Customer Appreciation Tips

Customer AppreciationRemember, when as a new business owner, you first opened your doors and waited for your first customer? Perhaps you have that first dollar spent in your business framed on the wall. For new businesses, it typically takes at least three years to be profitable. Business owners sacrifice a lot in resources and sweat equity to make their dream of business ownership a profitable venture. Once word gets out, it takes time to build a customer base, and it’s those returning customers that help to build your dream.

Do you take the time to thank those loyal customers? As the holiday season quickly approaches don’t forget to set aside a day to help thank the people that have built your company. In addition to the customers who choose to spend their money at your business, you also should recognize the employees who have helped you build your business.

While not every customer appreciation day has to be the same, there are many different ways that you can show your customers how much their support and business means to you.

Although we are in the Christmas season, some of these ideas are great for a summer picnic as well. Consider these activities and to incorporate into your next customer appreciation event.

  • Keep the kids entertained. Kids are a major driving force behind parent spending. Having things such as a bounce house, face paint, arts and crafts or even games bring in kids and their families. By providing entertainment, families stay in your store longer and you have an opportunity to personally thank your customers for their support. For example, Home Depot periodically hosts a kid’s craft day.
  • Free food. Host a holiday open house with refreshments, prizes and sales as a thank you to your current customer base. Open House events can be a way to draw in new customers as well.
  • Social Media Advertising. What better way to tell your friends to come to a party than by using social media! Ask your peeps to bring a friend and celebrate the holidays at your event. Leverage social media to create buzz around the grand prizes and the fun you’ll be having at your business. Take photos and post live during the event.
  • Live Music. Live entertainment is another great way to draw attention to your business. Followers of the band may also come in to hear their favorite band play. This brings new potential customers to your store. Think of the families that come to watch a high school choral group perform.

Hosting a customer appreciation day is not all about just throwing a party for your customers. There must be positive interaction with them so they know how much you appreciate their business and for new customers to want to return.

Just like any other business decision, the customer appreciation event starts with a plan. Create a budget and stick to it. Start 2016 by setting aside a little each quarter in a designated customer appreciation fund. Capture new email addresses and keep in touch to stay top of mind.

Remember, your customers have a choice where they spend their money. They want to do business with those they like and trust. You want them to do business with you. Take the time to say thank you!

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.

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