Customer expectations are high in today’s world. And thanks to innovative technology, those expectations are only going to increase. Consumers want quick, mobile-optimized websites full of accurate information. They want to be able to use voice search and they want instant answers. But most importantly, consumers want to be treated with appreciation and respect. In this new tech era, impersonal online shopping and fast-paced lifestyles have caused customer appreciation to be a lost art. Taking an old-school, back-to-basics approach to customer appreciation may be the key to helping your company stand out.
Let’s be honest, everyone likes to feel valued and appreciated. And your customers are no different. Customers may take their business elsewhere if they feel you don’t value them. But not just any old “thank you” is going to suffice. Customer appreciation needs to be genuine and authentic. True appreciation stems from the feeling of truly caring for customers. And showing this true gratitude doesn’t have to be a big show. A simple, personal note can have a lasting and meaningful impact on a customer. Which helps to create both an emotional connection and brand loyalty.
Why Show Customer Appreciation? Win-Win Relationships
No one likes to be in a one-sided relationship. No one. When customers feel like they are always giving, but never receiving, they could easily be swayed to take their business elsewhere. Customers want to commit to a brands community. And with that commitment, they want to feel like you care about them as individuals.
In order to avoid losing them, the simplest thing you can do to make a customer feel valued is to continually thank them for being part of your community. Through email communications, social messages, and handwritten notes, you can remind customers that you are aware of their business and appreciate it. Trust us – you’ll be glad you did, and you may even a few brand advocates in the process!
Not to Mention Financial Perks
If you want to increase your profit, it may be time to get personal with your customers. Studies show that roughly 38% of customers attribute a good customer experience to personalization. And a good customer experience is that continual pull keeping your customers coming back. As we noted before, when your customers are happy and feel appreciated, they’re more likely to come back to your brand and business community. As a result, they’re going to spend more money with your business!
And we shouldn’t forget to mention that customer profitability tends to increase over the life of a retained customer. Since your customers trust you, they are more likely to purchase more products or services. And in fact, it should be noted that shoppers are even willing to pay more in order to get a better experience.
What Else Can You Do for Better Customer Appreciation?
There are numerous avenues you can take to show your customers you appreciate them. Here are a few ideas to help get you started!
Reconnect with Your Customers
When a business is small, it’s much easier to pay attention to each individual customer that purchases your products or services. But as a business grows, focus ends up shifting to scaling, process, and acquisition, unintentionally taking it away from the consumer. Don’t let your customers feel as though they are just a contact in your CRM system!
Do they have a birthday coming up? What about an anniversary of when they first became a customer? Did they just reach a huge life milestone? Or perhaps they’ve communicated they’re having a rough time at the moment. Show your customers you listen and remember what they say through a card or handwritten letter. When you pay attention to a customer’s specific situation, interests, or culture and follow up with an action, the effort doesn’t go unnoticed. Whether you send a small gift for the birth of a customer’s first child or offer them a birthday discount, approaching each customer as an individual is a perfect start to begin showing appreciation on a more meaningful level.
Send a Thank You Note…Even If You Didn’t Make the Sale
Before we even get into sending a note, take a moment to consider your after-sales system. How do you follow up with customers once a sale is made? Do you have one at all? An after-sales system not only gives you the opportunity to thank a customer but also opens the door for a more connected relationship. You can use an after-sale system to ask how you can improve your services or inquire about the products to make sure they are adding value to your customers’ lives.
Now, think about the last time you ordered a product online. How did that product get to you? Most packages are only shipped with the product, some packing peanuts, and an invoice. This makes for an experience that feels completely impersonal. When you include a personal message or handwritten note, you turn the entire experience (even after the sale!) into an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with the customer.
And consider sending a thank you note even when you don’t land the deal or make the sale. A brief note to show your appreciation for the opportunity to submit a proposal or have the chance to meet with a decision maker is a graceful way to stand out. This small act could sway this consumer to work with your business in the future. It also has the potential to get that consumer talking about your business in a positive light to others!
Throw a Thank You Event
The most impactful thing you can do for a customer is to give them quality face time. Even an e-commerce business with customers all over the world can do it with the help of modern technology. Even gratitude shown on a smaller scale can have a huge impact. Webinars and podcasts with value-added contact are one way to address all your customers at once while minimizing expenses.
And if you have the ability and resources to run a customer appreciation event, you should do it! Inviting your customers to spend time with other valued members of your brand community is a great way to make them feel special and appreciated – especially if they’re given a little something extra. A free gift, food, and drink, or bonus discount are only three ways that you can turn a regular weekend at your store (or venue of choice) into a wonderful evening for your loyal customers.
Showing Customer Appreciation and Gratitude
Perhaps it’s time to take a step back from the numbers and profit margins. While growing your business can seem both taxing and exciting, remember why you got into business in the first place. Take some time to reflect and focus on the gratitude in being able to help others each day. When you make customer appreciation consistent throughout your work, your customers will take notice. And the cycle of gratitude continues as they continue to stay loyal to your brand and share their positive experiences with others.
Not Sure Where to Start?
The world of marketing is rapidly expanding. What’s trending and helping you gain new customers today won’t necessarily be the best way to grow your business tomorrow. With so many moving parts in both the digital and physical marketing space, it’s no wonder small business owners are unsure where they should even start. That’s where the Pittsburgh marketing agency onCOREventures Strategic Marketing comes in. We created onCOREventures for honest business owners wanting to operate in harmony with their core values. If you’re trying to create positive change in the world while also attracting customers who share your values, our “strategy first” methodology may be exactly what you’ve been looking for!