Keeping the customers happy is one of the golden rules of customer service. Everyone feels nice when they are appreciated especially the customers to a business. In the eyes of the customers, it’s all about them. They are the corners stone of the business and showing a little appreciation plays an important role in customer retention and customer loyalty.
Is it really necessary? Well, it is. Research shows that 68% of customers change brands because of perceived indifference. This simply means that customers felt as though the business dint care if the customers shopped with them or not. Such companies prioritize on the demand to deliver new prospects and generate leads and fail to dedicate the proper amount of focus, time and effort to their existing customers. And as the business grows they tend to focus on scaling, processes and acquisition and in turn become colder and impersonal to their customers.
However, customer appreciation doesn’t necessarily mean giving away expensive things to promote customer loyalty. It could be something as simple as having a customer care agent that remembers first names and frequent purchases. Just showing a little love to customers can promote the growth of your business increasing customer loyalty and overall profits for your business.
The good thing about customer appreciation is that it can take many forms. There are many creative strategies that businesses can incorporate to show some appreciation. However we will concentrate on four of the most inexpensive strategies of customer appreciation that can become the most important achievements of your company.
- Use hand written letters
This is one of the most popular gestures of gratitude among small business owners. It’s a cheap strategy and it doesn’t require much time for the business. It doesn’t have to be a long note or with one of those Patrick Lumumba styled note. Just a simple handwritten note that is custom made to an individual clients interests and relationship with the company will suffice. You want them to know that you are giving them a unique token of appreciation specific to them—not just any customer.
- Entice the customers with regular contests
Contests are both a fun and budget-friendly way to show clients you appreciate them. A contest means only one or a select number of clients actually get a prize. This helps you keep you’re spending to a minimum. Contests also offer an opportunity for a business’s clients to learn and share more about the company and offerings. Depending on the type of contest, one can ask customers to perform an action for a chance to win. Sharing a tweet, writing a testimonial, or coming to a trade show booth are examples that require clients to interact with your company on another level.
- Surprise your customers with a gift
AS a business owner, sometimes you should randomly pick one of your customers and delight them by giving them a gift just for being a customer. John Rulin, author of the book, Gift ology, says that gift-giving can be a powerful symbol of meaningful relationships. In his book, he explains that you can give good, quality gifts without seeming manipulative or inauthentic. He urges givers to understand the true motivation of gift giving at the professional level. Consider a scenario where you’ve gone to a store and then out of the blues your surprised by the staff with a gift hamper. Sounds exhilarating, right? Chances are you will always consider such a business whenever you may have some needs that you may want to be met.
- Hold special events for loyal customers.
As a small business struggling to make it in the cut-throat environment, this may look like a very expensive venture to undertake but it can be surprisingly affordable depending on the activity, venue, and size of your guest list. Such events should be private and only reserved for the best customers. You can provide free drinks, food and entertainment or simply give them a pre-sale notification on new products and sales ahead of time.
Sometimes a business may not have enough resources to show some appreciation to their customers but doing just the small things such as a handwritten note can make a big difference for your business. Like any other successful relationship the love has to be mutual. If you want your customers to show you some love for your business. You have to start by showing them some love first.