For all businesses, but for small and medium sized businesses especially, it’s crucial to have a loyal customer base to keeping the business going. While good products and service should be enough to keep people faithful to your business, it doesn’t hurt to show gratitude and make customers feel appreciated so they keep coming back.
Showing appreciation doesn’t have to be expensive either! Here are some sure fire ways to make your loyal customers feel special without breaking the bank:
- The Power of Social Media
In this day and age where everyone and their mothers are active on Facebook, there’s a certain kind of pride that comes with being featured on a business Facebook page. Show appreciation by spotlighting a “customer of the month” on Facebook. With their permission, post a photo of them in your store, say a little about them, and elaborate on why you appreciate their business! This will not only make the customer feel appreciated but will also generate shares, boosting your social media presence to reach potential clients.
- Nothing Beats Personal
When was the last time you got a handwritten letter in the mail? Wouldn’t something like that make you feel special? A handwritten thank you note to customers might seem tedious at first but as long as you keep it short and sweet and make time for at least three a day, it won’t even seem like work! Lots of small businesses utilize this and for good reason – they work! You can do this on a regular basis or keep it as a holiday tradition, a mixture of both would be even better.
- Give It Away, Give It Away
Nothing says “we appreciate you” more than free stuff! For your loyal customers, have a month (or whatever time frame you prefer!) where you give them a little something extra with their purchase. This doesn’t need to be anything big, just small tokens of appreciation like a small bag of treats or a trinket with your company name on it (e.g. a pen, calendar, even a t-shirt) . Plus points if you give away something useful and associated to your business field! If you’re in the service industry, another option is to give away a free upgrade or an extra small service to your loyal clients!
- The Waiting Game
If your business involves clients waiting in your location, set up a coffee, water, and snack station to aid them as they wait. Make sure that you train your employees to offer it to them as well. Add some reading material on there too and provide books or magazines that client can browse through as they wait. This kind of customer appreciation will make them feel that you understand that waiting can be hard, and while there’s nothing you can do about that, you will make sure that they have the most comfortable wait when inside your business.
- Local Business Support Train
Why not kill two birds with one stone by showing gratitude to your customers AND giving support to other small businesses in your area? Partner up with some local shops who aren’t direct competitors and give out coupons and discounts for their business while they do the same for yours. You can give out these coupons if a customer reaches a certain amount of purchase, or you can even have fun and create a raffle or a contest for it. Either way, customers will like it and it will possibly help boost your local small business community.
- Third Party View
One thing people love as much as free stuff: Being listened to. No one can ever run the perfect business and it’s important to take your customers’ suggestions seriously in order to keep growing. Set up a suggestion box in your store, read through each of them, and find out how you can improve according to the people who frequent your business. While not all suggestions are good for business, make sure to personally thank customers who give you constructive ones that you actually apply. Send them a thank you note, credit them on social media, or give them a discount to show your appreciation.