In a time when many companies are struggling to find ways to market to a new audience, keep up with the latest trends and technologies, and continually improve and innovate their ideas, it’s easy to forget about the people who matter―your customers.
Customer appreciation is simply showing gratitude towards your customers and conveying their individual importance in your company’s success. Showing customer appreciation is an effective way to develop long-term relationships and boost your company’s sales.
Research shows that 68% of customers turn away from a company because of the company’s treatment of indifference towards them. When customers feel they aren’t appreciated or cared for they stop purchasing from a company, which is how many companies lose customers. It has also been predicted that the customer relationship management (CRM) industry will reach $80 billion by 2025.
Your customers can make or break the reputation of your company, which is why it is important to make sure they are happy, satisfied, and feel appreciated. Here are some ways to show your customers that they are appreciated.
Customer loyalty or rewards program
This is one of the most commonly used customer appreciation and retention methods. There is no better way to value your loyal customers by offering them multiple incentives and rewards. When customers purchase items or services from you, they earn a certain amount of points which they can use to claim more products or services. You are essentially rewarding their purchasing habits and loyalty to your brand. Research shows that 57.4% of customers participate in loyalty programs because it helps them save money while 37.5% are interested in earning rewards. Not only does a loyalty program make customers feel valuable, but it also provides your company with actionable customer insights and data that can be used to personalize customer experiences and increase sales.
An example of a successful loyalty and rewards program is Dunkin’ Donuts whose program is composed of 7.5 million members. Upon signing up for the program, you are automatically rewarded with one free beverage and another free beverage every year on your birthday. Dunkin’ Donuts reported the largest volume of orders soon after launching the program, which goes to show how beneficial it can be to show your customers that they are appreciated and valuable.
Photo from Invesp.
Follow up with customers
Something so small and simple can reap the best benefits. Following up with a customer after they have availed of your product or service can be as easy as sending an email or text that asks them for their feedback. You can ask what has gone well, what needs to be improved, and any questions or concerns they may have. Not only does this show that you care about the customer’s experience, but it also allows you to collect feedback to improve your products or services. By establishing a communication link between you and the customer, you are making it known that your company is proactive and committed to making sure their customers are always heard.
Shine the spotlight on your customers
Featuring your customers on social media is one of the best and easiest ways to show customer appreciation. You can indulge in everybody’s fantasy of becoming famous by reposting a customer’s post about their experience with your brand. This shows that you are engaging with your customers by directly thanking them for supporting your business.
Photo from @eighthmermaid’s Instagram account showcasing a customer wearing their product.
You can also adopt the practice of featuring a “customer of the day.” This can be someone who has been a loyal customer for many years, or even someone who makes a first time purchase at your store. You can give them a shoutout on social media with a personal greeting of thanks, or even surprise them with some free merchandise. It is a simple yet effective way to show that their patronage is not taken for granted.
Support customer endeavors and celebrate their success
Even if it’s been a while since you last worked with a customer, it is still a good and beneficial idea to support and celebrate their work. If one of your past customers landed a new client or launched a new campaign, send a congratulatory note or even a gift. If a past customer ventured into a new side business, support them by purchasing their products or services. This can be done by sharing their project on your social media, partnering with them for a project, or even by referring others to their business. A mutual relationship is the best kind of relationship.
By practicing these simple customer appreciation methods, you are one step closer to developing long-term beneficial relationships with your customers. After all, taking care of your customers also means taking care of your business.
Visual by: J Daluz