Customer appreciation strategies need not be extremely costly or complicated. Here are five simple ways to show your customers some love.
Surprise and delight. One of the easiest ways to love your customers is to reward them with complimentary perks. Expedited or free shipping, and sample products, are affordable ways to drive revenue and loyalty. This is Dale Carnegie’s 3rd Human Relations principle, ‘Arouse in the other person an eager want,’ in effect. Research shows that when existing customers are presented with instant gratification, e.g. the chance to try other products, they are statistically more likely to order additional products they’ve already sampled.
Call them out. Telling your customers’ success stories is a win-win strategy. First, publicizing their powerful stories enables the customers to benefit from additional exposure. For example, a manufacturer of unique exercise equipment might show how a gym increased its membership and revenue after installing the equipment. Secondly, showing how existing customers improved or transformed as a result of using the product or service authentically engages prospective buyers who have a greater affinity for real people with real stories instead of the aspirational model driving a flashy sports car. Of course, obtain their permission first. This example demonstrates the importance of Mr. Carnegie’s 4th principle, ‘Become genuinely interested in other people.’
Offer something special. Sweepstakes, drawings and coupons practically always entice people. Consider offering coupon codes when customers least expect it. Bundle a group of your top-selling products or services and offer a monthly sweepstakes as the prize. Throwing down a challenge, Mr. Carnegie’s 21st principle, is a great way to engage customers and create excitement!
Recognize feedback. In certain cases, customers who share both positive and negative feedback deserve some form of acknowledgement beyond the canned automatic response. For example, if a customer submits a recommendation on how to improve a product and it’s adopted, be sure to publicize the source of the innovative idea. Many modifications to products and services are made after a customer has made a specific complaint. This is an opportunity to announce how the product or service was improved and also, ‘Give honest, sincere appreciation,’ Mr. Carnegie’s 2nd principle, to the customer who provided the feedback. Whatever the recommendation was to improve any aspect of the business—merchandising, logistics, website, etc., let the world know whose idea it was.
Engage on a different level. Treat your best customers to a unique experience they won’t forget. For example, taking them on a factory tour or inviting them to spend an afternoon in a state-of-the-art facility will show them how unique your organization really is. Consider hosting an exclusive mixer so that some of the greatest minds in your industry have a chance to collaborate—and most likely compliment you. Any unique, positively memorable experience you can provide your best customers not only shows how much you love them, but will drive loyalty as you successfully differentiate yourself from the competition.