For many of us a customer appreciation day can be an effective marketing tool as well as a way to thank customers and clients for their loyalty and patronage. There are many different options; some events last just one day while others span several days. Some events use "give-aways"; others entertain with decorations, food, and games.
So how can a business make a customer appreciation day a success and show their customers that they really do care? In Arizona, at the Oro Valley Public Library, customer appreciation cards are given to everyone when they make a purchase at one of the bookstores for more than $5. Each time they get a stamp, and when they get ten stamps, the card can be redeemed at any of the affiliated book stores for $5 off any purchase.
Customer appreciation day at a Silver City t-shirt store in Las Vegas is giving 10 percent off on all purchases and handing out bottled water and snacks to all customers. Celebrating their first anniversary of their store, they wanted a way to say thank you to all of their customers who have purchased their unique line of shirts.
These customer appreciation days have become social events in smaller communities, and small businesses can reap the benefits of getting to know more local residents. Here are some helpful hints how to organize a customer appreciation day in your neighborhood:
- Plan a customer appreciation date after the busiest season and just before the slow season starts. Here in South Florida, the Internet and Palm Beach Post is ablaze with appreciation events right after Easter; the official end of tourist season in this area. It's a great time to encourage more business and remind people how thankful you are for their support and business.
- Choose promotional products that can give your business a boost. Using your logo on water bottles, coffee cups, fly swatters, etc. keeps your name out there, and at the same time shows your appreciation. Some businesses offer substantial discounts, contests, drawings, entertainment, and treats for children or even pets. Plan what you want to give away and see how it affects your budget. There is no need to go broke on a customer appreciation day; just don't be Ebenezer Scrooge either.
- This is the perfect time to introduce new products or services.
- Send individual invitations in advance to your most loyal customers. Saks 5th Ave. sends out special promotional cards for advance sales and private previews to their most loyal customers. I always appreciate the opportunity to quietly shop for the best sales before everyone else comes into the store.
- Advertise your event in local newspapers or on the Internet - however best the word will get out as to the planned event.
- Involve other businesses in your special day. For instance, customer appreciation time at Keyes Company not only includes t-shirts, mugs, and pens, but also includes affiliates like mortgage brokers, builders, movers, etc. who can promote their businesses and make the event even more special.
No matter what you choose to promote your business, be sure to be there. Be sure to greet customers and learn their names, and be sure to thank everyone for attending your event. If we don't appreciate our customers and tell them, there's someone else who is waiting in the wings to take our place.