Retaining customers makes good business sense: it can cost as much as five times more to woo a new customer than to retain an existing client.
Customers love feeling special, they crave being part of an exclusive group. Even the smallest thing you to do to show your customer you go out of your way for them will have a positive impact in the customer experience.
Rewarding loyal customers through small incentives and gifts can help retain their business and grow your bottom line.
Try these five strategies, which are adjustable for any budget, to show repeat customer appreciation and make your clients feel special.
1. Host a VIP customer event
Getting in on the guest list can make an important customer feel special. If you organize industry events, host a conference or have a lecture series, consider extending free invitations to your VIP customers.
Customers love feeling special, they crave being part of an exclusive group. To really make your customers feel exclusive, host a cocktail reception for your VIPs with free hors d’oeuvres and an open bar. If you don’t have events, but do have a loyal customer base, you might extend an early-entrance or a specialty sale reception just for loyal customers, complete with food, entertainment and premium deals on your inventory.
2. Say it with flowers
Flowers can be the perfect way to thank an existing customer for repeat business, referral or a new client or as an annual thank-you gift. Just like flowers always earned a smile from your mom, they’re the perfect small gesture that’s both thoughtful and affordable.
In today’s technology age, it’s easier than ever to get special dates in the life of your customer, add it to your CRM, then automatically have goods or services prepared during those special times of the year. That’s working smarter. But don’t ever forget to add a personal touch.
A florist will work with you to come up with an attractive bouquet that matches your budget. The ability to order flowers online makes it easy for you to thank far-flung clients as well as those located just across town.
3. Refer your clients business
The hallmark of a good business person is one who makes connections between clients. If you know that Customer A is planning a wedding for their daughter and Customer B is a florist who specialized in wedding flowers, connecting the two could be mutually beneficial.
Think outside the box and collect customer business cards, with their permission. That way, you can use your network of loyal customers to benefit your clients’ businesses, earning you even more goodwill. As another bonus, this does not cost you anything.
4. Freebie or credit
If you’re on a tight budget but still want to recognize repeat behavior, consider giving a coupon code or a freebie as a surprise. You might include a coupon code for 10 to 25 percent off a future order, or throw in a gift (which could be a free month of your service, free shipping or extra services or an unexpected and unrelated gift such as tickets to a local sporting event or a restaurant gift certificate).
5. Give public credit to loyal customers online or in office
Customers appreciate the positive press that can come when you publicly give them credit for their support. Consider highlighting loyal customers on your website, through blog posts, in social media or with a physical gesture (such as an in-office “wall of fame” with images or plaques).
The price point for this ranges from free to a nominal fee for plaques, photo frames or other physical memorabilia. If you opt for this sort of gesture, email clients or send a handwritten note alerting them of what you’ve done so that they are aware.