It’s the end of the year and the holidays are right around the corner. Have you thought about how you will show your appreciation to your clients for their loyalty and continued business this past year? It is traditional timing to use the end of the year as an occasion to show appreciation, and you can make a big impact with just a little bit of planning.
A recent survey from American Express showed that 48% of small businesses plan to send holiday gifts to their customers this year. Many entrepreneurs are even cutting back on personal expenses to have the money to give holiday gifts to clients.
Ask yourself……. How many of your vendors and service providers thank you with a token of their appreciation during the holidays? How would you feel if they did? An appreciated customer is a loyal, satisfied customer. Data compiled by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) shows a direct link between customer satisfaction and small business profitability. According to ACSI, roughly 68% of clients may take their money to a competitor if they feel unappreciated and that you are indifferent to them.
When business is going well, it’s easy to get complacent and expect that your clients will continue to do business with you because they always have. But in today’s ultra-competitive marketplace, there are five companies just like yours competing for your client’s attention and willing to lure them away if your client feels unloved.
Whether it’s your largest account or a new client that you have yet to dazzle, your customers deserve to see that you appreciate them. The bright side is that you do not have to spend a lot of money to show your appreciation!
Here are some easy ways to show the love and stay top of mind with your clients during the holidays and throughout the year:
- Handwritten notes – get yourself some pretty notecards with or without your logo and get into the habit of choosing a day of the week or at least a day out of the month to handwrite thank you notes to your existing clients. The power of a handwritten note is huge in today’s email world!
- Birthday cards – If you are in sales, it might be easier to gather individual birthdays for your purchasing contacts and send them simple birthday cards. If this is too cumbersome, consider sending Fourth of July or Valentine’s cards to get their attention.
- Host a client appreciation event – Hold a party for folks at your place of business or a special off-site location and give out branded swag along with food, entertainment, and door prizes (this is a great way to engage potential clients too!).
- Feature your clients in your communications – If you have a newsletter or are active on social media, this is a great way to showcase the great things your clients are doing. Let the world know they are opening a new location or holding an event and you will be a rockstar for helping to promote them.
- Send branded appreciation gifts for the end of the year – This is a great way to say thank you to your loyal customers, as well as stay top of mind with your branding on their gift. It doesn’t have to be expensive or overly branded, but a subtle logo on a nice item is always appreciated.
Guest Post by Amber Sheffer
Amber Sheffer is the CEO and Promotional Products Rockstar for JAM Printing & Promotions, with more than 25 years of marketing and public relations experience. In 2013, she founded JAM with her husband Jerry. JAM serves non-profits and businesses of all sizes, using tangible branding pieces to help with marketing and employee/client appreciation.
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