Businesses need to show customers that they appreciate their business or risk losing market share over time. Having a strong customer appreciation strategy is essential to building a solid foundation for your business. Companies need to go the extra mile to drive and sustain customer loyalty. You want clients who are dedicated, value your brand and keep coming back. Customers like to feel that they really matter. If they don’t feel the love, they will quickly move on to another competitor. Keep in mind, the cost of acquiring a new customer is five times higher than retaining an existing one. Furthermore, selling to a current customer can be easier than selling to a new prospect.

To keep customers happy – and make those acquisition efforts more beneficial – start by putting a customer appreciation strategy in place. Take steps to let customers know that you value their business, and they are more than just another sale or a data point. A simple ‘thank you’ can go a long way; just think about how it makes you feel when someone acknowledges you or your work, and you know that your efforts are recognized and appreciated.

Developing a Customer Appreciation Strategy

The first step is to have a solid understanding of your existing customer base. Using a CRM system can help as it allows you to quickly and effectively manage contact information, track sales history, document interactions, record interests and preferences, and much more. Leverage your existing data to identify your most loyal patrons and those who have the potential to grow.

Second, consider diversifying your customer appreciation strategy to align with different tiers of customers. Perhaps you want to offer a larger discount to those who regularly spend more with your business, are long-time accounts, or who have generated numerous referrals. You can also mix in other offers to your entire customer base. Figure out what works best for your business and audience, and track the results.

Appreciation Ideas Your Customers will Love

Once you determine who should receive an offer, you’ll need to figure out how to reward your customers. There are many creative options available that can easily convert a one-time customer to a loyal fan.

  • Regular communication. A simple way to show appreciation is to provide useful information about your product or service. Consider sending periodic newsletters, “tips of the day,” or even a short video to customers highlighting how to use your product. Follow up after a recent purchase to see how they like using your product or service, and if there are any questions.
  • Loyalty program. Start a program where customers can earn points based on how much they spend or how often they use your service. Everyone likes to receive a gift or obtain a special coupon based on their devotion to a particular brand.
  • Handwritten thank you. It’s a rare occurrence in today’s online world to receive a personal thank you note. Go that extra mile to pen a note to your most valued customers. Show that you appreciate their loyalty. You can even add something specific about your interaction to give it a more meaningful touch.
  • Recognition. Did one of your clients recently earn an award or get a promotion? Call, email, or write a note of congratulations. This simple act demonstrates that you care about a long-term relationship and not just the next sale. You could also give them a shout out on social media for being a valued customer.
  • Early access. Does your business have an upcoming event or promotion? Give devoted customers the chance to sign up or shop early. You could also host an event just for a select group of patrons to give back and do something special for them.
  • Provide an upgrade. For subscription-based customers, provide access to a new feature of your service. Even if on a trial basis, you have the opportunity to show customers what they are missing while reinforcing the value of your service.
  • Customer Appreciation Day. The official day is April 18. Use this day to make your customers feel special. Options include highlighting key customers, making a donation in their honor to your favorite charity, or providing a special one-day promotion as a thank you. Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day is a great example.
  • Personalized gift. How well do you know your customers? Surprise them with something aligned with their interests, such as a gift card to a restaurant they love, a small item to take on their next trip if they enjoy traveling, or a product from your business that you know they would like. Let them know they are not a faceless account in a crowd of many.

When customers know that you appreciate their business, they are more likely to keep coming back, spend more money, write a glowing review, and refer your products or services to others. Even if you’re not necessarily the cheapest option, they’ll be willing to pay a little more for the customer service and positive experience.

Show your customers that they are essential and that you care. YGL Enterprises can help you shape a customer appreciation strategy that aligns with your mission, brand, audience, and goals. Contact us today to get started and take your marketing approach to the next level.