Everyone knows that the key to success in business is loyal customers. So, how can you keep your bevy of customers happy and coming back for more? One way to say thanks for their faithful business is to offer discounts or rewards for return business. Depending on your business model, some options will be better than others, but here are a few ways that your business can thank your customers for their loyalty.
- If you’re a web-savvy (or even just web-friendly) business, set up a Twitter account or Facebook page, encourage your customers to follow you, and then offer them the advantage of special promotions through these channels. Twitter and Facebook promotions are nice because you can send as many promotions as you’d like, and your customers won’t feel personally bombarded since these are kept out of their email inboxes.
- Email is another great way to send special promotions to a targeted list of contacts. Contrary to social media, the key to email promotions is sending them often enough to be memorable but not so often that they’re obnoxious. If you have an expiration date, try honoring the promotion up to a week after for those customers that ask. Little details like this can go a long way to remind your customers why they choose your business over others.
- If you’re a brick-and-mortar business and have direct contact with your customers, try offering familiar faces discounts from time to time. They don’t have to be large discounts, but taking some small amount off will instantly brighten your customer’s day, they’ll probably talk about you back at their office or at the dinner table.
- Do you offer a rewards program? It certainly doesn’t have to be as complicated as trading in credit card points or frequent flier miles. Simple things like a “buy 10 get one free” card keeps your contact info in their wallets and, hopefully, encourages your customers to bring their friends along next time.
- Are you a B2B business? If so, send business to your customers! If you refer your customers to other clients, it’s easy to take the credit without looking like you’re fishing for it. Simply send an email or call your client and let them know that you’ve referred another company or client and pass along the referral’s information. Even if they don’t get the business, they’ll remember that you are putting their name out there.
- Lastly, hand-written notes can go a long way, especially if they have a personal touch. I recently received a hand-written note from my dentist and, while I did appreciate it, it would have meant even more if he had wished me luck on my next big endeavor that we chatted about for an hour between x-rays and cleanings. Another way to get your customers to hang on to your letter is to send your promotions or discounts in hand-written form or sending a printed copy along with the hand-written letter.
Showing your best customers that you appreciate their business is a great investment in the future of your company. These suggestions aren’t designed to be available all the time, but are more meant to be used strategically to make your customers feel that their continued business is noticed and appreciated.