Customer Appreciation 101
How much does it cost to retain your current customers? How about how much does it cost to lose them? According to the Harvard Business Review, getting a new customer can cost you five to 25 times the amount it costs you to keep a customer you already have.
So, the question is “How do you keep your customers?” Plenty of ways exist to do this. However, one of the best and simplest ways to keep your roster of clients is the customer appreciation gift. And interestingly enough, many of these gifts fall into the category of promotional products and business branding, which means you can show your regular customers some love and promote your business at the same time.
If you’re looking for some customer gift ideas, then pay attention to the goodies on this list. Your customers will thank you and remain steadfastly on your client list for years to come.
1. Try a Simple “Thank You” Card or Letter
You’d be surprised at how many businesses don’t take the time to just say, “Thank you” to their customers. The truth is the people who buy your products and services could be spending their money elsewhere. It is in your best interest to remember that they spend their money with you instead of someone else.
With the advent of technologies like email it doesn’t even have to cost you much to send a quick note. For smaller purchases, you can even use a template. Just make sure you send it and make sure that your email program gives you the option of personalizing the email with the person’s name.
For customers who spend a large amount of money with you, larger gifts are in order. Naturally, you’ll want to send a hand-written thank-you note. If the purchase is large enough, then you can also send a basket of goodies, like craft jams, little boxes of tea, dinner vouchers, and promotional items.
2. Promotional Items as a “Thank You!
Did you know that the branded tote bag you give to your customers will garner you and your brand about 3,000 impressions over the course of the promo product’s lifetime? If the bag cost you about $10, then you’ll have paid about 4/10th of a cent per impression.
What’s even better about promotional products is that the person who carries such an item becomes an enthusiastic brand ambassador. After all, that’s why people buy so much swag when they go to the Hard Rock Cafe.
Here’s a fun example of this from “The Hunger Games” franchise. Before the release of the final “Mockingly” DVD, a few select fans received a bag of branded swag. The bag itself carried the District 12 logo, the home district of the main character Katniss Everdeen, a box that sang the theme song when it was opened, boxes of branded pins, a copy of the DVD, posters, and other cool stuff. The fans who received this bag of goodies also received a letter, asking them to tweet about the swag on a specific day, using the hashtag #MockingjayDVD. The fans on this list were superfans, entertainment journalists, and other influencers.
Here you have business branding taken to the next level. Not only will the people who received this bag of swag be wearing the bag indefinitely, they started some fan engagement by tweeting about this customer appreciation gift. Lionsgate Entertainment,the movie production company behind the movie franchise, has become known for its clever use of fan engagement in its marketing campaigns for “The Hunger Games.” These promotional products count as just another example of this.
3. Give Them a Social Media Shout out
Mentioning a client on social media for all the world to see is another way to show your clients that you appreciate them and what they bring to the table. Many indie authors and book publishers, especially in the coloring book market, do this.
The indie publishers highlight a fan’s character drawing or the fan’s coloring work. Again, the customer gets a well-deserved “Thank you” and the publisher’s work gets more recognition.
This may be one of the most critical aspects of business branding that you can take away from this. A reciprocal relationship with the customer always pays you and them back in droves. It also cuts down on the amount of work you have to do because your committed superfans will do much of the work for you if you let them.
4. Have a Party
There is a real estate agency in Boise, Idaho that throws an art showing party every year for its agents and their clients. The event features a curated art show that local and now regional artists want to get into because it’s such a good show. The art provides a backdrop for deals to be made and networking to happen.
The powers-that-be will tell you that the curated show is just a party to show their customers some appreciation, but you can bet that plenty of networking happens, too, not only between the real estate agents, but the clientele.
A party like this can also be the place where you make some advanced sale notifications. If the people you invite are on a VIP list, this counts as a way to kill two birds with one stone. They learn about the deals before they hit the street and get invited to a cool party to boot.
Final Thoughts on Appreciating Your Customers