This is the time of year when we spend time reflecting. It also presents a great opportunity to say thank you and express gratitude to your clients. Why is this practice important? It's one of the keys to a happy and fulfilled life. With our hectic, fast paced, and busy schedules, we can all benefit from taking the time to recognize those who have made a difference in our lives. Clients want to feel valued and remembered. It's amazing how far a simple "thank you" from the heart can go especially in strengthening business relationships.
As a self-employed, small business owner you want to be creative and thoughtful in your approach. Expressing your gratitude in a sincere and memorable manner is a great way to distinguish yourself from your competitors. Recognition and gift giving doesn't have to be costly or complicated but it does need to be heartfelt in order to be effective. Your clients will probably end up thank you by being more loyal in the future. Here are some ideas to get you started.
5 Easy Ways to Thank Your Clients
- Hand written thank you notes are a lost art but still make an impact. Use information in your contact management system to personalize the message. Instead of writing ‘to you and your family', be even more specific and mention family members or partners by name. Get a head start, space the effort out and take your time so your writing doesn't look rushed. Remember to write a custom message for each client. Find stationary or note cards that reflect your business's personality. Taking the time and effort to write a thoughtful, personalized note shows a deeper level of thanks. Most importantly, when you thank them for their patronage do so without asking for anything in return.
- Handmade goods make a nice impression. Make a thank you gift that will be memorable and distinctive. Find a recipe for a jelly, jam, salsa or cookies. You can make large batches in a short amount of time, making it possible to give gifts to a large number of clients. There are many decorative tins, jars and boxes that can help with a more professional presentation. Include the recipe on the gift label with your business contact information for that extra touch.
- Donate to a local charity in the name of your customers. For example, a local chiropractor donated 10% of the proceeds from every service that month to the local food bank. The chiropractor made sure to include the names of his clients on his donation letter. Many non-profits will allow you to make donations online. Continue the momentum by sharing the recognition on your business page on Facebook and other social networks.
- Client appreciation activity such as a group breakfast, group coffee session, evening dinner or happy hour. You can partner with a local restaurant, chef or caterer to host a client appreciation event. Invite them to bring a friend and come socialize. Celebrate with good food, music and each other's company. It's a perfect time to connect with clients outside of the appointment or service. In late November, a pediatric dentist could host a customer appreciation party by partnering with a movie theater during a matinee. The kids and parents get to enjoy a family movie, and the dentist and staff get to show their gratitude for their patronage. You can also get other small business owners with mutual clientele to co-sponsor these activities, sharing in the expense and responsibility. These types of events will take a little more work on your party but the client engagement will be worth it.
- Personal phone calls to your clients wishing them a safe and enjoyable holiday season. When was the last time the owner of a business called you to say thanks? This is a great way to make a lasting impression. Let clients know you are grateful for their business today and every day. Share the excitement of a prosperous year to come. If you have to leave a voicemail message, have an outline written out so you don't miss any of your key talking points. Be personal, specific and express your gratitude but never use this opportunity to up sell or ask for a favor.
Finding ways to say thank you to clients this time of year should be fun and creative. There are numerous opportunities to extend your gratitude and make a lasting impression without needing a hefty budget. Focus on authenticity with sincere gestures and activities that increase engagement with your clients. Your ultimate goal is to delight your clients. Do so by expressing your thanks and gratitude today and throughout the entire year.
Want more ways to say thank you to clients? Read Showing appreciation to clients with personalized gifts.
Make client engagement your competitive edge. Read more business ideas that work for soloprenuers:Turn your contacts into loyal clients in 4 easy steps.
What do you do to show appreciation to your clients this time of year? Share your ideas and insights.