How do you feel when someone appreciates your time and effort? It feels good, doesn’t it? This is the kind of reaction you want to emulate for your customers. After all, they are the cornerstone of your business and it’s only fitting that you express your appreciation for the people who fuel your company.
Did you know that some customers who feel unappreciated would rather take their business elsewhere, in favor of another company that knows how to value them? According to a marketing study, 68 percent of clients leave because they think that the company does not care about them, which is an indication of how important customer appreciation is to the success of a business.
If you run a business whether it is a boat rental business or dive center, here are some ideas to help you express your gratitude for your loyal customers.
Send handwritten thank you notes
In this day and age, it’s easy to send an email to thank customers for their business. You can have a template for that and simply change the name of the recipient. But why not go the extra mile to show your appreciation by giving a handwritten thank you note? Customers are more likely to appreciate the effort and charm of a handwritten note than the usual email or Facebook message.
Give your note a personalized charm by using the customer’s name and make it stand out by using quality stationery or cards. Mention an endearing part of the trip to show that the note is specially meant for them and not just a generic card then sign it with a warm closing remark.
Discounted offers for special occasions
Show your loyal customers how important they are by giving them special offers during holidays like Valentine’s Day, Christmas, New Year, etc.
You can also track your customers’ birthdays in a logbook or online record system and send them a special offer at least a month before their birthday. Invite them to avail of the special offer on any day during their birth month to encourage them to book with you again.
Perks for five-star reviews
Give a token of appreciation such as free merchandise, complimentary add-on service, or discounts to customers who recently gave your business a five-star rating on Google, TripAdvisor, or Yelp or recommended you on Facebook local business pages. For example, if you prefer to give free merchandise you can send the client a free cap, shirt, or mug with your logo on it. If you want to encourage the client to book with you again, you can offer the person a free add-on such as an additional free hour use of the kayak or paddleboard on their next trip.
Let the customer know that you value his service by leaving a comment on the review site. Inform the individual that you are rewarding him with a perk and request him to contact you for instructions on how to claim it. This presents an opportunity to show customers that you appreciate their business and at the same time send a message to other people that you care about your clients. It may also inspire other customers to write their five-star review for a chance to get a similar perk.
Create a loyalty program
Establishing a customer loyalty program is a great way to retain customers by rewarding them for their repeat purchases. A small business can give their customers loyalty cards which you can update every time the client makes a repeat booking or for a more modern approach, you can create a mobile-friendly platform where customers can enroll online. Take, for instance, Nemo Diving Center which created a mobile app so that their clients could stay up-to-date with their scuba courses, events, membership, and loyalty points.
Start a referral client program
If you like the idea of rewarding customers with a loyalty program, you might want to consider coming up with a referral program to encourage clients to refer their relatives, friends, and colleagues.
Make the incentives clear by stating what a client will get back in exchange for each successful referral. An example of an incentive is a discount (e.g. 15% discount) on the person’s next booking or a free product or service.
For an effective referral program, it’s advisable to add conditions to the reward such as:
- Minimum purchase amount – Make it clear if referrals only count if they spend a certain amount
- Referral period – Mention the start and end dates of your referral program. If you have a cancellation policy, you might want to stretch the time frame of the reward redemption to ensure that the booking is served.
- Number of allowed referrals – How many times can one client make a referral? Indicate if there’s a limit or if the client can make multiple referrals.
- Reward usage – For discount rewards, mention if the client can only apply one discount for each trip or if it’s possible to use accumulated discounts for one trip.
There are a number of online tools in the market that you can consider using to make referral enrolling, tracking, and rewarding easy and convenient.
Appreciation goes a long way
These are just a few ways to thank your customers but you can think of other ways to show appreciation and make them feel that they made the right decision of choosing you. Expressing your gratitude will not only build strong customer relationships but also help set you apart from your competitors.