best ways to show thanks in the officeIt’s amazing how far a simple “thank you” can go.

Studies show that customers will spend more money and refer you more often if you show them how much you appreciate their business.

That seems like a no-brainer.  Unfortunately, that’s how a lot of businesses approach saying thank you to new and loyal customers—with little thought.

Sending out a pre-printed “Thank You for Your Business” card is a fail and a missed opportunity.

The key to any interaction with a customer is sincerity. To create loyalty, you must show customers that you not only are grateful for their business, but that you value their relationship.

It can be challenging to find the right balance between staying professional and nurturing a personal connection.  Here are 5 suggestions:

Send a Handwritten Note

There’s no better way to show your customers how much you care than with a personalized, handwritten note.  Be thoughtful. Reference a conversation or part of their order that shows this card is specifically for them. Be timely—there’s a shelf-life for thank-you notes.  If you wait too long they become less effective. Most importantly, don’t use it as a sales opportunity to sell them more product or services.  This is customer-building, not sales.

Here are some tips to writing a killer customer thank-you note.

Send a Personalized Gift

Did you pick up during your conversations with your client that they have a fondness for a certain food, or cocktail or sport? Use that to find a gift that is special to them. When your customer realizes that you’ve heard what they said from both a business and personal perspective, you will have scored major points!

Here’s a few ideas to spark some inspiration:

  •    Put a customized peel-and-stick label with the customer’s name or logo on a bottle of wine.
  •    Are they coffee aficionados? Buy them a subscription to a Coffee of the Month Club.
  •   How about tickets to a local sports team?  It doesn’t have to be courtside seats to the Lakers—general admission to a Savannah Bananas baseball game will be just as appreciated.  And, no, don’t go with them. You want to dip your toe into their personal world, but don’t cross over the line.

Celebrate a Special Holiday

Sending out holiday cards is expected.  Sending out birthday cards is always appreciated. But, celebrating National Dental Health Month (February) with your dental clients or National Insurance Awareness Day (June 28) with your insurance clients?  That’s something they’ll remember.  How about celebrating National Candy Month (June) or National Chocolate Cupcake Day (October 18) with an unexpected gift of goodies?

Find a special holiday that will speak to your customer.  It’s a small gesture that will have lasting impact.

Make a Charitable Contribution

If there’s a charity you know your client is involved with, on the board of, or passionate about, make a contribution in their name. This a very special gesture of appreciation.

Give Them a Discount

Nothing speaks louder to your client than saving them money!  Give them a discount—10%, 25%, or something for free—whatever is reasonable for your business.  Depending on the nature of your business always discount the next project, not the current one, to keep them coming back.  Give discounts very sparingly with special clients. You don’t want to lessen your brand.

Granted, expressing thanks to your customers is yet another thing to put on your overcrowded “To-Do” list, but don’t think it’s not important.  It’s these intangibles—gratitude, respect, courtesy—with which you will ultimately grow your business.

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