Have you ever heard the statistic that it’s five times more expensive to acquire a new client than it is to retain an existing one? While most people think this statistic makes sense, many small businesses spend a lot of time and countless dollars thinking of ways to acquire new customers as opposed to thinking creatively about how to keep the ones they already have coming back for more.
In this article we’ll discuss tips and tricks for how to thank your customers. If applied well, you’ll establish a loyal group of clients that not only return but also advertise for you through word of mouth marketing.
When to thank them
It’s easy to remember to thank your customers when they are loyal and come back time and time again. However, you don’t need to limit yourself to only thanking those select people that are raving fans. A way to create raving fans is to be overly thankful. Here are some creative ideas for opportunities to thank your customers
Thank your customers when they’re new
Making a good impression with new customers is high priority and thanking them for their business is part of that. A great way to connect initially is simply to make conversation with your customers and find out if they’re new. If they are, you can increase their likelihood of coming back by giving them a special offer or a freebie. This is also a great time to get some fresh feedback. Consider asking new customers a few questions (how did they hear about you, what brought them in, etc.). This information can be used to improve future new customer experiences. So few businesses do this that it will no doubt leave a positive impression and may even have them sharing their great experience with their friends.
Thank your customers for referrals
If you make it a habit to find out how new customers found out about your business you may be able to find out who your best referral partners are. To keep referral partners continuing to refer your business make sure you thank them. Hand-written notes and special discounts go a great way in this area.
Thank your customers for their purchase
People like to feel good. You can help people feel good by thanking them. Also, if you’re a small business you can make people feel even better by showing them the impact their purchase makes to you personally. For example, you can thank them for shopping small, or if you’re a minority owned or woman owned business you can thank them for supporting those causes. They may decide to continue to support you over a large competitor for that very reason. Personalized stickers or mini cards that hold your tailored message are great to include with purchases when applying this concept.
Thank your customers for their loyalty
While this may be a no brainer, don’t forget about it. Always keep your raving fans happy by continuing to show them that you appreciate their loyalty. If you have a list of top customers that visit you frequently or have been a customer for a long period of time, it’s a great idea to establish special perks for them. Loyalty programs make thanking top customers easy. More on that below!
How to thank them
Now that you have some additional ideas on when to thank you customers, let’s talk about how to thank them.
Offer Discounts and Rewards
Who doesn’t like a discount or reward? You can offer a rewards program for their loyalty with something like a “buy 10 get one free” card. You can also have percent off coupons or gift cards that you give out for various reasons.
Insider Access and Loyalty Programs
Another way to thank your customers is to give them insider access or invite them to your loyalty program. You can also combine the two so that customers who join your loyalty program receive insider access when they reach a customer milestone. For example, you could give your top customers free or early access to special events or products. You could also do special events for those that have been with you longest. It doesn’t have to be expensive and you can benefit from things like this as well by eliciting feedback from them before you launch new products or services.To determine your top customers in PaySimple, simply access your reports feature and view customers by purchasing volume or length of time.
Get to Know Them Personally
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, and this can help bring additional business to you through positive word of mouth.
Hand-written notes are another way to personally thank your customers. A pro-tip is that you can leverage technology to make it easy to keep their personal information up to date and make you stand out. For example, if a customer has a birthday or big event like a wedding or birth of a new child coming up, you can send them a thank you note along with well wishes for their upcoming life event.
Use Social Media
Social media is a wonderful tool for connecting with customers outside of the business. If you’re a web-savvy (or even just web-friendly) business, open 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 without overspending emails.
Use Their Email
While spamming customers with thank you emails isn’t recommended, sometimes email does best in small doses. Special promotions to a targeted list of email contacts can be a really powerful traffic driver. 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 are using PaySimple, the MailChimp integration makes makes sending email promotions super easy. You can even create top customer lists that you save and use repeatedly to manage your promotional sends efficiently. Additionally, if you have an expiration date on your offers, 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.
Help Them with Their Business
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.
Now that you have some ideas on when and how to thank your customers, what other ideas do you have? Don’t be afraid to get creative. People value gratitude as well as unique and surprising experiences. If you can get your customers talking about your business in a positive way you can create word of mouth that can fuel your business for years to come.