It’s Friday, and on golf courses across the country, you’ll find company executives and their top clients squeezing in 18 holes of golf. It’s a traditional way to say “thank you” to a customer and spend some valuable relationship-building time with them as well. But let’s face it, golf can be expensive and not everyone enjoys the game.
Here are some low-cost ideas for showing gratitude and appreciation to your customers.
Display your appreciation. Do you have a customer who has been with you since the day your business opened its doors? Now that’s loyalty! Show your loyalty in return in a very public way. Honor your top customer with a plaque, poster or other form of recognition. Let them know the integral role that they play in building the foundational strength of your business.
Say “thank you” from the top. Has your customer ever interacted with the owner of your business or investor behind your business? Have your top leader personally reach out with a phone call or invitation to share a cup a coffee and have them tell your best customers “thank you.” Or, at a minimum, request your top leader send the customer a personal email or handwritten note. Usually, customers think leaders at the top are invisible. Can you imagine if Bill Gates called on you to say thanks for using Microsoft Office products? You would be speechless. Now Bill doesn’t have time to call all businesses, but hand-selecting three to five of the top accounts is worth the time and effort. It’s a simple, easy and low-cost thing to do with potentially great results.
Make it social. Social media is about sharing ideas and spreading the word. Almost everyone likes to get recognition in a public forum. Use social media as an amplifier to show your appreciation. Create a simple “thank you” page on your website in honor of your best supporters and promote it heavily through social media. Hearing or seeing other names in addition to their own makes customers feel they are part of a select group.
“Tell your friends” gift. Everyone likes to be able to do something special for their friends. Give a generous special offer to your best customers with the option for them to share the same reward with their customers. Your customers will enjoy passing along the reward to their customers, and they will feel a sense of privilege in the process. You benefit as well because your customers’ connections could be potential customers as well.
Source: David Grebow is a professional writer, editor and author. He holds an MBA from Harvard University, and has been featured in The Economist and Harvard Business Review. Grebow is also a freelance small-business journalist for Vistaprint, a leading provider of marketing products and services for businesses across the globe.