Thoughtful “thank you” gifts are an effective tool to express your gratitude for your customers’ loyalty. Just remember, recognition is the main goal. Make sure your attempts to express customer appreciation don’t come across as self-serving—a means to boost business. Instead, make it all about them!
Be Authentic. Giving for the mere purpose of getting can be as obvious as an overdone sales pitch. And it can actually harm your business. Your genuine expression of gratitude should excite your customer base and secure long-term business relationships. A sincere message of thanks is one small step towards that goal.
Be Interesting. Anyone can send a generic, mass-produced, logo-bearing piece of swag. It takes more effort and awareness to impress your clients with a unique and meaningful thank you gift. Invest a little time in seeking out something interesting and unique to show your clients that you care and that your company is as exceptional as your expression of gratitude.
Be Curious. This step may require some additional planning, but if you take the time to be curious, the return can be much greater. What do we mean by curious? Be inquisitive. Learn about your customer’s business; find out more about their likes, dislikes, goals, etc. Make it personal. When it comes time to decide what thank you gift to send off, be sure to give it that something extra.
Now that you’re ready to shower your customers with thoughtful and sincere thanks, here are five great customer appreciation ideas that you can implement starting…now!
5 Ways to Show Customer Appreciation
1. “Thank You” Cards Are Back!
If sending lavish gifts to your growing client base this year is just not in the budget, don’t be discouraged! A quick hand-written note scribbled with the right message can pack a big punch. Those who work regularly with your clients (e.g. sales managers, executive assistants) may want to write a little something too.
A traditional thank you card may seem antiquated or “old-school,” but we can breathe new life into it with some personal touches. Include a photo of your team with a simple “thanks for being part of our team” on the back of the photo. Perhaps you can include a gift card to their favorite coffee spot or bakery. That way, your client gets a reminder even after the thank you card has been recycled. Never underestimate the power of a classic thank you card to set a positive impression.
2. What’s in the Basket?
A unique gift basket is a great way to spread the love, especially if your customers have employees of their own. The best part? These are not your grandmother’s gift baskets, and there are about a hundred websites to prove it.
These days, you can choose from sweet treats, snack packs, wine and cheeses, and everything in between. Don’t feel like you have to settle for a cliché, though. What about a pizza, breakfast, or ice cream gift basket? Yep, these are all real. Pick something unique and fun that will speak directly to your customers’ tastes.
For the health food enthusiasts, a bouquet or basket of fresh tropical fruit makes a great gift. Have it delivered in the morning to start the day off right and personalize it with an inspirational quote like this: “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it. -William Ward. We appreciate your business and wish you health and prosperity today and all year long.”
3. Subscriptions Are Not Just for Magazines.
Once upon a time, you could only join the wine/beer/fruit of the month club. Now the options are limitless. From beauty products to designer socks, from pet treats to shaving products, there is no shortage of great ideas. If you really want to make an impression, a subscription is the gift that keeps on giving.
Whenever your customers receive that daily, weekly, or monthly installment, they’re reminded of you and your company. When you offer your thanks through a subscription, you’re providing a truly personal gift experience that lasts long after the initial thank you.
4. Give Them an Experience:
Want to take things to the next level? How about some face-to-face time with your most valued clients? Invite them to an upscale dining experience, sporting event, or theater show.
Sharing a personal experience with your client can enhance the relationship and remind them how invested you are in your mutually beneficial business relationship. Just remember to keep the focus on the fun; leave the sales pitch at the office. This is about gratitude. Let the growth happen organically.
If you’d prefer to send a thank you gift that your client can enjoy with family members or friends, consider a personalized gift certificate. Give the wine connoisseur a tasting tour, the fisherman a boating trip, and the overworked executive a pass to the spa day. These experiences will speak louder than words!
5. The Personal Touch.
If time, money, and geography aren’t on your side, then send a simple thank you gift quickly and affordably, which is always in reach thanks to the internet! Give a high-tech gadget like the Amazon Echo Dot to the tech expert, a stainless steel Klean Kanteen to the outdoorsman, or a meaningful donation to the nature activist. Your valued customers will love the item as long as it’s personal and given in the name of gratitude.
From the seeds of authenticity, thoughtfulness, and good timing grows brand recognition and customer loyalty. As you plan your customer appreciation campaign, remember the goal: to connect, show gratitude and fortify the relationship you’ve developed. We are indeed thankful for you.
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