Each year, the Holiday season invites us all to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of daily life and do a little reflecting. Reflecting often leads to an overwhelming sense of gratitude: gratitude for family, friends, health, and other aspects of life that we may take for granted. As a business owner, your gratitude is probably sevenfold: for that perfect corner spot on Main Street, for your employees who always seem to go above and beyond to get the job done, and for your own drive and entrepreneurial spirit that helped launch the business that you own today. But perhaps most of all, you’re grateful for your customers – those loyal, wonderful customers who help keep your business bustling day in and day out. Below are some customer appreciation ideas that you can use to let your customers know just how much they mean to you into the new year and months to come!
Sponsor a local sports team.
Maybe you’ve noticed that the same group of people come to your business every Tuesday night looking mildly disheveled and sporting matching neon t-shirts with big numbers across their backs. It’s probably safe to assume that they are team members of a local sports league. Strike up a conversation and ask them if they need a sponsor! Sponsoring a local sports team is not only a great way to show your customers that they are appreciated, but it is also advantageous for your business. Your logo and brand name will be exposed to other players, fans, and parents (if you choose to sponsor a youth team), which serves as an unconventional yet effective marketing tool to potentially attract new customers. Your team will also develop a deep sense of loyalty for your business, choosing your spot to host birthday parties and other shindigs!
Pick up their tab.
Nothing says “I appreciate your business” like spontaneously buying the next pottery class, haircut, lunch, or drink for a customer. It’s a gesture of goodwill that requires nothing of the customer, but will surprise and delight them, and may even prompt a post on social media or a positive review. Studies have shown that customers are more likely to share bad customer service experiences than positive ones. Do your part to break that trend by giving your customers something favorable to post and talk about!
Write them a note.
Handwritten notes are becoming a lost art, but there really is nothing quite like receiving a short note with a heartfelt message. There doesn’t need to be a special occasion to grab that pen and paper – just start writing! And remember, a little goes a long way: “Hey Joe, I just wanted to say thanks for being a super customer. Happy Wednesday!” Easy as pie! Remember, this simple act of customer appreciation will never go out of style.
Send them customized marshmallows.
Do you have a special customer who always manages to brighten your day? How about a family with three adorable kids whose love for your business is palpable? Do something fun and unexpected and send them a box of customized marshmallows! Using the UK-based company Boomf, you can design your own marshmallows and have them shipped anywhere in the world. Can you imagine opening an unassuming box only to find that your favorite business owner has taken the time to create customized marshmallows just for you? Pretty cool, right? Belly has sent these marshmallows to a few of our Merchants for special occasions, such as Peace Coffee’s 5th anniversary as a business, and they turned out great. And I think we all can agree that there’s nothing better than customer appreciation that is both thoughtful and delicious!
Enroll in a customer loyalty program.
The best way to express gratitude and appreciation for your customers is to make the long-term play and enroll in a customer loyalty program. Loyalty programs like Belly incentivize customers to come back to your business more often, while rewarding them each and every time they stop by. A loyalty program is an easy and efficient way to let your customers know that they are valued, appreciated, and ultimately indispensable.