First of all, happy Thanksgiving everyone! In honor of the holiday, we’re going to talk today about giving thanks. And nothing says “thanks” better than customer service that goes the extra mile.
It’s a no-brainer that customer service is integral to business growth. Actually, HubSpot proved that customer success does, in fact, equal business success in their report from August 2017, appropriately titled, “Customer Success Feeds Business Success.”
This report found that businesses that value customer service grow at higher rates than businesses that don’t, possibly because 46% of consumers are likely to advocate for businesses they love, and 44% are likely to tell others about a positive customer service experience they’ve had.
Since it’s more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to keep current customers happy, and it’s so beneficial to turn current customers into advocates, many companies are taking this route as part of their growth strategy.
One effective way to do this is to let your customers, clients, and supporters know just how much they’re appreciated.
At this time of year, most companies are composing their annual “Giving Thanks” emails and finalizing the fun details on their holiday card designs. And while these gestures are important, everyone’s doing them, so you’re probably not blowing anyone’s mind with your holiday card or email.
In the end, there’s no better “thank you” than consistent, top-notch customer service.
To say “thank you” to you, our readers, we’ve compiled a quick list of creative ways to thank your consumers that will stay with them all year.
1) Personalize, personalize, personalize (and then personalize some more!)
The same HubSpot report referenced above found less than half of all consumers believe businesses prioritize their success. The easiest way to show that you care is to address your consumer by name. If you’re sending out a “thank you” email this year, use the myriad of technology available in 2017 (almost 2018) to auto-populate fields like first name, company name, industry, location, even interests in your emails to add an easy personal touch. Subject line personalization is also shown to increase open rates.
2) Utilize pen and paper (you remember what those are, right?)
While the high-tech route of personalizing canned emails is simple, using archaic technology like pen and paper will take your personalization to a whole new level. This can work for thank you notes, holiday cards, or anything else. Just seeing that you risked a hand cramp to write them a note will make your customer feel like a priority.
3) Check in regularly (and don’t underestimate the power of scratch off lottery ticket)
Keep a calendar of client birthdays, or even pet birthdays, and send a card (hand-written ideally). Or better yet, check in randomly. Send some flowers or a small gift. Scratch off lottery tickets just because are a seriously fun way to show you care about your clients’ prosperity and happiness (just make sure the industry you’re in doesn’t have regulations against sending gifts to clients!). Whatever you do, just find a way to say, “Hey, I’m thinking about you.”
4) Feed them
Who doesn’t love free food? If there’s a waiting room situation, provide popcorn (it’s the perfect excuse to buy a popcorn machine!) or some other kind of munchies (but hold the nuts for allergy safety). Have water and coffee available for visitors, and if you have an oven, bake chocolate chip cookies. The customer will love to eat them and it’s a proven fact that the smell of fresh baked goods makes people happy.
5) Give social shout outs
Nothing makes you feel more important than when you see your name in lights, does it? Stroke your customers’ ego by choosing a featured customer and giving them a shout out on social media. Let your customers see that you know they’re there, especially if you’re a larger company that doesn’t get a lot of face time with customers.
6) Have a giveaway
An alternative to the social media shout out idea is a good old-fashioned giveaway. You can be creative about how you pull this off. You can ask customers to follow you on social media and pull a lucky follower to feature, or you can choose someone randomly from your sales. Just make sure to be vocal about featuring the winner so that your followers can see your follow-through.
7) Cover a customer’s cost
Covering a customer’s cost is a great way to show you care if you have the means to do so. Because, honestly, who doesn’t love free stuff? Reward a loyal customer with a surprise discount, or even offer goods and services on the house to show you appreciate his or her continued business.
8) Support their success
This is a great one for B2B companies. Did one of your clients meet a milestone or receive an award? Show your support by with a social shout out celebrating their success. Or, even better, show up to the ceremony if they’re being presented with an award.
9) Refer business to them
Have a couple of your clients’ business cards on hand so that if you encounter someone who needs a specific good or service your clients provide, you can refer business their way. The referee will appreciate being guided to a reputable business, and the client will appreciate the business. Ideally, they’ll return the favor later.
10) Be involved in the community
Often clients and customers love to know that a business they support cares about giving back. Hold a poll and have clients vote on what charities they want you to donate to. Or, on a local scale, sponsor a youth sports team or have your employees volunteer with a local charity and post about it on social media.
The holidays are an important time to give back and give thanks, but outstanding customer service gives thanks all year long. There are so many creative and fun ways to show your clients and customers you care that go above and beyond the traditional holiday card.
As for Thanksgiving, we want to take some time out from this blog post to officially say thanks. So many amazing people, so many inspirational companies, so many peers, colleagues, and employees have helped shaped this agency that we all hold dear in our hearts. Thank you to everyone who has made us who we are today.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, get some rest, and take a deep breath, because the season of giving is officially here.