We’ve all heard the old customer service adage, “The customer is always right.” It may appear like a cliche, but it entails far more than simply adhering to basic customer service principles. It makes us believe that the customers are the lifeblood of any business; there is no business without them.
We all know that retaining consumers is more economical than acquiring new ones, so customer churn is expensive. Furthermore, statistics show that only 20% of its customers account for 80% of its profits.
This simply indicates that maintaining customer loyalty should be the topmost priority for every business. This is because loyal customers are the ones who will return and buy from you again and again.
But how can any company make sure that their customers remain loyal? Making your customers feel that you appreciate them is a meaningful way to enhance the overall customer experience and drive long-term loyalty.
This is why customer appreciation must be a top priority for every company. Everyone wants to feel appreciated. And, if you can show your appreciation for your customers in a genuine, strategic way, you will increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. This will, in turn, result in better overall business outcomes.
This article will take you over everything you need to know about customer appreciation, such as why it’s essential, what it looks like, and how you can master it in your business. So, let’s get started:
The technique of showing gratitude to customers is known as customer appreciation. It’s a consistent, generous approach to interaction that communicates the value of each customer to your success.
Prioritizing client gratitude is not only the correct thing to do, but it also starts a suitable chain reaction that can benefit many aspects of your business. Feeling and expressing thankfulness benefits team members psychologically and adds to a positive work environment where people come first.
Businesses that show appreciation to their consumers daily strengthen their connections, which leads to increased retention and referral rates.
Some of the most significant consequences of client gratitude, however, are not always quantifiable. Customers can feel seen, heard, and valued when they are thanked. When you start appreciating these people from the beginning, you create a positive momentum that will take you and them forward.
Customer appreciation is more than a catchphrase. It has substantial ramifications for your company’s long-term success, whether you’re a new entrepreneur or a large corporation.
Customer loyalty is fostered via appreciation. And returning consumers are incredibly essential for any company. According to studies, even though “loyal customers” represent only about 20% of most customer bases, they contribute over 80% of a business’s profit margin.
In fact, according to the US Small Business Administration, 68 percent of customers discontinue doing business with a firm because they believe it does not care about them.
So, let’s take a look at the advantages of displaying consumer appreciation for your firm.
Consistent income: Customers that feel appreciated will return to a company again and again. Repeat customers provide a more consistent income, easier sales, lower acquisition expenses, and more significant profit for your company.
Increase Quality Leads Through Positive Word of Mouth: Word of mouth is sticky, and it will stick with you longer than an ad you’ve seen dozens of times. According to Nielsen, 92 percent of customers trust recommendations from friends and family more than advertisements. Acquiring new consumers through aggressive approaches can be expensive, but word-of-mouth recommendations are accessible, dependable, and can help produce great organic leads and enhance your business. Why not make use of it while you have it?
Develop Your Brand’s Reputation and Convert Customers Into Fans: Making your customers feel unique is a reliable method to show them that you care about them. And firms that do so not only grow their brand name but also create die-hard enthusiasts for their products. Customers will reward you with recurring purchases once you have earned their confidence. According to Edelman, 81% of buyers will buy from a brand they trust.
Low-cost Marketing: Grand gestures of client appreciation can be a low-cost marketing strategy that pays off in the long run. As an example, let’s imagine you send a birthday card to a client. This type of “wow” moment increases brand loyalty and improves social media engagement.
Enhance Sales: Selling to a repeat customer base is more accessible and less expensive than selling to first-time purchasers. Clients who have previously made a purchase from you are also more likely to spend more on subsequent purchases and to grow their spending over time.
Make a Positive Difference: Things go awry from time to time. It could be a misunderstanding with a consumer or a flaw in an internal system… possibly a worldwide pandemic. You can better serve your clients’ demands in any situation when you appreciate them.
A customer appreciation strategy is part of an organization’s overall marketing strategy. Here, the company rewards loyal customers and encourages new customers to stick around through personalizing experiences and expressing genuine gratitude for their business.
Customer appreciation techniques, according to research, have an impact on customer loyalty, which has a favorable effect on a company’s growth and profitability.
People’s perceptions of your firm will influence their propensity to do business with you in the future. It stands to reason that including a customer appreciation approach into your overall marketing strategy will improve your company’s positive results, improve your brand value, and help you scale.
Rather than being haphazard or casual with your customer appreciation plan, write down exactly how and when you’ll thank your customers. Formalizing your appreciation technique may seem paradoxical, given that many of the most acceptable thank you are spontaneous, but it has several benefits.
It isn’t easy to finalize present ideas and budgets for them without a focused plan. This year, how much money will you devote to sponsorship? Which department is responsible for the new stationery? A customer appreciation strategy aids in the allocation of cash to initiatives in need.
Having a plan in place for when and how you’ll thank customers ensures that it happens. It’s easy to imagine that you’ll remember to send that message or order the swag tomorrow if you don’t have anything written down. Because customers aren’t contacting you to express their gratitude, it’s typically the first item to fall by the wayside, but it’s also one of the best ways to boost client loyalty.
Adding a goal to your efforts also helps to define the somewhat nebulous concept of customer gratitude, with particular goals, activities, and expected outcomes.
It’s impossible to quantify the benefits of client appreciation if you approach it haphazardly and inconsistently. Keeping track of your client appreciation initiatives will help you demonstrate the value of your time and money. It will show you which client appreciation initiatives pay off the most and which ones aren’t particularly effective.
The first stage in developing a customer appreciation strategy is determining how you want to thank your consumers. There are some questions you should ask to evaluate which concepts will work best for your company.
Understanding what your consumers will appreciate is the first step in selecting how to thank them. Then consider what you have to offer as a thank you. The key to adequate appreciation is matching what your consumers value with what you can deliver.
National Customer Appreciation Day is technically April 18th, but you influence this date. Choose a day (or week) when your firm is primarily focused on customer appreciation. You can also commemorate it in minor ways throughout the year or target it specifically to customers on their birthdays.
The most crucial aspect of developing a specific customer appreciation day is informing your consumers about it. Advertise it ahead of time and make your clients feel like they are a part of the entire process. The objective is to demonstrate that you value their commitment to your organization and are not overlooked.
Some business owners believe they must wait until they have the funds or the time to consider ways to thank their consumers. These executives believe that once they’ve developed a larger community and a better firm, they’ll be able to thank those who helped them get there with time and money. Even though it appears to make logic, this is not a winning strategy.
When you start thanking your customers right away, you’ll gain momentum that will help you get through the highs and lows of managing an organization. There are inventive, pleasant methods to acknowledge your consumers every day, no matter your budget or time limits.
Let’s discuss some of the top customer appreciation ideas:
Share a Handwritten Note:
People nowadays only write handwritten messages for significant events, thanks to texting and social media. Perhaps you’ll get a thank-you card for a wedding gift you gave a friend or a condolence note after a family member passes away.
Given that email is the primary means businesses communicate with their consumers, it isn’t always a meaningful approach to express gratitude. Instead, grab a pen and compose a heartfelt thank-you note. When someone receives pleasant mail, the delight they experience is as physical as the paper in their hands.
Be clear about what you’re grateful for and open about how much it means to you personally. At the end of the day, brands are made up of people; emphasizing how their presence affects you as a person, rather than just your business or organization, is particularly valuable.
Continuous Consumer Spotlights:
You don’t have to keep your gratitude for your consumers to yourself. Consider including a customer highlight on your website, blog, or social media accounts once a week.
Invite customers to submit their information and a photo for a chance to be featured, and choose one to publish each week. In each spotlight, provide some personal information, such as how long they’ve been a customer and what makes them so unique.
You could even send a discount coupon, store credit, or a free present to the customer.
This type of acknowledgment demonstrates how grateful you are to have your consumers. It may also benefit from allowing customers to share the limelight with others, thereby indirectly generating publicity.
Consider hosting free networking events for your clients, whether businesses operate online or offline. Treat these events like parties, where consumers may have a good time getting to know one another and your team outside of the office. You shouldn’t focus on increasing sales at these events, as you shouldn’t with any other client appreciation strategy.
If you go the physical approach, make sure you have food and entertainment that your customers will love. Selecting appropriate music, games, and other activities is part of this process. You might even conduct a survey ahead of time to determine what kinds of incentives your clients would appreciate at a unique event like this.
Even if the gathering is virtual, breakout rooms and engaging games can be put up (think Jackbox, Houseparty, or even a virtual escape room). You might also give customers snacks or food gift cards a few days ahead of time to enjoy them on the day of the event. A selection of fine foods, such as wine, cheese, chocolate, or a delectable charcuterie display, could even serve as the centerpiece of your virtual gathering.
Make Use of Appreciative Language:
One of the simplest ways to express gratitude to customers is through your language to interact with them. Customers will feel heard and cared for if you are courteous and patient with them. Apart from thank you, other expressions of gratitude and acknowledgment in business also indicate a caring organization. Here are a few examples:
Offer Discount and Coupons:
There is enough evidence to suggest that returning customers spend more than new customers. Why not thank them for their dedication? Discounts and discounts are an excellent method to encourage clients to interact with your company more. It’s a simple method to express gratitude to customers.
Not only that, but it can also help to increase sales! A decent discount or coupon can sometimes persuade buyers to buy something they wouldn’t have bought otherwise. You might also use group discounts to commemorate significant occasions. For example, if you reach 10,000 social media followers, you may offer a discount code to all of your followers.
Announce a Customer Loyalty Program:
A customer loyalty program is among the most effective methods to demonstrate to customers that you care. Customers are rewarded whenever they interact with your company, and it’s a great approach to consolidate your appreciation efforts into a single, consistent structure.
Customer loyalty programs that work best don’t sell to customers; instead, they keep them interested in your company’s content. They give clients deals regularly, keep them up to date on company news, and reward them when they make a repeat purchase. Users will be more engaged and interested in what your company has to say if you apply this form of gamification.
Offer Free Upgrades:
People adore freebies, and your customers are no exception. Giving your consumers a free upgrade on their order or item might leave a lasting impression. It can be as substantial as giving a customer the opportunity of a free upgrade to a better item than what they paid for, a free trial of a new service, or something as basic as increasing their shipment speed.
Free upgrades are highly effective as a deterrent in stopping a poor situation from worsening. For example, if you realize a customer’s order is about to ship late or with a delay, contact them and inform them that you’re accelerating their shipment pace. This is also an excellent time to give them a gift card.
Utilize Social Networking Sites to give Shout-Outs:
Social media is excellent for publicly thanking customers. If individuals share amusing social posts about your product, make sure to respond or give them a shout-out in your company tweet or another social post. If you have a VIP customer or someone who frequently promotes your company, comment on their posts or reshare one of their photographs. You should also contact them to see if they are interested in being a brand ambassador for your firm in exchange for merchandise.
Go That Extra Mile:
Doing the bare minimum vs. going that extra mile in customer service can significantly impact your brand’s reputation and how your consumers perceive your company.
Being aware of your customers’ specific problems and delivering on them can be beneficial in this situation. For instance, a customer needs a product, but he will be away from home. In such a case, offering to transport the goods to their travel location can be the perfect way to provide that unique service. It will not go unnoticed.
Landing up in a situation where things don’t appear normal, following up with a consumer until they are satisfied, or giving a future discount can be a powerful method to communicate appreciation.
In any scenario, you want to demonstrate to your customers that your relationship with them extends beyond the purchase. You want to make them feel that you are constantly thinking about them and how to improve their experience. That is genuine gratitude.
Know Your Consumers:
Consumers want to be heard and understood. When any customer tries to contact you, whether to purchase a product or for assistance with a problem, it is critical, they are attended to. The customer service team must possess the essential context to assist each customer.
This entails integrating all consumer touchpoints. That includes email, social media communications, and phone calls to provide a complete historical record for each consumer. When your team interacts with a consumer, they must have access to the customer’s entire history with your brand for context.
For instance, they must be aware of the purchase history of the consumers, situations when they came for help, and communications they had with the team. This helps the team offer more tailored experiences and save customers time from repeating their issues.
When your team has relevant customer insights that they can act upon, it’ll help make your consumers feel valued and listened to.
These simple but significant actions can build a more personalized experience that makes clients feel less like numbers and more like individuals.
Client appreciation is essential for fostering customer loyalty and enhancing customer retention. To determine the impact of your customer appreciation approach on your company’s financial indicators, examine the changes in retention and sales.
For example, does providing a discount code to a loyal customer enhance their order quantity or the regularity with which they purchase? This rise is a direct effect of any investment in customer satisfaction. Do you notice an improvement in customer experience and retention when you sincerely appreciate customers in support inquiries?
You might also track online mentions to see how much positive discussion or social media activity your customer appreciation plan produces. Customer appreciation is excellent public relations.
Choose a few KPIs that you wish to impact by praising customers and track them before and after your strategy goes live to see how customer appreciation boosts loyalty.
Here are some quick tips to help you make the most of your customer appreciation efforts:
Segment and tailor your offerings:
When deciding what to give to your customers, keep demographics, interests, and location in mind. The more relevant it is to the consumer, the more valuable and appreciated it will be. Many options may appear universal, but they may be completely useless and even frustrating to the wrong demographic or location.
Personalize your Interactions:
Use their first name and include specifics that show who they are and what they purchased from you. Valued appreciation that is specific to them as an individual will elicit a different response than generic appreciation.
Be Sincere and Humanize your Thank-You Message:
When it comes to thanking someone, you want to be genuine and as human as possible. You’re establishing a connection with someone. A more relaxed tone and humble demeanor will come across as a genuine expression of acknowledgment. When you say ‘thank you’ for a client’s business, you’re acknowledging that you rely on them and that their assistance is precious to you.
Make it All About Them:
Customer appreciation entails recognizing and acknowledging them, as well as expressing how much you value them. It is not about cramming a sales pitch in or asking for something. Talking about yourself here detracts from the main point.
Every company and brand wants to be perceived as caring about their customers. Anyone in the customer service industry naturally wants to show their appreciation for the customers who drive their companies today and in the future.
With studies indicating that 68 percent of customers leave because they believe the company does not care about them, it is more important than ever to demonstrate that you appreciate and value their business.
Every company should make customer appreciation an integral part of their overall marketing and customer service strategy in this day and age. Customer appreciation can be implemented strategically while remaining simple without requiring a complete overhaul of your customer service program. Above all, it has the potential to have an immediate and long-term impact on your company’s success.