratitude only take a bit of preparation. If done right, they guarantee happy customers, who can then spread the word and help build your brand’s reputation.
You can go for tried-and-true methods, such as sending small gifts or thank-you notes. If you’re looking for more creative solutions, you could also consider creating VIP content or supporting a cause your customers care about.
Small financial incentives are also a great way to support your customers, so you could offer discounts or complimentary services.
Sometimes, the thing the customers want the most is to be heard. You can achieve this by analyzing the feedback you receive and implementing it where possible.