30 Clever & Fun Ways To Thank Customers
To build loyalty, it isn’t enough to say “thanks” once in a while or offer a discount here and there. In order to stay in the customer’s minds and hearts, you need to put in the extra effort.
We’ve reached out to a number of entrepreneurs who described to us how they thank their customers – and compiled 30 examples of how they do it. Take a look:
The handwritten thank you note still remains a popular and easy way to quickly thank customers. But do you send it out with every order? Carolyn of Steve Henderson Fine Art shares,Send a handwritten note
We sell original paintings and thank all our clients by sending a small gift – generally a series of greeting cards with images of Steve’s paintings on them. We also incorporate a personal thank you letter in every (extremely well packaged) parcel.
Ryan of Phonewagon claims it’s crucial to keep giving to your prospect – whether it’s a recommendation to a potential client, an insider statistic or a piece of data.Share insider knowledge
Everyone can build a relationship with a customer by playing golf with them. When it comes to getting expert advice on software for example, where do they go? Have something other than your product they can trust you with.
Everyone knows how hard it is to please a new client vs. an older one. To Kate from San Francisco’s GrubMarket, BOTH are equally important! Her answer? The “Taste of Love” program:Send them weekly snacks
New customers get gifts of full size products with a note from us. For regular customers, we put in new foods we carry. One week this may be eggs and bagels for a weekend brunch, another this may be fresh baked bread and baby carrots to build out a lunch!
The strategy of sending birthday gifts is paying off in droves, according to Robin from NJ-based The Thank Tank. Here’s how she does it:Give a birthday gift
Annually, we review birthday lists. We write personal notes on note cards with corporate logos, wrap and ship cookies so each package arrives at everyone’s home in time for their birthday. It’s always neat & unexpected.
Janet from Pet Stuff Resale of Houston showcases happy customers with their pets – an effortless yet lovely gesture all the same:Promote them on your site
When clients bring their pet for a nail trim or when buying pet supplies from my business, I take their picture and post it in my page. Even guys like it:)
Do you have that one customer that really stands out in your mind? Here’s what Jessica from Arizona’s Killough’s Kustoms did to return the favor:Give a birthday gift
I had a customer who purchased multiple items & spread the word about my business on multiple occasions. I wanted to thank her in a big way so I made an extra decor piece as a surprise totally customized to her & a gift certificate to us.
For many businesses it’s dually important to network: not only to show customers you care, but to get your name out and gain referrals. A particularly useful tip from Greco Realtors:Customer appreciation day
Connect with past, but more importantly potential clients. Invite everyone you know, and don’t hold back – whether it’s a banquet hall, conference party, or even your house. They’ll remember your hospitality and generosity.
If you got customers close by, why not schedule them in for a lunchtime talk? Chicago’s James Nelson is quick to point out how easy it is to organize something like this:Invite them to your work
We have a small office, so it’s easy to invite a customer for a talk or presentation on a topic of interest. The benefit is two-fold: You’ll understand what they do better and they’ll teach your team a thing or two!
A kitchen and bathroom remodeling firm from Seattle, Baywolf Dalton likes to donate to food banks on behalf of their past clients. Nancy shares:Give to a cause in their name
I had donation notes sent to my clients from Rotary First Harvest with how many servings of fruits / vegetables our gift in their name has provided. $50 provides about 2,000.00 servings of fresh produce to people in need in our area.
Megan and Amber from NYC’s Visual Country graphics do a simple cookie delivery for their clients. Cheap, effective and something that keeps the company “fresh” without being over the top.Send them cookies
We send hand delivered homemade cookies for clients every Valentine’s Day. Something nice to snack on and a simple thank you. We package cookies with a hand written note, don’t ask for business, just a little hello & thanks for choosing us!
Are you dealing with B2Bs? What better way to say thanks than an offer to interview them or share their guest post on your blog. Rachel Go from Hubstaff shares:Portray them in your blog
Guest blogging is great for capturing external backlinks to help with SEO. The more backlinks you have from authoritative websites, the more trustworthy your domain will be seen as by Google.
Sometimes it pays to surprise. Solomadrid from MMA Somnia, a martial arts consultancy – knows how to motivate, leave the customer smiling and pack a punch at the same time (no pun intended):A surprise with the product
Let’s say a lady named Jane from Manhattan buys a pair of our boxing gloves. First, I’ll draw a very basic (usually stick figure, hah) of Jane wearing boxing gloves like she is ready to box. In the background I’ll draw the Manhattan skyline. Above it I’ll write “First Manhattan, next the world!”
You can simply say thanks by listening and building a better product. Vitaliy of Helprace, a customer engagement software sums it up well:Collect & implement ideas
Everyone who’s engaged with your product has a story to tell. Usually, that story is told through feedback. Customers will know that you care (that their voice matters) when you’re there to listen, take that into account and build what they need.
This one requires quick thinking, but the payoffs can be huge. Here’s how Lynel from San Diego’s Brown Safe Mfg turned around a customer service situation with an expecting mother:Celebrate their milestone
We received a large order from a woman who was expecting her first child. We were running behind with her order and couldn’t get it to her in time. We sent a gift basket with hand-picked baby items – the gesture turned an upset client into a raving fan who has referred a number of her friends.
Bryan from GreenPal, an “Uber-Style” lawn care service came up with a strategy to ensure customers tell their friends and keep coming back. And it works like a charm:A gift for a loved one
On sign up, our customers indicate if they have pets or not. If there are any dogs, we send dog bones along with a thank you card. Not only is this cheap but it lets our customers know that we are listening and that we care. We follow up with an email.
Why not highlight a holiday important to you and give back at the same time? Samantha did just that with her NC-based IVIVIIV cosmetics brand on Twitter. Here’s what she did:Reach out during a holiday
I am a single mother running a business, so I know it can be a job that never ends. On Mothers’s day I decided to have mothers tag me in a make up look, where they felt beautiful, with my hashtag and describe what being a mother means.
Forget about holiday cards – that’s what Michele at Chicago-based SENDaBALL does to make customers “bounce” with joy:A fun, signed token
I sent the top 10 customers a ball in the mail with a note on it saying “we sure do have a BALL with you as our customer”. Each one of them – all 10, reached out to me via email / phone to say how they had never actually gotten a ball themselves & how they appreciated it.
One reward card company made loyalty their policy. Jim of Florida’s Aegis FinServ has a way of showing appreciation to customers, month after month:A regular, monthly draw
To show our appreciation we routinely (every month) select randomly 25 customers and provide at our cost, a gift card to one of our customer reward card restaurants for $100.00.
An Ohio-based Hyers & Associates decided to act when their customer had an unfortunate situation. Adam shares his story of good deed:Help in a difficult situation
I was working on a couple’s insurance plan as he was turning 65. Soon after, the wife called me to say her husband’s car had broken down near my office. Like any good agent, I drove out, picked him up and got him home so he could arrange for a tow.
Loyal customers are valued at All Set, Boston’s house cleaning marketplace. Here’s how Christine shows her love for customers in a unique way:Help them help someone
We sent our most loyal customers gift certificates for three free house cleaning to give to their neighbors, coworkers or friends. They already know how wonderful it is to come home to a clean home and wanted to give them an opportunity to do the same for others.
Know someone that can put a smile on your client’s face? Why not pull some strings and make things happen? iPartnerMedia‘s Randy shares his story:Use connections to surprise
A Florida client was honored by a visit from Florida Governor Rick Scott and awarded a Business Ambassador Award. We arranged for an autographed photo of the event from the governor’s office, framed & presented it to our client.
One business owner took an unusual step in thanking a very important client. Jesse from LA-based Zeus Legal Funding explained:Pay their medical bills
We had a customer who brought us a huge case. It was the biggest case that our company had in its history. I knew she was having surgery soon and she had no medical insurance, so I paid for her surgery & visited her at the hospital.
If you have a clients that offer a number of products and services, why not support, give & donate in one step? Kenneth of Twin Citie’s Kunkle trademark, media & legal came up with a three-step idea:Combine gift + marketing
One of my clients makes socks. I sent one pair to each client, sent the same to homeless shelters, and supported a client’s business all in one step. We got great feedback on the novel gift, along with the supported cause.
Haralee from Haralee, a women’s cooling sleepwear store likes to surprise frequent customers with a hat or a small fan. But that’s not the only thing she has up her sleeve:Mail a “forgotten discount”
Some customers would not use a discount code with their order and we would mail them a rebate check. They were always thrilled!
When giving back, why not focus on the important thing in a client’s life – their children? Debra Brenton, an executive coach, shares:Help their kids out
My executive coaching work is for senior executives, paid for by the company. When I have a relationship with a client and learn about his family I make the offer to give his son/daughter graduating from college free career advice.
Looking to do something more fun than a Christmas card? William from NYC-based IdeaRocket prefers things that stick around on a desk in someone’s office for a long time:Crafted office supplies
What we came up with was a flipbook. It’s a little book about forty pages, and you unfold it with your thumb to reveal an animation. In this case, it was Santa on a rocket. It was a nice fit for our brand because we’re an animation studio.
Robin from UK’s Au Pair in America says that her gifts are extra memorable because they promote a family activity. Can’t say we disagree with this clever tactic!Encourage a family activity
Last December, I mailed each of my clients seed paper from Etsy in fun holiday shapes (snowflakes, etc.) Because my business focuses on children, I include the entire family in whatever items I send. Clients loved it & enjoyed the activity.
Jimmy, a photographer and owner of Montreal’s Pixelicious realized he spent too much time on coffee gift certificates. He instead started to offer bundled gifts related to his business:Create a VIP program
I’ve decided to offer family portraits, something that will last a lifetime instead. Didn’t stop there though, a surprise large acrylic print was given as a gift, hand signed and delivered to the client’s home. Clients will remember you made them feel special and continue to be loyal and supportive.
Anne at Missouri-based AnnabelleEvents wants every customer to walk away happy after their event. Depending on who they are – every client gets a personalized gift:A surprise with every purchase
Depending on the client, they will receive either a blanket and two half champagne bottles, or a travel backpack with a large champagne bottle and gifts inside. We also include a handwritten note from our event planner.
Brian at Colorscience of San Diego gives away surprise samples – but only to customers who spend over a certain amount. The benefits are two-fold:Give away free samples
For starters, everyone loves freebies.. this goes a long way in establishing good will with our customers. We are able to easily expose our existing customer base to other products which they may not be familiar with. This gives us a low cost way of potentially upselling.
Thanking is easier said than done
Thanking is literally easier said than done – your front-lines employees need to be given the tools and freedom to make these decisions. Here’s how you can empower your support employees to surprise customers.