Your company had a great 2014. You exceeded your goals and expectations on the front lines and on the financial charts. You built a base of enthusiastic, engaged customers through hard work and great customer service. You obviously couldn’t have had the year you had without your customers. The question is: do your customers know how much you appreciate them, or are they left to their own assumptions?
According to the philosopher William James, “The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.” Fulfill this inner need in your customers by showing them how much they mean to you and your business. This will help strengthen your relationship with them and inspire loyalty in 2015 and beyond. We’ve complied some easy to implement customer appreciation tactics that you can use to show your customers that you’re appreciative of their business:
- Tell them “Thank you.” Just a straightforward, heartfelt thank you card, email or phone call can go a long way. Don’t make it a thinly veiled attempt to drum up more business. Simply express the sentiment that you are thankful for their business.
- Ask them for their opinions or suggestions for improving your business. Valuing a customer for their insights shows that you see them as more than just dollar signs. It also develops a mutually beneficial relationship where they are helping you to better help them. Listen to what they are saying and respond appropriately.
- Reward those who are loyal to your company. Depending on the size and type of your business, this could be in the form of coupons, free products or services, or even helpful advice. Never underestimate the power of free.
- Include your customers in “insider” events. Host preview parties for new product launches. Give them first dibs on a special sales price. Make them feel like they are part of an exclusive club.
- Many businesses highlight a “client of the month” in a newsletter or email, promoting their work in the community. This serves a dual purpose of making them a spokesperson for your business while advertising their business to your other clients. If you, or another client, see a need for the service they are selling, use them or pass their name along to a business associate. This shows that you enjoy doing business with them and trust them, as you’re putting your own name on the line for them.
At NBRI, we recommend using a customer satisfaction survey to see if your customers know how much you appreciate them. You will also receive information and ideas that you can use to help shape your business for the years ahead. After you establish a plan to further increase customer loyalty and satisfaction, we recommend re-surveying periodically to gauge the success of your improvement initiatives. Contact us today to get started.