It’s the season to be thankful, and as a small business owner, I bet one thing you’re thankful for this year is your customers. After all, without them, you couldn’t make a profit, grow your business or achieve your dreams of independence and freedom. But do you let your customers know just how thankful you are for their business? There’s no time like the present.
Here are some ideas for giving thanks to your customers:
- Send a thank-you note. It may sound corny, but these days, a handwritten thank-you note really makes a big impression. Set aside 15 minutes a day to write notes telling customers why you appreciate them and how much you enjoy working together.
- Hold an event for your best customers. It could be a luncheon hosted by your business, a late-night shopping event after your store closes down to the public or a free seminar where you show them how to do something. The point is to make them feel valued and special.
- Make them an offer. Send a thank-you in the form of a coupon, discount, free gift or other special offer. Make it meaningful (no skimpy 5 percent off) and make it clear that there are no strings attached—it’s simply to thank them for their business.
- Pick up the phone. If your business relies on one-on-one sales, why not contact your customers with a “thank-you” call? Tell them you’re calling to thank them for their business, see how your product or service is working out for them, and ask if there are any problems or concerns you can help with. Basically, you’re opening the way for them to let you know their needs; then you can step in and suggest how you could meet those needs.
- Say it wherever you can. Think about all the touch points where your business interacts with customers. Do you say “thank you” whenever a customer makes a purchase in your store? Even if they don’t buy that day, do you thank them for coming in? What kind of message is your email signature sending when you respond to a client? What automated responses do customers get when they complete a purchase on your website or call into your 800 number? Make sure that all the ways you interact with customers leave an impression of gratitude. Last impressions matter just as much as first ones do.
Your SCORE mentor can help you think of other ways to thank your customers. Don’t have a mentor? Visit the SCORE website and get matched with one to get free business advice 24/7. How will you tell your customers you appreciate them this Thanksgiving?