In a world where customer loyalty is on the decline, customer service professionals have to think of new and innovative ways to create a lasting bond with customers.
According to research conducted by Verint Systems Inc., on average only 60% of respondents have been with their current service provider for over three years (this is a decrease from 85% in a similar 2012 study). This list of providers includes such essentials as grocery stores, utilities, insurance companies, banks or credit-card companies.
This means 40% of respondents have not made it for three years with essential service providers—institutions that are fundamental to most people’s daily existence like grocery stores and banks! But the concept of customer loyalty isn’t lost, it just needs to be reimagined. The bottom line is that customers want companies to show loyalty to them, not the other way around.
But as competition increases across all sectors, how can you show your dedication to a customer and come off as authentic?
The answer? By hosting a Customer Appreciation Day.
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Customer Appreciation Day is an excuse to celebrate your customers and show them what they mean to you. Since this is your event, the holiday can be whatever you make of it. It can be a huge deal with unique graphic design, logos, and giveaways, or it can be a low key affair filled with heartfelt emails and personal mentions on social media.
Ultimately, a Customer Appreciation Day is an opportunity for your company to choose a date to express gratitude to your customer base. With all the ads, spam, and solicitations consumers have to go throw on a daily basis, you have an opportunity to stand out by giving them something instead of asking them for something.
So, like a birthday or anniversary, why not pick a date and celebrate it with your customers every year?
If you’re on board, here are some customer appreciation ideas to get your holiday planning started.
In a world where email and text reign supreme, the mailed note has taken a backseat. It would seem that anything that takes too much effort is no longer celebrated, since that would be the antithesis to efficiency (which, let’s face it, is everybody’s favorite buzzword).
Yet sending a simple thank you card can do wonders to show gratitude, as people are aware that it takes a lot more effort to send a card than a tweet. A writer over at the Shopify blog wrote about an experience he had where he bought a shirt at Brooks Brothers. The sales associate, Garth, was an incredibly attentive salesman, who helped him with all the details of his new purchase. To the writer’s surprise, he received this thoughtful, handwritten note in the mail several weeks later. It was something so small, but entirely memorable and delightful to the author.
The following are keys to a successful thank you card:
Sales and promotions can be a dime a dozen. As Timi Garai writes on the Ecommerce Loyalty Marketing Blog:
But there is a secret way to making promotions personal. As Garai continues to point out, loyalty comes out of creating a program that deals out personalized offers, surprises, exclusive pre-order abilities, and special treatment.
This is the difference between an effective loyalty program and random sales. Create promotions that reward customers for their loyalty, and make them feel truly special. Use this program all year round, and offer an extra special promotion on Customer Appreciation Day to remind them why they shop with you. Try loyalty promotions for your Customer Appreciation Day like:
And don’t forget, if you don’t have a customer loyalty plan, your Customer Appreciation Day is the perfect time to launch one.
If you are short on Customer Appreciation Day event ideas, consider hosting a digital event. What this entails is picking a date (in this case, your Customer Appreciation Day), and doing the following through social media:
You can even throw a Facebook party or even hold a Twitter Chat if you don’t want to plan this event across several social media platforms. Whether you plan a platform specific event or a more general digital party, use the following tips to create an effective social media marketing campaign to promote your event:
The popularity of subscription boxes in recent years proves that small trinkets can make a huge difference in a consumer’s happiness. As Fast Company writer, Elizabeth Segran, writes, “The monthly subscription box is all about bringing back that element of discovery and surprise.”
If you run an ecommerce business, send little coupons, stickers, or extras that can be packaged with orders on your Customer Appreciation Day. Swag ideas can run the gamut from:
If you are selling software or digital products, you can still send an accompanying email with coupons or rebates, thanking customers and announcing Customer Appreciation Day! They will remember this gesture, and regard it as a genuine expression of client appreciation.
The point of Customer Appreciation Day is to put a smile on your customers’ faces. It will give them a reason to think about you later, and will forge a stronger bond between you and them. But you shouldn’t forget that every day is Customer Appreciation Day, and that means showing your gratitude every chance you get.
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