Are you taking enough time to recognize your customers? Consumers take appreciation seriously. In fact, 68% of shoppers won’t purchase from brands that they feel don’t care about them. If you haven’t been focusing on nurturing your client base and making sure every consumer feels valued, learn how customer appreciation fits into the sales funnel, plus get some creative ideas on how to thank your customers for being awesome!
Customer Appreciation and the Sales Funnel
A sales funnel represents the path customers take when finding your business and purchasing from you. There are four stages of the sales funnel: awareness, interest, decision, and action (AIDA). The awareness stage is when you first catch your customer’s notice through an ad, the referral of a friend, etc. During the interest stage, your lead researches and compares your product to competitors. Once your lead reaches the decision stage, they’re ready to choose who they’re going to purchase from after narrowing it down to two or three options. Finally, action is when your lead becomes a paying customer.
Customer appreciation fits into the final stage of the sales funnel. Suddenly marketing tactics are focusing on retaining your customers and getting them to purchase more items in the future than convincing them to choose your company over another. Now you want to convince them to keep choosing your company over and over again. One of the best ways to do that is by showing that you value their business. There are many ways you can do that. Here are ten customer appreciation ideas you can try out:
Send Personalized Thank-You Cards
Sending out an email or a text requires minimal effort. Sure, you appreciate it when someone takes the time to say they’re thinking of you, but you don’t feel as if the effort deserves much recognition. But how about when someone writes you a handwritten note? A handmade note takes more effort than an electric message, so it inspires more gratitude from the recipient. Pick out a few of your most loyal customers every month and write a handmade note, and they’re sure to feel valued!
Give Out Free Swag
Offering free swag comes with dual benefits. First, your customer will feel happy and appreciated. Second, people are more likely to remember your brand when you use this method. That’s a win-win! Plus, customers are twice as likely to respond positively to swag as a form of advertisement than traditional methods.
Surprise Customers With a Holiday Gift Package
It’s no secret that holidays are a great time for businesses. Everyone is searching for gifts and fresh new products. Keeping customers happy during the holidays is already a number one priority. At least, we hope it is for you! One of the ways you can make your customers happy during this season is by sending out surprise gift packages full of things like coffee, mugs, gourmet foods, etc. Your customers will be touched that you thought of them, and they’ll be more likely to stay loyal to your brand.
Select a Customer of the Month
You don’t always have to spend money to show appreciation. Recognizing a customer of the month is one easy, cost-effective way to make your clients feel appreciated. Give them a shoutout on social media, and perhaps give them a special coupon. Your other customers will want to be recognized next, and they’ll grow even more loyal.
Give Out Coupons and Special Offers
This is another easy way to show customer appreciation. Who doesn’t love a good coupon or special offer? Your loyal customers will feel extra special when they receive a future-use coupon for a discount, a buy-one-get-one-free offer, etc. Get as creative as you’d like with your incentives.
Start a Loyalty Program
A loyalty program helps you invest in customers long-term, and vice-versa. You offer special rewards, coupons, and discounts to make your customers happy. In return, you get to enjoy higher profits when your clients start spending more money to earn points.
Hold Raffles and Contests
Holding a raffle or contest for customers to win merchandise helps stir up competition. Your most competitive customers will be sure to jump at the chance to win free merch! You don’t have to raffle off anything big. Small items like jewelry, shoes, and shirts, are all good choices. But what prizes you choose ultimately depends on your target audience.
Host a Customer Party
Parties are fun whether you’re a guest or the host. Gatherings full of free food and good people are always likely to attract big groups. You can hold a party in your store after-hours or rent a barbeque at a local park. Whatever you do, try to relax and enjoy getting to know your customers. This is a chance for you to show you really care without pushing an agenda.
Offer Birthday Deals
It’s customary to give gifts for your friends' and family members' birthdays. Why not do the same thing for your customers? Consider sending a small gift or email a birthday coupon. Baskin-Robbins gives out a free scoop of ice cream for loyalty members, whereas Sephora gives out a complementary beauty product. Choose whatever option works for your business and customers.
Build a Community
Deep down, everyone longs for a community where they fit in. So many of us spend time joining clubs and going to events to find our people—kindred spirits if you will. Creating a space for like-minded people to communicate, get inspired, and meet new friends is another way you can show customers you care. If you’re interested in building a community for your customers, consider starting a Slack account where people can join and talk amongst themselves. You could also create a group on Facebook or LinkedIn.
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