Successful business never, ever underestimates the power of customer appreciation—even the simplest of gestures. What better time of the year to tell your customers why they’re special than in December when everyone is spreading good cheer, regardless of what they are celebrating.
Businesses that proactively use appreciation attest to its powerful value. If you can effectively embed appreciation into your culture– and demonstrate it— you’ll leave the competition in your dust.
Customer loyalty trumps customer satisfaction
Research shows that customer appreciation builds loyalty, a much stronger value than customer satisfaction. Loyal customers build and create profitability. They not only return again and again, but also they spread the word about you, even help you get new ideas for services and products. Just consider a few stats:
- Acquiring new customers can cost 5 times more than satisfying and retaining current customers
- Customer profitability rate tends to increase over the life of a retained customer
- Sales campaigns launched for existing customers have success rates as high as 70%
You can express appreciation on any budget, large or small
The best aspect of expressing appreciation is that every business can do it, no matter how large or small the organization or the budget. (One astute, but cash-strapped president simply called up every customer one year to say thank you.)
So during this holiday season, don’t assume your customers feel appreciated: tell them what you think and demonstrate a little love—with these suggestions.
Personalize: Don’t under estimate the tried and true: “snail mail” for cards, hand signed please! or dropping by in person with a gift (instead of a delivery service).
Practice stand-alone appreciation: Don’t ever, ever send holiday greetings along with an invoice or an advertisement for buying more.
Remember what your mother taught you: Use and say the words, “thank you”, and write and/or state your customer’s name to demonstrate that you truly do remember who they are and what they mean to you.