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9 Heartfelt Ways to thank your Customers

By: Alice Heiman
Categories: Building Relationships, Business Owners, Customer Service, lead generation, Sales

Thank You!

We appreciate our customers and we all know it is important to thank them. Right? But do we do it in the best way and at the best time. Asking clients about their level of satisfaction and thanking them for their business should be part of our routine. I believe in thanking people throughout the year in different ways. This also gives me an opportunity to ask them for a referral.

When Do You Send Gifts of Thanks?

Many companies like to give gifts during the holidays to show their appreciation. And believe it or not, this is a tradition I avoid. I am going to tell you why I think giving gifts during the holiday season is a bad idea.

Differentiate Yourself

In sales, we always want to differentiate ourselves. When we send a gift or card during the holidays as a thank you, we risk getting lost in the sea of gifts and cards that are deluged upon everyone. Most of us don’t need another gift basket between Thanksgiving and the New Year. There’s already too much holiday food at the office during this time of year and no place left to put another card. Now, I am not writing this to make you feel bad if you are one of those people who sends holiday cards or delivers gift baskets. And if you want to do it and it makes you feel good – keep doing it. I am here to tell you that it is tough to differentiate yourself from the masses and your thank you may get missed or have less impact than if you deliver it at a different time of year.

Be Creative

I’d like to suggest that you be more creative when showing your appreciation for clients (vendors and employees) thus differentiating your company and getting more notice. I got this idea from reI'm in Charge of Celebrationsading a wonderful book called, “I’m in Charge of Celebrations.” It gives you permission to celebrate anything you want, anytime you want.

A fun time to appreciate your customers might be Valentine’s Day. One year I bought heart cookies from one of my clients to give to all of my other clients with a note that said, “Alice Heiman, LLC loves their clients.”

Consider Different Ways to Thank Your Clients

1

Call and say thank you

You can do this anytime and it doesn’t cost much, just a bit of someone’s time. Plan what you are going to say and then pick up the phone and call. “I called to say thank you for your business. We really appreciate you.” If you get their voicemail, you can leave a nice message.

2

Send a note

Again, you can do this anytime and it doesn’t cost much. I purchase beautiful note cards from a local artist. They have seasonal photographs of the area and some of our famous local events. I write a personal note in each card and send it off. I do it all year long and send to different customers, past customers and prospects. I send about 5 a week.

3

Deliver a gift

This is the one we all seem to be stuck on doing during the holiday season. Valentine’s Day is a great time to deliver a gift. You can send candy, chocolates, cupcakes or flowers! 4th of July might be fun. Send a basket of goodies for munching while watching the fireworks. You could deliver a gift to a different client each month of the year, which might be easier on your budget. Choose which customers you will deliver to and skip December. Don’t forget about promotional products as gifts. According to American Business Solutions, promotional bags are kept up to 9 months which gives your brand plenty of impressions.

4

Hold an event

I usually hold a customer appreciation event once a year and invite all my current and past clients. This can be done in conjunction with a trade show or conference or anytime, except around the holidays when there are already too many events. I usually hold mine in the late summer or early fall, when the weather is still nice, so we can celebrate outdoors. You could also offer promotional items in conjunction with your event. For example, if you’re throwing a bbq for your clients why not get some reusable promotional to-go cups.

5

Offer specials or discounts

Often companies offer their prospects deals to get them to purchase, but what about loyal customers?? How about a customer loyalty program or an annual customer special with a buy some get some free. Another idea would be to have a customer appreciation month and offer a discount for orders placed during that month.

6

Send them referrals

Your clients will love to get referrals from you, it’s the nicest gift of all. It may not be possible to refer to all of your clients or to do it all the time but think about it. Is there a way you can refer people to any of your clients?

7

Give a Great Read

Take a look at the books that you’ve read that have made a big impact in your life or business. Give one as a gift to your clients. This offers your clients insights about your company culture and gives you the opportunity to open the line of communication for future discussion about the book. Don’t forget to write a personalized note that goes inside or with the book so your clients know it’s a thank you meant just for them!

8

Spotlight Clients

Give your clients a shout out on social media. You can send them a tweet and tag them and their company. This gives them publicity and lets them know how much they mean to you! You can also feature clients on your website. This makes them feel valued and gives them a sense of pride in being your client.

9

Give a Charitable Gift

You could reach out to your clients and let them know you’d like to make a contribution to their favorite charity in their honor.

You could do any or all of the above to show your appreciation and say thank you. It’s best to sit down with your team and discuss your customer appreciation plan. Choose from the ideas above or come up with your own. Customer appreciation is important but it doesn’t have to be expensive, time consuming or during the holidays.

I’d love to hear the creative ways you have thanked your clients. Please comment below to let me know.

Schedule a free strategy session with Alice to discuss your client appreciation plan or another sales challenge, Click here.

Alice Heiman
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Alice Heiman

Founder and CSO at Alice Heiman, LLC
Alice Heiman has been helping companies increase sales for more than 20 years. Her innovative sales leadership programs, coupled with her top-down approach to creating long-term change, set up sales leaders and sales-managing business owners to get consistent and sustainable growth.
Alice Heiman
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12 thoughts on “9 Heartfelt Ways to Thank Your Customers”

  1. Saying thank you, in my opinion, is the least focused on activity in account management. Yet, it is one of the most powerful ways to build lasting emotional connections with your clients. Saying thank you creates “positive emotional experiences” for your customers that anchors them to you. Those anchors keep your relationships safe and stable when competitors come knocking.

    Alice – your suggestions for ways to say thank you are excellent and timely. It is my hope that your readers take heed and take the time to say thank you.

    Jeb Blount
    Author of People Love You: The Real Secret to Delivering Legendary Customer Experiences

  2. Good idea to share this concept around the holidays. When I ordered a tee shirt from a company called gotagamo, I received a personalized thank you note. It was great. Feels like a scarce touch nowadays.

    Ian

    • Ian, you are right, not enough thanking going on. I also like to randomly appreciate people. It’s such a wonderful thing to do. People are just blown away when you tell them how great they are and that you appreciate their contributions.

  3. I especially agree with skipping December. Maybe a card, but keep yourself differentiated by showing gratitude at a different time–not too close to a recent transaction.

    Add value to them by offering a one hour quick refresh or “ask me anything” Q&A for the staff over a Brown Bag or Pizza lunch. I love the book idea if it is focused on their issues.

    Thank you are the very most powerful words in the language of relationships. Always back them up with true appreciation and something that helps them make their business lives better.

    • Sam, you are right. We all could stand to be more thankful. It’s easy to forget and to be distracted by the negative things going on in the world. The positive act of thanking someone helps both parties.

  4. Thank you for sharing this post Alice! Your posts are always so informative and pertinent keep up the great work.

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