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5 Great Ways to Say Thanks to Your Customers

By: Susan Solovic

 

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The holiday season is just past, but many small business owners, myself included, are searching for ways to say thanks to our customers and clients. Making the right choice is often difficult, particularly with tight budgets. How much should you spend? What’s appropriate and what’s not?

 
To help you make a positive impression, I’ve put together some great ways to say thanks after this holiday season.
 
1. Give a Gift. Start off by establishing a budget for your holiday gifting. Think about how much you can afford per client. Of course, if they’ve spent a significant amount this year, you may want to spend a little more. Keep in mind, however, if you have corporate clients there’s generally a limit on how much they can accept so check with their HR department. Some of the best gifts are things that can be shared with their team members or families. For example, my company sent over-sized chocolate bars with our company logo one year. The goal is to make your customers feel special and appreciated. One of the restaurants I frequent in New York always gives me a bottle of wine during the holidays which I look forward to. So it doesn’t have to be a big, expensive gift. As they say, it’s the thought that counts.
 
2. Send a card. I’m not a fan of snail mail paper cards because I don’t think we need to kill trees to communicate. However, whether it’s a paper product or a digital greeting, a card is a nice way to say thank you during the holidays. If you’re sending cards, be creative. Instead of using the standard “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings” craft a special message, unique to your business, to include with your holiday cheers. If you’re using a digital version, you can add photos of your team or perhaps include a fun holiday video. Whatever you send should remain consistent with your branding messages.
 
3. Give Back. One of my favorite ways to show thanks during the holidays is to donate to a charity in honor of my customers. Once when I was a partner in an advertising agency where most of our clients were corporate, we decided to donate playground equipment to a local children’s shelter in their behalf. We ordered the equipment and when it was arrived, we visited the shelter and took a group picture in our Santa hats sitting on the swings and slide. Then we turned that photo into a card with a note that the children were now enjoying playtime because of our customers, and we thanked them for their continued support. (This was before digital media.) We had an overwhelmingly positive response. Whether it’s a local charity, an industry foundation or even a scholarship fund, you’re clients will appreciate your philanthropic efforts in their honor.
 
4. Special Promotion. We know that customers are price sensitive in today’s market. Everyone is looking for a “deal.” So a special discount or promotion just for your top customers could be a big hit. Send them a gift certificate for a future service or a product. Offer a nice discount on business they do with you in December. Be careful not to make it look as though it’s business as usual. Make sure you communicate to your customers that this is a holiday gift to say thanks for their business throughout the year.
 
5. Open House. Depending on the nature of your business, you may be able to host an open house. This is a great way to invite your customers to stop by your facility for a non-business related event. The best time to host an open house is late afternoon to early evening. Make your office look festive and provide plenty to eat and drink. Let your team know that this is the time to build relationships, not pitch business.
 
These are just a few ways to say thanks to your customers during the holidays without breaking the bank.
 
What do you plan to do in your business?
 
This article was originally published by Susan Solovic
Published: January 22, 2015
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Susan Solovic

Susan Wilson Solovic is an award-winning serial entrepreneur, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Amazon.com and USA Today bestselling author, and attorney. She was the CEO and co-founder of SBTV.com—small business television—a company she grew from its infancy to a million dollar plus entity. She appears regularly as a featured expert on Fox Business, Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC and can be seen currently as a small business expert on the AT&T Networking Exchange website. Susan is a member of the Board of Trustees of Columbia College and the Advisory Boards for the John Cook School of Entrepreneurship at Saint Louis University as well as the Fishman School of Entrepreneurship at Columbia College. 

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