North America has a long history of celebrating the importance of giving thanks, displaying gratitude, and showing appreciation to those around us. And as the season of giving draws near, the heart of the season is growing larger with each day. The art of this humble acknowledgment is the crux to many organizational cultures, so it’s important to not only give thanks, but to effectively show appreciation to those in your business communities.
Giving Thanks to Clients and Customers
While many businesses focus on showing appreciation to their employees (which we will discuss the importance of in Part 2 of this series), it is to the health of your business relationships to show appreciation to clients. Throughout the fiscal year, businesses rely on the symbiotic relationship they have with their clients and customers. Whether your organization focuses on B2B or B2C sales, the balance of supply and demand only go so far. Customer appreciation goes a long way in maintaining deep relationships and building client loyalty.
Best Ways to Show Appreciation to Your Clients
Check out these four best practices to use when giving back to those around you.
Send a Handwritten Note
The art of the thank you note didn’t die with the advent of email or social media; in fact, the power of the handwritten note has grown stronger since the start of the digital age. People understand the time and effort it takes to personalize a letter, and it doesn’t go unnoticed. While mass emails that populate the names of your clients through algorithms is easier, consider taking the time to write personalized letters to your top customers explaining how much you appreciate their business. If possible, include specific instances you’re thankful for or shared anecdotes to build a more long-term partnership.
Give Discounts or Create a Loyalty Program
One of the simplest ways to show your clients and customers you care is by giving back where they feel it the most: their wallets. Sending discounts or coupons is an effective way to show your appreciation, as well as a surefire way to start building loyalty. If you work on a business-to-business platform, consider offering a top client a discount to your services or a percentage decrease if they request multiple products or services. Creating a client loyalty program can be an even more effective way to show appreciation while also creating long-term customers.
Host a Virtual Customer Appreciation Get-Together
A great way to not only show appreciation to your clients but also build a strong business community in your market is through a virtual party. While hosting get-togethers has changed in the age of COVID, it is still possible to host a fun, safe, and successful event for your clients through digital platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Encourage your guests to network with other professionals or customers who use your product or services through the chat function within the platform. Hosting a virtual client loyalty event is also a great way to invite potential customers and prospective clients to showcase your commitment to the community. Hire a speaker to share valuable insight during the party or consider hiring a form of entertainment, like a local musician, to entice clients and prospects to attend.
Offer Leadership/Business Development Seminars
The one gift that keeps giving is knowledge. Developing leaders is imperative for all organizations to thrive and sustain long-term success. However, many businesses see this as a challenge. According to SHRM, the greatest human resource challenge businesses face is developing the next generation of organizational leaders. By offering development information or seminars, you not only help the relationship with current clients, but you also affect your relationship with the future leaders of their organizations. And, the best part of this “show of appreciation” is that you don’t have to be an expert in development to offer it to your customers. There are plenty of free resources available to you.
For example, Express Employment Professionals offers a large catalogue of complimentary webinars, educational videos, white papers, educational material, and learning tracks that are perfect to share with your clients via email, Zoom conference call, or in person. You can view the extensive catalogue here.
By focusing on your clients during the holiday season, you will be able to easily build loyalty and effectively show how much you appreciate their business and their partnership.
How do you show appreciation to your clients? What are some benefits you’ve experienced by giving back to your customers? Let us know in the comment section below!