By Julia Olson

Giving Thanks for Your Customers

As Thanksgiving approaches, you may be looking for ways to show your customers you are grateful for their support. To truly engage with your customers, you need to find a way of giving thanks that doesn’t sound cliched or corporate. Try these ideas to make your customers feel valued this holiday season.

Sometimes, discounts speak louder than words. Get in touch with your most loyal customers to offer them special discounts over the holiday season. You could even offer each customer a free gift based on their buying habits. People love to receive free gifts, so this approach could help to reinforce your relationship with your best customers.

Reward Loyalty

If you don’t already have a loyalty program, the holidays are the perfect time to launch one. If loyalty cards seem a bit old-fashioned, why not develop a loyalty app? Customers can use these apps to track their purchases and collect points using their Android or iOS phone. It also gives you an opportunity to send discount codes and other thank you’s out to your customers quickly and easily.

Ask for Their Ideas

People like to know that they have a voice. This holiday season, give customers a chance to share their ideas regarding your products or services. This isn’t quite the same as asking for feedback, which is something you should do all year round. Instead, this involves asking customers to share their ideas for cool new products that you could add to your range. Remember to follow up on the ideas and turn the best ones into reality.

Give Them a Chance to Shine

Another way to stir up some holiday spirit in your customers is to show you care about their lives. Consider hosting a competition where you invite customers to submit photos, poems or other creative works with a holiday theme. With permission from the contest winner, use the winning submission in your marketing materials. This gives recognition to the creative talents of your audience and can promote engagement.

Show You Mean It

After you’ve said thank you, you need to live up to your words. Focus on providing first-class service beyond the holiday season and beyond. Ultimately, this is what customers most want from your business. If your customer service hasn’t been living up to your usual best practice recently, send out a holiday message to your customers letting them know what you’ll be changing to make things better — just make sure you don’t forget to stick to your promises when the holidays are over.

The Value of Giving Thanks

Saying thank you is extremely important in any industry. By taking the opportunity to thank your customers this holiday season, you can make them feel more warmly toward your brand, which can inspire loyalty. It costs much more to recruit a new customer than to make a sale to someone who has already been a customer of your small business, so it makes good financial sense to spread some holiday cheer among your existing customer base. Giving thanks to your customers could encourage them to give you repeat business and therefore have a very positive effect on your bottom line. A thank you doesn’t have to cost much, but it could bring in a significant return on investment.

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