How to Show Your Customers They're Not Just a Number/You Actually Do Care/Remember Them
What do all of the below have in common?
- Holding the door open for someone.
- Letting someone in to make a lane change.
- Donating to charity.
- Giving a gift to a loved one for Christmas.
- Complimenting your friend on her new haircut.
- Purchasing a product or service.
Give up? They’re all things we do for reasons other than receiving gratitude. Being rewarded with just a simple “thank you” is always an added bonus that makes us feel good. Feeling appreciated is never asked for, but it’s always rewarding. And demonstrating customer appreciation is no different – it heightens the overall experience, increasing satisfaction and loyalty.
We’re constantly reminded to focus on the future and moving forward. What we tend to forget, however, is that (particularly in business) it’s extremely important to also look back at those who have helped get us to where we are today. After all, we all KNOW it takes so much more to acquire a customer than it does to retain one. Ensuring the relationships you’ve is crucial and, unfortunately, those you neglect and those that are under-appreciated will eventually leave.
In fact, according to an article published by SuperOffice, “68% of customers leave because they believe the business does not care about them” (Kulbyte). This is further illustrated below by the image provided in Toma Kulbyte’s article;
So what’s the solution to this problem? A customer appreciation strategy. In plain English, this means you give back to those who have entrusted you with their business and proven their loyalty to your company. The only outcome of employing this type of strategy is positive. Just think, have you ever been angry as a result of being appreciated? Have you ever gotten frustrated because you received a gift? No. Neither will your customers. Instead, your customers will likely feel appreciated and valued, resulting in them wanting to be more proactive and engage with your company at a higher degree. Furthermore, reciprocity is considered to be 1 of the 6 ways to influence customers. According to Dr. Robert Cialdini, there is no better way to give back to your customers, than to show your immense gratitude and appreciation. This can easily be fulfilled through whichever means you choose, such as a card, or a thoughtful gift
Other than the most important benefit of customer value, there are many other factors you can expect once employing a customer appreciation strategy. These include:
Increased Customer Loyalty
Not only will your customers begin to truly appreciate your company and brand for constantly making them feel valued, but they will become loyal. Loyalty can sometimes even transition into brand evangelism. This is the ultimate goal of any customer life cycle, as you want to create strong brand equity within your customers’ minds. These customers will then become an advocate for you by reaching out to other potential customers. All of the other benefits listed below are all by-products of reciprocal giving, establishing that customer focus really is the driving force of business success.
Increased Brand Equity/Value
Through having more customers advocating for your business, you may begin to see a rise in your market share as more people not only become aware of your product, but they also begin to raise their hand in interest for your offering. As more people enter into a relationship with your company, your brand equity increases.
It goes without saying that if you begin to see a rise in customer loyalty, possibly even in lead generation and in new customer acquisition rates, it will directly correlate to your profits increasing as well.
Better Work Environment
We all know the term “happy wife, happy life.” Well, this can also goes for business as well. If you have happy customers, there will be less stress being put on both you and your employees to ensure satisfaction. This decrease of stress levels in the workplace will allow for a more positive environment, which could also lead to an increase in work ethic amongst your employee.
I know what you may be thinking, this all sounds great, but this seems like a project that requires a tremendous amount of resources from my team that I’m not sure I can allocate at the moment. Well, to be clear, getting started with a customer appreciation strategy doesn’t have to be that difficult. The attention you do exude on appreciating your customers will only end up rewarding you in another aspect of your business anyway (i.e., all of the benefits listed above). According to Toma Kulbyte, here are some of the main components of developing an efficient customer appreciation strategy:
- Contact your customers regularly.
- Promote your customers.
- Make your customers feel important!
Though all 3 of the above are important, making your customers feel important may be the easiest and most rewarding factor to employ. It’s human nature for us to want to feel special. By making your customers feel important, you fulfill that innate human necessity of being wanted and needed. Some examples of things your business could do to make a customer feel important are:
- Include a simple “thank you” in the subject line
- Send them a gift.
- Target customers with special offers.
- Personalize, personalize, personalize!
All in all, focusing on generating new leads and acquiring new customers will always be an important part of any company’s business model. However, this does not mean that this should overshadow or outshine the effort put towards paying attention to and appreciating those customers that have helped you get to where you are today. For all of the reasons outlined above and through all of the possible tactics listed, you should be able to develop an effective customer appreciation strategy and see for yourself how beneficial it is for both your customer’s well being and your business!