A simple Thank You can go a long way. Research shows that customers spend more, employees accomplish more and vendors are more likely to pay on time, if they receive regular gratitude. The approaching holiday season makes for a great time to say thank you for business over the past year while encouraging customers to continue to work with you in the future.

When considering how you’d like to express your appreciation, consider these four options:

1. Send a Thoughtful Gift
A meaningful gift can make a significant impactful, so if your goal is a once-a-year expression of appreciation, make it count. It could be as simple as a box of special treats – everyone loves food – or something as useful as a tumbler, travel bag or apparel. Apparel is a great idea because everyone needs it. A useful item is also a winner. Branded (and even personalized) gifts are a great way to show your gratitude while keeping your business top-of-mind.

2. Include a Handwritten Note with your Gift
While communication has gone through much evolution, it’s hard to beat a handwritten note. There is something enduring and memorable about receiving a handwritten letter. Not only are handwritten notes becoming rarer, but they also show a sense of caring that is impossible to fully convey digitally.

3. Follow up your Gift with a Phone Call
After sending a gift, making a phone call to your customer is a great way to add an extra personal touch. It not only allows you to confirm that your customer received the gift, but then gives you the opportunity to briefly catch up with them and have a short conversation to see how they are doing. Do not underestimate the power of hearing another person’s voice, especially in a time where emails in business are arguably the norm.

4. Personally Drop Off a Gift & Say Thank You
While gifts and cards are a fun way to express gratitude, nothing is more meaningful than saying it in person. A personal touch in delivering the gift shows that you went out of your way to make the recipient feel even more special. Taking time out of your day for someone else does not go unnoticed, especially during a busy time of year.

Saying thank you is an excellent way to not only express your appreciation, but also keep the line of communication open between you and your customers while keeping your name and your company top-of-mind. Remember, most customer gifts are given between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so the earlier you can give yours, the better. That’ll help your gift stand out before people become preoccupied with the holidays and gifts from others.