In business, there are 2 words that can go a long way to keeping customers happy and loyal. The words? Thank you. As simple as it might sound, customers love feeling appreciated. And taking the time to thank the customer instantly separates your company from most others, increasing the chances that your customer will remain loyal.
You’ve probably already heard this, but it’s worth repeating. It’s cheaper to keep an existing customer than to attract a new one. That’s why customer retention should always be a top priority.
Here are 5 simple ways you can thank your customers.
1. Offer special discounts to loyal customers—It’s a win-win really. By offering your loyal customers a special discount (e.g. As our way of saying “thank you” please enjoy 25% off any item in our store), you show them just how much you appreciate their business. At the same time, you generate more business for yourself because they’re going to redeem that coupon by making a purchase with you.
You could also use the “punch card” program (e.g. Get 4 car washes and your 5th one is free) to reward customers. Many businesses put this to use as it keeps customers coming back so they can work their way to earning that reward.
2. Hold after hours in-store events—I’ve played guitar for most of my life, and I buy most of my equipment at Guitar Center. One thing they do that I really like is they hold special in-store after hours sales for loyal customers. The only way you can enter the store during this event is with a postcard invitation.
At these events, the prices are much lower than usual, letting dedicated customers enjoy the best deals around. Because the event is exclusive, it makes customer feel special, like they belong.
3. Send personalized thank you notes—It’s one thing to send out an automated email thanking customers for their purchase. It’s another thing to take the time to write and mail personalized thank you letters. The great thing about letters is that they tend to get held onto. Emails get deleted. Phone calls get forgotten. Letters stick around.
Take a few minutes to write your customers a short note thanking them for their business. It’s a small gesture, but it will grab the attention of your customers.
4. Create a birthday club—One of the local ice cream shops I visit lets customers sign up for a program to receive a free ice cream cone on their birthday. I think this is a great idea as it says both “thank you” and “happy birthday”, helping you take your relationship with the customer up a notch.
5. Send business their way if possible—If you serve other businesses, you should look for opportunities to refer business to them. For example, I’m a freelance copywriter. One of my clients is a web design company. On more than a few occasions, I’ve heard friends complaining about their designer or just looking for a new one, and I’d tell them to check out my client that offers web design services. The client appreciates it, and my friends get quality design work. Everybody wins.
How do you thank your customers? Share your best tips by leaving a comment.