The relationship with your customers should be more than a business transaction. It should be an exchange filled with mutual appreciation, on their side for you providing them with the exact product/service they were looking for, on your side for them choosing to put their trust in your business. Some customers might not bother with showing appreciation, but every business should. This way you show your customers that you genuinely care about them and they are more than another sale to you.
For big businesses, gestures can help their customer base remain content and steady, and for small ones, it can help be more memorable and build their consumer base.
In both cases, a useful action.
When it comes to showing appreciation to their customers, businesses go one of the two ways. Either they believe that the customers will be totally indifferent to their efforts, which in turn leads the customers to feel that the business is being indifferent towards them, or they are aware that they should be showing their appreciation to the customers but lack the knowledge of how to do so properly.
For the sake of your business, we hope that your business is the latter type which is why you stumbled upon this article. In it, we will present you with the gestures your online business could make to show its customers the appreciation they deserve.
We won’t just give you a list of the generic ones that have been totally played out, but sincere, thoughtful and creative ones that your customers will actually appreciate.
Reach out on important days, in a special way
With the power of CRM software and the amount of information your customers provide you with you have everything you need to show your appreciation for your customers on important days like birthdays, name days, first purchase/subscription anniversaries, region-specific holidays, etc..
Sending well wishes to a customer is a standard practice a lot of businesses do, but it’s usually an autogenerated card or message. Don’t get me wrong that too is a nice gesture, but it could be taken a step further by being done more frequently and more personally. Now, what do I mean by that? Well, you do have more info on the customer than just their birthday, so use that info to find other situations in which reaching out would be a nice idea.
Doing so won’t affect your earnings too much, but it will mean a lot to the customers who are at the end of the day the reason your business is running.
Also, along with the message/card give them a coupon maybe even personalize it a bit, like giving them 32% off on their 32nd birthday.
Share insights with them
Customers, especially loyal ones, will want to know more about your business, and not only your business but also about the industry your business belongs to. Maybe they themselves want to someday join it or are simply intrigued by the way it operates.
As you are an established business in the industry, you can give your customers some insight on it, maybe even share your struggles and experiences. If you already don’t have a dedicated blog post section, get one. It’s the easiest method of sharing insight and industry-related information, you might be surprised how much your customers will appreciate it.
Involve them in your business
A great token of appreciation from your end could be allowing your customers to take part in forming your products/services. For example, let them decide on some aspects of your products/services, or even invite them to send you their artworks so you incorporate the best ones into the design of your future products. They will love knowing that they contributed and that you saw their opinions/skills as good enough to use.
Refer them to other businesses
Sometimes you won’t be able to fulfill the needs of every customer that comes your way and that is absolutely okay. They might be asking for something that is just not part of your niche. In those cases what you should do is refer your customers to a business that can fulfill those needs. This way you will show your customers that you still care about their satisfaction even though they might not be doing business with you, and that profit is not your only aim.
Gift them with things they showed interest in
Gifting your customers is not an unusual thing to do. What might be a bit out of the ordinary is surprising them with something that they showed an interest in earlier. Look into the customer’s search, purchase, or shopping cart history on your site so the next time you plan to gift them, you can make the gift something they had in their cart but never pulled the trigger on. If the item or service is something of high value and giving it away completely might hurt your budget, give the customer a generous discount on it instead. Either way, they will be stoked to receive it.
Give them early access to your products and services
Everyone loves to feel like a VIP, part of an exclusive club. To give your customers this experience, you can provide them with early access to sales and new products/services. Send them a text or email saying that for the next few days they and only they have the chance to get their hands on a discounted item or on a new release before the rest of the public can. Considering the fact that they have shopped with you before, this might encourage them to do it again. A win-win situation for both of you.
Interact with them and repost them on social media
Your social media accounts will be one of if not your main marketing tool, but it can also be something through which you build a strong relationship with your customers.
Encourage them to send you questions, suggestions, and complaints to your social media accounts and make sure you reply to each one in a sincere and timely manner. Ask for their opinions, preferences, and ideas through polls and questionnaires in your post and stories. Do your best to answer the comments they leave on your posts, so they know that you are happy for each interaction they make with your business. Also, repost (with their permission of course) the posts in which your customers talk about your business/product/service, so your appreciation for them is put on display for the rest of your followers to see.
Donate a part of your profit to a charity of their choice in their name
It’s safe to say that most if not all of us have a charitable side, but unfortunately, our own financial situation might not allow us to show it. So sometimes the best thing you can gift someone is to, in their name, help someone else in need.
You can do this by donating a piece of your profit in the name of your customers to charity, from time to time or even regularly. Pick a range of charities and let your customers pick which one they want their money to go to. This will make the customer feel like the purchase they made a bit less selfish and that your business besides great products/services has a charitable and empathetic side as well.
We hope that at least one or two of the mentioned gestures are something that you see as fitting for your business and its customers. If not, you can use this article as inspiration, and with a bit of creativity come up with ideas of your own. Whichever route you choose, remember that the gesture doesn’t have to be grand just thoughtful, and genuine. As the famous saying goes, it’s really the thought that counts.