“The customer is always right” isn’t just a slogan from the early 20th century used to get more incomes. It is an approach that advocates customer satisfaction as a high priority, because there is an understanding of the obvious fact: no customers – no business. With this approach you are generating loyal customers, and a loyal customer “costs” five times less than a new one, meaning that it costs five times more to get new customers than to keep the current ones. Here are some ways you can show gratitude to your loyal customers and guarantee a long-lasting relationship.
If you want to say thank you to someone, just say it – it’s that simple. Send a thank you note to your customers right after they finish a purchase, or after they reach a milestone, e.g. two years of shopping in your store. Of course, you can have one sample template you are changing for each customer, but when writing their names, make sure you add something personal to the note to make them feel more special and appreciated. Likewise, to many employees this kind of simple acknowledgement is enough to give them a little boost and keep them doing a good work.
Sometimes you simply don’t have the resources to show gratitude to all your loyal customers. Instead, choose one customer and give them an over-the-top delightful customer experience, which will also be a great marketing move. Make a huge story of it, and encourage the customer and their family to share it on social media, and if you’re creative enough, you’ll get a lot of exposure.
Loyalty programs are one of the most frequent ways of rewarding the employees and customers. Create a VIP reward program and a rewarding system which will keep in track all the purchases, the amount of money spent and buyer’s birthday or anniversary (from the date they first started buying at your store).
Your employees will know you walue their loyalty if you give them a bonus from time to time, or even better if you give them a raise after a profitable quarter.
Customers love getting gift cards. That way they can buy something they want instead of getting a gift they will never use. Of course, they’re limited with the type of card, but you can use your data about loyal customers and determine what they might like. By opting for prepaid card providers, like Corporate Prepaid Giftcards, you can access a great variety of options from just one location. Some would be satisfied with a $5 Starbucks card while others would prefer a wider range of possibilities they can get with other more valuable gift card options.
It is a usual practice in famous magazines and other big companies to throw a party for their associates and customers. Nikon threw a great bash in New York’s renowned nightclub to thank their customers. Of course, every guest got photos to take home. Besides the photo booth, they even hired an event photographer. Do something similar. Organize an event that has to do with your line of work (e.g. wine tasting, cosplay, fashion show, etc.) and send exclusive invitations to your most loyal customers.
Treating loyal customers and employees as family members is especially important for small and medium businesses. Try to make them feel valued by keeping up with their achievements, sending birthday cards or congratulations for their personal successes. The thoughtful timing of your gift will create a special bond between your customers and your business. Besides your customers’ milestones, you can celebrate your company’s achievements together. For example, if it is the tenth anniversary of your (first) product, you can reward your customers with a gift basket, annual subscription, etc.
Of course you should occasionally thank your customers and employees for their loyalty, but that won’t matter a thing if you don’t excel at customer service on a daily basis or if you do not treat your employees with respect. Friendly and informed service representatives among customers, and considerate managers among employees are highly appreciated.