It’s the time of year we do our best to be grateful. In the United States, we typically do this in part with a turkey dinner and family time in honor of Thanksgiving. But how can we make customer appreciation a living part of the customer journey?
Here are 5 easy ways to express customer appreciation.
1. Ask for sincere feedback from your best customers, then share with them something great that happened because of it.
One idea here is to ask about which employee has made a difference for them. Once they have identified a superstar in your organization, reward that employee with recognition and a perk. For example, one of our clients made an employee who received great customer feedback a crown for the day, then sent her away for an unexpected free day.
The customers who had provided the feedback were there to see her surprise, and those who weren’t there saw videos sent personally to them. It was a simple gesture with lasting impacts for the customers and the employee.
2. Write a note.
I know, I know. It’s been said/done before. Handwritten notes are really still special. It’s not an email or a text, it’s someone spending a few minutes thinking of someone else and it shows. It’s also super fun! Write a note to a customer who just joined you or one who has been with you a long time. Don’t overthink it. Just let them know how much they mean to you.
3. Highlight a customer’s real life.
Many organizations have regular conversations of one kind or another with customers. They are typically the 5-minute variety. Get to know a customer outside of your organization. Are they active with a charity? Do they love their dachshund? Whatever makes them special, tell their story in a newsletter or on social media. This doesn’t have to be just for B2C, either. Business customers are real people, too!
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4. Surprise a customer with special merchandise.
I wrote about how River Plate Soccer Club surprised fans by having new team jerseys delivered by the players themselves. What about your organization? Could you send a special mug that’s personalized for your customer? Could you order a handful of post-it notes or USB drives with a special thank you message?
The world of promotional items makes this easier than ever now. Take advantage of personalizing and surprising your customers.
5. Make the call.
This one is so simple we often overlook it as an option!
Pick up the phone and call your customer. Let them know you are just calling to say “thank you,” then stop. It’s not a sales call. It’s a gratitude call. Keep it that way to make it truly meaningful.
And don’t say, “we’re calling some customers today to thank you for your loyalty” or anything remotely scripted. Say “Hi, Gina. I was thinking about you today and what a loyal customer you’ve been. It means a lot to me and I really want to thank you.”
Get personal and stay real. Have a conversation. Don’t make it a “some customers” thing. Make it a “that one customer” thing.
These 5 ways to show gratitude, of course, don’t have to be regulated to just the Thanksgiving season. Make it a point to highlight customer appreciation often and incorporate gratitude into your customer journey. It makes everyone grateful.