No matter what kind of business you run, you wouldn’t have a business without your customers, right?
Why not find a way to say “thank you for your business” as you close out the year. I’ve got some great idea starters for how to say thank you — and they don’t have to cost an arm and a leg, either. Some of the following ideas are tried and true, but there are also some I guarantee you haven’t thought of.
Show your customers some love with these 11 ways to say thank you:
1. Give cookies or other food — Who can resist awesome goodies? Luckily there are plenty of places in local towns as well as online where you can order something delectable and send it to thank your customers. Mmm, mmm, good.
2. Send a card — A holiday, Thanksgiving or New Year’s card seems like a small thing. But to recipients, that paper card brings a warm feeling. It shows you thought of them. Go over to Staples.com, which is my go-to place for wonderful printed items, and choose a design for business holiday cards. (See my review of Staples Print and Marketing services.) At less than $1.00 per card, they are a cost effective way to remind customers you appreciate their business. Aren’t your customers worth about a dollar?
3. Make a charitable donation — Here’s an idea: make a gift to a worthy charity in lieu of giving an actual gift. Tell your customers what you’d done and why you did it. If you have an email newsletter, you can mention it in the newsletter. Or include a mention with a hand-written note (see number 4 below).
4. Send a hand-written note — Some people swear by the hand-written note, especially in this day and age of email when paper notes get rarer each passing year. Get some great looking professional note cards with blank interiors for writing short notes. Start now and write out a few each day, to spread out the work.
5. Give a freebie — Give your customers something for free. A retailer or etailer could provide a coupon code for a freebie or free shipping. A bakery could have a flash Twitter or Facebook freebie offering a free muffin that week to customers. Technology providers could give a free product upgrade to long-time customers. Whatever your business model, there’s a way to give something for free to thank your customers.
6. Send a calendar — I love receiving calendars, especially ones with beautiful images. Send a calendar to each customer with your logo printed on it. Better yet, create a custom calendar using your own company photographs — perhaps showing your team, that award you won, some happy customers. Or just include some beautiful images of local scenic areas. Using Staples Print & Marketing you can go online and choose a design, or visit your local Staples and get assistance from in-store associates to choose options within your budget.
7. Provide statistics or benchmark data — Are you a service provider to other businesses? Then you might have an absolute treasure trove of aggregated data and benchmarks your business clients would love to see. For instance, in my business we have a huge amount of social sharing data around our content (3,000+ articles per year). We provide this to our clients as a freebie. It’s anonymous aggregated data that does not give away anything confidential. The data enables clients to benchmark which social media techniques work better than others. There’s value in that. So B2B companies, look around at what you do. See if you can put together a report of aggregated statistics or benchmarks and provide it free of charge to loyal clients.
8. Hold an open house — An afternoon open house or an evening holiday party is a great way to celebrate with and thank your customers. In some businesses the event becomes a tradition that customers, employees and partners alike look forward to. Have something special to remember the event by – a Santa offering small gifts and taking photos, or goodie bags to go. Print up some festive invitations — and voila!
9. Call or text a customer — How long has it been since you last spoke with your customer or communicated one-on-one? Pull out your CRM or contacts database, and go through it. Start making phone calls. Or send a text to the person’s mobile phone. Don’t make it a sales pitch. Don’t expect anything in return. Just say, “I was thinking about you — wanted to say hello and thank you for being a customer.” You’d be amazed at the impact. If you have too many customers to make the calls yourself, then assign your customer service staff. One vendor of ours does this at least twice a year and I love it!
10. Highlight your customer publicly — Highlighting your customers is a way to show appreciation. There are a lot of ways to thank your customers by highlighting them. Most ways don’t cost anything except a bit of time. Highlight customers in your email newsletter, on your blog, on your website, on your Facebook page, or on Twitter. Mention them with a thank you for being a loyal customer, or mention something about them.
11. Send a thank you video through social media — The good news with social media today is that you can easily shoot a short video using a smartphone, and upload it to social media. What a great way to thank your customers, by uploading a 30-second video with a personal thank you statement to Twitter or Facebook, and tagging the customer with it. Doesn’t cost a thing except for your time.
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