Customer Experience News & Trends

10 ways to thank customers for their business this year

If it weren’t for customers, you wouldn’t be in business. So it’s always a good time to thank them. But it’s even more important now. 

Take time at the end of one year or the beginning of the next to give customers a little extra love.

A special effort will remind customers why they’ve done business with you – and encourage them to continue to be loyal.

Plus, you like your customers! Let them know it.

Here are 10 ideas that never fail to show true appreciation:

Give them peace

It’s a wonderful and overwhelming time of the year. People’s work and home to-do lists grow. Their inboxes overflow. Don’t add to the things they need to do, sift through or act on.

Unless this is your business’ crunch time, put a break on the informational and promotional communication. Send one heartfelt thank you message (via their favorite communication channel) at the beginning of this season.

Show personal gratitude

You likely thank customers every time there’s a transaction or contact. Do something a little more personal and special this time of year. For instance, one company uses billboards throughout its area to thank customers — putting some of their smiling faces on the billboards. Another company sends employees to customers’ locations to deliver fresh holiday treats such as fruit, candy and coffee.

Educate customers

Set up a series of podcasts, webinars or YouTube videos on subjects that are valuable to your customers for the early months of next year. When the sessions are closer send customers links to attend the live events for free.

Offer white papers and blogs with useful information — not promotional material — that fits their interests. For instance, a recreational sports retailer might post an article on the Top 10 Winter Hikes. Another example: A coffee shop invites customers to hear an expert talk on coffee growing and gives them samples to taste.

Spread goodness and cheer

Be charitable and give customers credit for their good work. Many companies make donations of time and money to organizations throughout the year. Some do it in the general name of customers once a year. You can get even more personal than that.

For example, a marketing service provider bought cows through an international organization focused on ending poverty. Then the firm named the cows — which are meant to help families and communities get on course to overcome poverty — after major customer projects and thanked customers for the opportunity to work with them.

Write a thank-you card

The handwritten word is still the most powerful. It gets attention and makes people feel good.

Delay the party

Holiday parties can be overwhelming.

Instead, try an appreciation party in mid-winter when customers and employees have less to do and can really feel appreciated.

Give books

Many great business philosophies and values are based on powerful books. Which book has a history in your company? Get the book in bulk, write up a short explanation of why it’s important to your company and what customers can learn from it, and then pass copies onto your best customers.

Invite them for coffee

This might sound impossible to most companies today. After all, your customers are probably scattered all over the country or even the world. But representatives of your company probably travel near customers periodically.

When they do, arrange a coffee meeting for customers in that area. Invite customers within an hour radius to a central location to enjoy coffee, breakfast, lunch and idea-sharing with like-minded customers.

Or, if you can’t get together, let them have a coffee on you. Send an out-of-the-blue thank you note with a gift card to a coffee shop. If coffee isn’t their thing, figure out what is. For instance, if your great customer works in a small office, send cookies to share. If you know someone is a movie buff, send movie tickets. If you’re in the health and fitness industry, send a fruit bouquet.

Feature them

Call out customers who are active on social media on your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. accounts. Then, periodically, tell your other customers how much you appreciate those contributing on your social media pages — how long they’ve been with you, why they’re savvy and what they do that makes them special. You can do the same kind of “features” on your website and in company newsletters.

Get quirky

Here’s an idea if you have the creativity on hand — especially if you’re a B2B company. Photoshop your client and some of his or her team members onto a famous movie poster. Rename it something appropriate (for instance, Star Power or The Success Games), and email it to them with a note that says, “Thanks for your business!”

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