Personalized customer service
is a big part of why people choose local or independently run businesses in the first place. They like the feeling of having a warm, close relationship with the people they count on for goods and services.
Even so, your relationship with your customer base needs to be nurtured to the same degree as any other relationship. What better way to do that than to establish and celebrate your own version of Customer Appreciation Day? Here are a few great approaches your customers are sure to love.
One of the most common ways to show someone special that you care is to give them a gift to thank them for being part of your life. Consider selecting one special customer and thanking them personally for their loyalty by mailing them a special gift you know they’d enjoy based on past purchases.
In the digital age, handwritten letters and thank you cards are incredibly rare, especially when it comes to business transactions. Help your business stand out from the rest of the pack by treating your clients to a nice surprise the next time they pick up their mail.
Teach Your Customers Something
Know something that could help your customers become more successful at what they do by using your products? Share it with them, no strings attached. This is an especially good idea for business-to-business companies.
Many larger businesses (including major department stores
like Macy’s) personalize their Customer Appreciation Day events by offering each customer who walks through the doors something special to drink or nosh on. Wow your customers and make them feel appreciated by offering them free coffee, pastries, candy, or other treats to enjoy while they’re shopping with you.
Pay It Forward
The pay it forward trend is already a popular one among customers. Why not take the initiative yourself? Consider randomly honoring a couple of your patrons by giving them their entire purchase for free and telling them it’s a simple thank you for Customer Appreciation Day.
Gift a Great Read
Books are a fantastic way to connect with your customers while helping them get more out of the services you offer. Do you run a local gardening company or seed nursery? Consider giving your customers a great local interest gardening guide on how to maintain a garden in your area. Are you the head of a popular local craft brewery
? Surprise people who come in with a complimentary tasting on Beer Appreciation Day or regale them with tales that highlight the local brew industry. You get the idea.
Consider the Children
No matter what business you’re in, the chances are pretty good that you see your share of customers who have their children in tow. Show your customers with kids that their needs matter by offering something to distract or occupy their children while they shop.
If you own a local business, consider sponsoring a local school, little league team, or community program for Customer Appreciation Day. Not only is this a great way to foster community loyalty, but it’s an inexpensive way to put your logo in front of lots of eyes.
Go Out of Your Way
Sometimes one of the most thoughtful ways you can inspire loyalty in a customer is to go above and beyond. Consider personally delivering a customer’s items even though you “don’t deliver.” Foster personal connections by offering to do small favors when and where you can.
Customers love doing business with companies who care about the common good. Consider celebrating Customer Appreciation Day by donating a portion
of the day’s proceeds to a local school, charity, or outreach.
Put Your Customer in the Spotlight
Have a customer (or two, or three) with an amazing personal story that relates to your brand, products, or services? Ask them if you can share it with others. Snap their picture and name them “Customer of the Week.”
Another great way to honor the spirit of Customer Appreciation Day is to loosen up on the usual restrictions for the day. Be a little more forgiving than usual when it comes to your return policy. Make a special exception as far as a price break just this once.
Of course, these are only a few of the many ways you can inspire loyalty in your customers by helping them feel appreciated. You can get even more great ideas by following in the footsteps of the greats. Read up on the business practices of shops, restaurants, hospitality establishments
, and so forth for more inspiration.