Every year on Valentines Day we celebrate and acknowledge our significant other, loved ones, family, friends, pets and post such on social media to a wider audience.
As we approached Valentines this year I had a networking meeting in Tuesdays at Noon talking about appreciation and showing our clients our gratitude for their business. We discussed many ways and more new ideas came up for not just showing appreciation on special occasions, but also throughout the year. Hearing "I am thinking about you" is such a warm phrase and gladly embraced by most if not all of us. Someone sent me a message today that said enjoy the roses and dark chocolate.... well still waiting to get that, but the sentiment is not lost on me.
We all enjoy receiving gifts, but what we enjoy the most is hearing how much our business is valued.
It doesn't have to be expensive. As a matter of fact some ways to show gratitude take nothing more than a few seconds of your time.
Here are a few ideas you might consider:
- Send a handwritten note
In the days of texting and social media, people tend to only send handwritten notes for serious occasions such as celebrations/condolences. Email is the primary way most companies connect with their customers but is not necessarily a meaningful way to say thank you. Take out a pen and write a thoughtful thank you card or note being specific about what you are thankful for. That will go a long way to standing out when looking to do future business.
- Give back to causes close to customers
Instead of giving an annual gift at Christmas, donate money in each client’s honor to a charity that aligned with their values and vision. That is not something that will be easily forgotten and shows your sense of community involvement and generosity
- Notice when customers go above and beyond
Have you ever spoken to a customer on the phone who was exceptionally kind, courteous and attentive? No matter how many tough customer issues were lined up in the queue that day, did this one person’s positivity and graciousness press “reset” on your day?
Next time that happens, make sure to thank them for being so kind or diligent. Not only will it help you hold onto the warm and fuzzy feeling, but it will also make their day, too.
- Offer a free service during a challenging time
When people began to feel the impact of coronavirus and social distancing, some companies went above and beyond to help people adjust to a difficult new reality. Zoom, for example, decided that their shareable video software could help organizations and schools collaborate remotely — and they didn’t want to profit from a global pandemic.
They decided to remove the recording limit on their free plan, more than doubled the length of paid product trials, and cut the price in half, too. Plus, they’re offering their paid plan for free to any students and teachers.
- Host a customer appreciation week
For the ultimate thank you, plan a week that’s just about your customers. Pool together some ideas and ask your team which ones they like best. You could even crowdsource by asking customers, “How can we thank you? How can we show that we appreciate you?” They may have ideas that are even more creative than your own.
The best part of transforming their ideas into a customer appreciation week is that it can become an annual event. People on your team and in your community will look forward to it every year, even and especially as you change or evolve some of the celebrations.
If you’re doubtful about how happy it will make your customers, just think about how excited people get when the ice cream truck shows up and offers you a free treat. Another one is a free of all hot dogs. Relatively inexpensive and yet something they will look forward to again.
No matter what you do remember to say thank you and be thankful.