5 Ways to Thank Your Customers
November 11, 2016
Customers are the heart of your business.
Without them, your business will fail – end of story.
But, it’s not just getting customers that sustains your business – it’s retaining them that truly takes your business to the next level.
Don’t think so? Check out just a few of the numbers around customer retention:
- It is approximately 50% easier to sell to existing customers than to brand new prospects.
- 20% of your existing customer base accounts for 80% of your company’s future revenue.
- An increase of just 5% in customer retention rates increases profits by 25% to 95%.
Customer retention is all about increasing customer loyalty. This is increasing Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) at its finest. On average, your loyal customers will order from you more often, with a higher average order value (AOV), and are more likely to refer your business to their friends and family.
If you want your business to succeed and thrive, it’s worth the time, effort, and, yes, money to make sure your process for customer retention is up to par.
Think about this – 68% of businesses have lost a customer because that customer felt the business was indifferent to them.
So, how do you go about implementing customer retention? The good news is a little can go a long way.
Your customers want to feel heard and they want to feel valued. Your customers are people, not dollar signs, and sometimes, simply saying “thank you” goes a long way.
With that in mind, here are few ways you can thank your customers:
1. Send a thank you card.
Thank you cards are seriously underrated, which is a shame because they can have a huge impact on how your customer views your brand.
Personalizing the message to your customer makes it even more effective. Take emails, for example, personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates.
Why does personalization work?
Because when you personalize your message and content, you’re speaking directly to that customer.
I don’t know about you, but when someone addresses me by name to say thank you, it means a lot more than a generic message.
The same goes for your customers. A personalized message just means more – it means you’re listening to them, you want to get to know them, and most importantly, you value them.
If you can swing it, send personalized, hand-written thank you cards to your customers.
If it’s just not feasible for you to take this route, a direct mail piece or an email can be designed as a “thank you” that can be personalized to include your customer’s name.
2. Create a special offer “just for them.”
A customer has engaged positively with your brand – this is a good opportunity to thank them.
A good way to thank them is to send them a special offer personalized to them based on their experience through email, on social media, or through direct mail.
Ideally, you would communicate with them via the channel they initiated communication, at least until you learn their preferred communication channel(s).
Personalization makes a difference in your offer simply because personalized offers are powerful.
Over 78% of consumers will only engage offers if they have been personalized to their previous interactions with the brand.
Take the time to learn what you can from your initial interactions with customers and craft offers for them accordingly. Not only will this make them feel valued, but they’ll also be more likely to take advantage of the offer and do business with you again.
3. Offer a rewards/loyalty program your customers will love.
If you want to encourage customers to come back to you again and again, reward them for it!
By giving them a reward, whether it’s a coupon or points to redeem for special offers, you’re thanking your customers for continuing to engage with you and offering them value while making them feel valued.
Reward your customers for anything from interacting with you on social media to making a purchase.
Did a customer sign up for your eNewsletter?
Refer a friend?
Reward them (with a big reward because referrals are awesome!).
Figure out what interactions customers can take with your brand, especially those that lead to a sale, and reward each one of those with customized offers.
Take your rewards program to the next level by making it into a game.
Gamification is very real and effective engagement strategy. Some of the best rewards programs and successful mobile apps use gamification to increase engagement.
When done right, gamification rewards us for having fun.
Gamification works because it aligns with the way our brains process rewards.
As we complete levels or challenges or earn medals and receive rewards, the neurological pathway responsible for that rush of dopamine (neurotransmitter responsible for the elation, positivity, & all-over good feeling) is activated.
This pathway of the brain is called the mesolimbic pathway or mesolimbic dopamine system. It is sometimes referred to as “the rewards pathway” and it’s called that for a reason – actions that activate it are rewarded and therefore, often repeated.
Pair that with the sense of achievement we get from “beating the game” or “leveling up”and you have an environment built to encourage engagement.
Create a rewards program that makes people feel good about themselves and they’ll want to come back to repeat the experience over and over again.
4. Send them some birthday love.
Thanking your customers and making them feel valued is important. Sending them something for their birthday does both and makes your customer feel special on top of it.
This could be something small off their wishlist with a coupon for their next purchase, it could be company swag with a coupon for their next purchase, or it could just be a gift card with a message wishing them a happy birthday.
As a business, acknowledging their birthday is one way to make them feel special, a gift takes it up a level and will hopefully create a delightful experience they’ll remember (and want to share).
As your relationships with your customers grow and you learn more about them, you can add in other important dates too, without crossing over the line to creepy.
5. Surprise first-time buyers with a gift.
Customer retention starts with the first interaction.
With today’s buyers, that first interaction might not be a purchase, and that’s okay. Just make sure that when a customer does make that first purchase from you, you create a rewarding, delightful experience to wow them.
It doesn’t need to be a huge gift that puts your business in the red, it just needs to be a little something free, just for them, to thank them for choosing to do business with you (instead of your competitors).
Add in some introductory information about your fantastic rewards program and you’ll set the relationship on the path towards retention.
The better their first experience with you, the easier it will be to keep that positivity going and build loyalty.
Your business needs to make human connections.
People like dealing with people.
Whether we always remember it or not, customers are people.
As businesses focused on, well, doing business, sometimes we lose sight of the fact that our customers are people instead of dollar signs in our reports.
They have lives, needs, wants, and problems of their own to tackle. Sometimes our products/services help our customers solve some of their problems.
What about the people they are beyond their pain points?
That’s where customer retention makes an impact and where thanking your customers and valuing them as people makes a big difference.
Treating your customers like people and making that human connection with them builds relationships.
Relationships are where you’ll find opportunities to increase customer loyalty and retention.
And with that, there’s just one thing left to say – thank you.
How are you thanking your customers?
Connect with the VIG team to get on the right track with customer retention.