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Customer Appreciation

5 Tips to Improve Customer Retention Rates

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Studies show that it costs small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) 4-10x more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing customer. Existing customers are easier to market, require less service, and have already expressed interest in the company’s brand.

Unfortunately, though, many SMBs struggle with low customer retention rates. If this sounds familiar, check out the following tips to discourage customers from leaving your business and choosing one of your competitors.

Send Happy Birthday Messages

Who doesn’t enjoy a seeing a “happy birthday” message in their mailbox? Whether it’s direct mail or email, you can improve your business’s customer retention rates by sending happy birthday messages. You don’t have to create some highly detailed message, as simple messages often work best. Just make a note of your customers’ birthdays and send wishes when that day rolls around. Customers will appreciate this gesture, increasing your business’s retention rates and overall customer/client satisfaction.

Use a Loyalty Program

In addition to sending happy birthday messages, you can also improve customer retention rates by using a loyalty program. From Best Buy’s “Zone Rewards” to Target’s “REDcard,” thousands of businesses use this strategy to retain customers.

You can follow a similar approach with your business, offering some type of incentive for customers to buy your products and services in the future. For instance, offer customers 1 point for every dollar they spend (or any fixed amount). After customers have accumulated enough points, they can redeem for various gifts, discounts or other perks.

Find Out Why Customers are Leaving

There’s no better way for a business to improve its customer retention rates than to find out why customers are leaving in the first place. Try sending customers a satisfaction survey once every few months, asking them to rate their level of satisfaction with your business and its respective products and/or services. With this information in hand, you can make changes to your business so customers are more likely to stay.

Here are some sample questions to use in your satisfaction surveys:

  • On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend our business to a friend or family member?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with [insert product name here]?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how fast was the [insert product name here] delivered?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to buy another product from us in the future?
  • Is there anything else we can do improve your shopping experience?

Give Customers a Gift

Of course, you can retain more customers by giving them a gift. Doing so shows that you appreciate their business — and it’s the little things like this that really leave a lasting impression. Regardless of your business’s industry/niche, gifts make an excellent, cost-effective solution to improve customer retention rates.

But don’t just give any gift. Instead, give your customers some type of branded gift so they’ll remember from who it came (your business). A branded coffee mug or box of cookies from UdeserveACookie! is an excellent choice. It’s no secret that most people love cookies and coffee, making gifts such as this perfect.

Offer ‘Come Back’ Discounts to Inactive Customers

If a customer hasn’t made a purchase in a while, there’s a chance that he or she may leave your business for good. You can try convincing them to return, however, by offering a “come back to us” discount or promotion. After a prolonged length of inactivity, for instance, send customers a promotional message offering something like 10 or 20% off their next order. Incentives such as this can turn dormant customers active again. And once they are active, customers may stick with your business.

If you’re a small business owner who wants to improve their customer retention rates, contact us today. UdeserveACookie! specializes in gourmet cookie gift boxes, coffee mugs and more. Show your customers you care by giving them one of our signature gifts.

Throw A Client Appreciation Party To Expand Your Business

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As a realtor, you work with a wide range of clients and customers who may or may not appreciate your hard work. However, you can show them that you care by throwing a client or customer appreciation party.

What Is A Client Appreciation Party?

A customer appreciation party is a day-long event that realtors hold to let their clients know that they appreciate their business. The party format is pretty simple: you include hors dourves that can be munched on while your clients mingle; an official meet-and-greet; and a variety of fun events for entertainment.

Why Throw A Customer Appreciation Party?

Client appreciation parties are a multi-pronged affair. First of all, you are showing your customers that you care about their business. Going this extra mile will make them appreciate you as a realtor and will help them be more willing to turn to you in the future for real estate deals.

However, a good customer appreciation party is also a platform for you to find potential sales. No, you shouldn’t come at people like a salesman or try to talk people into buying something they don’t need. But mingling with past and potential future customers can open up great business opportunities.

Who Do You Throw It For?

There are many people to invite to your customer appreciation party. Each of them should be carefully chosen in order to ensure that your party promotes appreciation and helps you find leads for future business. People to invite include:

  • Individuals who have purchased homes from you
  • Businesses that have helped set up purchases for you
  • Owners of multiple pieces of property you’ve sold
  • Landlords that help run rental properties

While you should genuinely attempt to show appreciation to your customers, you also need to remember that you’re trying to find leads. And finding even one or two sales should pay for the party.

Where Can You Host It?

There are many places you can host a customer appreciation party. If you already own your own meeting area, host it there to save on money. If you don’t, it’s worth checking into one of the following venues. These places can be rented out for a day and often include a variety of amenities, such as kitchens and stages for events. They include:

  • Community centers
  • Casinos
  • Outdoor parks
  • Sports venues
  • Restaurants
  • Wine bars
  • Luxury hotels

Typically, the nicer the venue, the more appreciated your customers will feel. So don’t hesitate to go all out on this one. And make sure to include gifts for everyone that arrives, such as a cookie gift box or something similar. Though a small gesture, it’s one that they will appreciate.

What Type Of Events Should I Schedule?

A customer appreciation party should follow a simple schedule that includes a variety of events. This helps make your party memorable. Try to follow this simple guideline for maximum effectiveness:

  1. Official meet and greet – Here, your customers can mingle with each other and expand their potential business reach.
  2. Dinner – A three-course dinner is perfect for this event, including multiple dishes and some type of entertainment, such as a small band.
  3. Raffles – Nothing shows more appreciation than holding a raffle for nice items, such as drills or fondue sets. Your customers will feel like you truly care and they’ll appreciate you even more.
  4. Entertainment – Dancing is always a fun (and relatively inexpensive) way to entertain your guests, but you can also integrate comedians and other fun events to give your customers a good night.
  5. Send-off – When the party is over, plan some kind of slide-show event that integrates thoughtful messages and pictures of your satisfied customers. This will help them feel loved.

As you can see, customer appreciation parties offer a wide range of advantages to your business that you simply can’t pass up. To learn more about boosting customer appreciation and other engaging topics, please contact us today.

Customer Appreciation is Just Plain Good Business: 8 Ways to Show ‘Em You Care

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Every business owner is aware that customers sign his paycheck. Customers are interesting individuals. They look for what business owners offer, and then they recommend it to their friends and family all over social media. Additionally, excellent customer service keeps them returning time and again. That requires sincere thanks. While pens, key chains and a dozen other little goodies are nice for customers to have, customer appreciation takes a little more than that. We’ve compiled a list of eight ways to show your customers that you care. We hope it helps.

One: Contact Them

Every business owner has software recording their customers’ names, addresses, email addresses and in some cases their birthdays. Talking to them often unearths some extra facts that come in handy when business owners want to thank them:

Two:  The Truth Shall Set You Free

Being honest with customers shows respect. Tell them what they want to know about the product or service you provide. When you hold an event such as a sidewalk sale or a special discount on a new shipment, let them know by email or a hand-written note. Offering your wares without hoopla or misrepresentation when that is so prevalent these days will gain their undying gratitude.

Three: Thank Them for Growing Your Brand

You aren’t in business for your health. You are making a name for yourself as well as branding yourself and your product or service. Focus the brand on thanking the customers that made the brand recognized:

Four:  Feedback

Social media is so important in our lives, it would be a shame to use it less wisely. It is there that customers share their experiences, praise or disenchantment with brands or companies and products. Make sure your page is well monitored, posts answered almost immediately, and those customers’ comments are put to good use in the company you run. Knowing they are paid attention to and their suggestions are actually used is some of the best customer appreciation there is.

Five: Video Reaches Everyone

Want to blow the competition out of the water? It only takes ten minutes to shoot a video on your smart phone. Have one of your family or employees hold the phone and shoot while you read off the name of the customer of the month. Call them by name and celebrate the fact that they are an excellent customer and that you sincerely thank them. Upload it to all of your social media accounts, and your competition’s jaws will be on the floor!

Six:  Music Soothes the Savage Breast

While everyone’s taste in music is different, everyone loves it. It doesn’t cost much to buy a gift card to iTunes or some other kind of music service. Send them through the mail to your customers to thank them for being the best customers ever.

Seven: Food Works, Too

A gift card to a local restaurant or a coupon for dollars off the bar or a course at a local restaurant, Starbucks, or perhaps a small business that offers ground gourmet coffees or homemade breads and other bakery items go a long way to thanking customers. After all, we have to eat, right?

Eight: Everyone Has a Sweet Tooth

What do chocolates, yogurt bites, hand-made packages of trail mix and cookies have in common? Everyone’s mouths water when they are presented to them for being excellent customers. You just plain can’t go wrong with sweet stuff, because everyone loves it.

Thanking customers is a vital part of business. Without them, your dreams and goals wouldn’t manifest. You’ve put in a ton of work getting your brand into the public consciousness using social media and other types of advertising. Now that customers are coming to you with credit cards clutched in their seeking fingers, it’s time to thank them. We can help. Everyone loves gift boxes. When they’re filled with gourmet cookies, you’ll have a “thank you” for which they’ll return time and again. Contact us to learn more about our personalized gifts in addition to some outstanding cookies!

Have a Customer Appreciation Strategy and Grow Your Business

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We all like it when we feel appreciated; when someone says ‘thank you’ for something we did or said. We like it even more when we are surprised by a hand-written note that a colleague drops on our desk or that arrives in our mailbox. ‘Thank you’ is a very powerful phrase that never fails to please.

Companies, business people and individual sales professionals have traditionally given a ‘thank you gift’ when a customer closes on a home, or buys a new car. Some do more than that – they send out birthday, Christmas and Hanukkah cards, for example. Some send small gifts as well as a card.

Just as an example, there are Realtors who send their customers a CD of Christmas music, line the roads in their farm area with flags on the 4th of July, and throw a ‘drop-in party’ on their ‘Customer Appreciation Day’. Retailers offer ‘store dollars’ for buying something during their Grand Sale that can be redeemed later. Coffee houses stamp your card every time you buy a coffee, knowing that the more often you buy coffee the sooner you get a free cup.

It’s part of their strategy to keep their customers loyal.  Customer appreciation gifts can be a very powerful business strategy when you use them properly. Giving a gift once is nice; giving a series of gifts is good business. Let’s explore ways to do it properly – regardless of your line of business – so your gifts are welcome and help you grow your business.

The Give-a-Gift Grow-Your-Business Strategy

OK, that’s the theory behind the idea. Now let’s look at how to make it really work. Here are some ideas. Use the ideas to generate variations that work for you in your line of business.

Decide on Your Goals

You want your customers to:-

  • Keep coming back to buy more of what they would buy anyway (another coffee, another sandwich)
  • Buy something new when they make their usual purchase (get the coffee customer to buy a cookie or a sandwich, or to bring a guest, and buy two coffees)
  • Buy more than usual (the spa customer could buy shampoo and skin cream when they visit for their regular manipedi)
  • Refer someone so they become a customer
  • Refer someone else, so you get two new customers

When you have decided on your goals:-

Decide on Your Numbers

How many coffees, how many jars of skin cream, how many referrals? You know the profit on those sales, so you can reward accordingly.

  • Decide how to ramp up your results. 1 free coffee for every 8 coffees bought is common, so you can do better with 1 free coffee for 8 bought, then another free coffee on the 15th, then another on the 21st, another on the 26th, then a free Thank you for being a great customer! mug on the 30th.
  • Your competition probably gives out a free coffee for every 8th, 12th or 14th coffee bought. If your competition gives out a free coffee for every 8th, their customers get 4 free coffees for every 32 bought, but your customers get 4 free coffees PLUS a special mug for just 30 purchases
  • Display seasonal mugs, so your customers can choose a Valentine, Special Son/Daughter, Anniversary mug, etc. As they get nearer to each reward, they will come in more often – people like to win things.

Auto Dealership Example

Potential customers visit your auto dealership. Thank them by giving them a gourmet cookie – just for coming in, and another after the test drive. They say how tasty it is, so you thank them for saying so (never say “You’re welcome.” Tell them how nice they are for the compliment) then tell them you give out a free gift basket to every customer who buys a vehicle from you. People buy from people they like, so if they like the cookies and they like you, and they are going to buy a new car, you might just get an extra sale.

Then tell them that they will get a gift mug with cookies in it at their first service. Make sure they know that they get a gourmet gift basket at their next major service or major purchase (like new tires or a tow bar) because you want to be their sales person or their dealership for life.

Realtor Example

You are a Realtor showing properties to a family.

  • You get them pre-approved for a mortgage – give them a small gift of cookies “To celebrate when they get home.”
  • They find a home and their offer is accepted. Give them a mug each
  • When they close on the home give them a nice gourmet gift basket. Now they have had three simple, low-cost gifts
  • Tell them you will give them another gift basket if they are kind enough to refer someone to you
  • If you have a customer appreciation day, tell them they and their guest will get a gift basket – but only if they bring a guest. This increases your database of prospects

Final Comment

Customers love to feel appreciated, so make them feel good while helping you to do more business. We have lots of ways you can show appreciation, so please click here to contact us. Thank you!

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10 Ideas for Customer Appreciation Gifts

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Showing your customers appreciation for their business is a good way to gain positive word-of-mouth advertising as well as possible repeat customers. If you’re low on ideas for how to show that appreciation, never fear — we have you covered! Here are ten ideas you can use to say, “Thank you!” to your clients and customers.

  1. Cookies – It’s an absolutely well-known fact that everybody loves cookies. Or at least, most everybody loves cookies. Send your customer a UDeserveACookie.com gift basket. There are several choices of gifts that you can choose to show your appreciation, along with a selection of cookies. You just choose your cookies and personalize your order — then we do the rest! 
  2. Fruit Basket – Sites like Edible Arrangements make it easy to send a lovely looking fruit basket without all the hassle. You can have pieces chocolate-dipped, or send them plain-Jane and just let the fruit do the talking. If you wanted it to have a more hand-made feel, you can put one together yourself with fruits, honeys, and/or jellies from local farms.
  3. Flowers – Maybe your client has mentioned having a food allergy or possibly diabetes. If so, sending a beautiful bouquet may be just the ticket. Flowers are a great way to say thanks, and, really, who doesn’t smile when they receive a big bunch of multi-colored blooms? They’ve been scientifically proven to make people happy! 
  4. Physical Gift Cards – If you’re not too sure about sending edibles or flowers, mailing out a nice thank-you card with a gift card inside is also a good option. There are many different ways you can do this gift. Here are some gift cards you may want to consider: local department stores, grocery stores, movie theaters, restaurants, or a specialty shop that your client mentioned specifically that they like or would like to visit.
  5. E-Gift Cards – Many online shopping sites now offer e-gift cards that you can send straight to your customer’s email address. Some of these sites are: Amazon.com, J.C. Penney, Walmart, and Target. You can also purchase e-gift cards for sites like Ticketmaster and Fandango. P.S. — Fandango offers an e-gift card for dinner and a movie. You could knock out two birds with one stone with that one! 
  6. Utility Payments – Maybe you’re not sure about sending a gift or a gift card because you like to send items that are more about function and usability (or, maybe you’re worried about picking out something your client would like). Try talking with one of the utility companies in the area (gas, water, or electric) and see about adding a credit to your customer’s bill. You can’t go wrong with saving someone some money.
  7. Give to Charity – If you have heard that your client is involved with a particular charity, consider making a donation to that charity on their behalf. Does your customer do walks for breast cancer? Do they volunteer at the local animal shelter? Have they mentioned donating to a local homeless shelter? Through conversation, should you find that something like this is close to their heart, making a donation can go a long way in showing your appreciation for your client.
  8. Gas Card – Along the line of the aforementioned gift cards, giving your customer a gas card can be very nice, and very helpful. Whether they moved from across town or across state, having extra gas in the car is always useful. They may have additional running they need to do after they move in, and this kind of gift could really help them out.
  9. Welcome Basket – If your client is new to the area, make them a basket with local-grown fruit and veggies, a map of the town, a list of important phone numbers, and perhaps a gas card so they can drive around and get used to their new surroundings. Also, mark important places on the map for them (ie, hospitals, the police station, grocery stores, etc). This gift is sure to be appreciated and help them feel welcome instead of out-of-place.
  10. Recommendations Basket – Being new can be hard. Your customer may not know anyone in the area, and that would translate into not having any good recommendations for things such as babysitters, pet sitters, lawn care companies, car mechanics, churches, or banks. Put some information together about who you would recommend for these jobs, and place it in a basket with some local items such as fruits, veggies, jams, jellies, homemade baked goods from a church sale, or some goodies for their pets. Remembering the details is a good way to let your customers know that you really do appreciate them.

Showing appreciation can be done in many different ways. Hopefully these ideas have jump-started your creative juices and have helped you come up with new ways to tell your customers, “Thank you.” If you have any questions about these suggestions, or if you would like to place an order for a cookie gift, please contact us. We would be happy to assist you in any way we can.

Tips for Writing Thank You Notes

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Don’t you just love the feeling you get when you receive a personal thank you note? This simple gesture goes a long way. On the other hand, coming up with the perfect thank you note can seem like a daunting task. What should you say? How can you express yourself without getting too flowery, or on the opposite end, coming off as cold?

We ship out hundreds of thank you notes every day, so we have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. From my experience, I think the best thank you notes have these 4 qualities:

Sincere

Briefly mention the specific act of kindness in your note, whether it’s a business opportunity, thoughtful gift, or help during a difficult time. You can also write about how you felt when you received your gift, or how you feel about the person who provided it.

Examples:

  • I’m so grateful for the opportunity to help you find your new home.
  • Just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for the coffee shop gift card.
  • I truly appreciate you helping us care for our grandmother.

Personal

Whenever you can, mention something personal in your thank you note. If you received a gift, mention how you you will use it.  If you received a business referral, tell the referrer about how things are progressing with the new opportunity.

Examples:

  • I am meeting with Mr. Smith to discuss our services next Tuesday, and I will be sure to keep you in the loop as our discussions continue.
  • It gets chilly here in the winter, so I know I will wear the scarf you gave me quite often!

Short & Sweet

A thank you note is about one thing: showing appreciation for the kindness given to you. A good, concise thank you note should have between 4-7 sentences.

Warm Closing

Now it’s time to wrap up your note with a warm closing. There are plenty of options, so use the phrasing you feel comfortable with.

From Hallmark, here are some examples for thank you note closings:

  • Warmly,
  • Love,
  • With love,
  • Lots of love,
  • Love always,
  • Much love to you,
  • Love and thanks,
  • Warmest thanks,
  • Beyond grateful,
  • Feeling spoiled,
  • Gratefully,
  • With gratitude,
  • Blessings,
  • God bless,
  • God bless you,
  • God bless you now and always,
  • ThankyouThankyouThankyou

Looking for more tips for writing thank you notes?

Try the Thank You Note Wizard!

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18 Ideas for Customer Appreciation

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Looking for ideas for customer appreciation? You have come to the right place! Here are 18 ways you can show your customers how much you appreciate them!

1. Send holiday gifts

‘Tis the season to show your customers you care! Spread some cheer and send a holiday card or gift to your customers. You can also get creative by sending gifts or messages on unusual holidays (how about a personalized compliment on National Compliment Day?)

2. Send a birthday gift, discount or card

Everyone wants to feel special on their birthday, so why not send them a card or email to say “Happy Birthday?” You can use Birthday Alarm to setup reminders and send e-greetings. Email services like Mailchimp can collect birthdays and send out special discounts to your customers each year.

3.  Send a handwritten thank you note

In our digitally-obsessed world, it’s an unusual treat to receive a handwritten note. Make it a point to send a handwritten note to every new customer (if volume doesn’t allow, select a few favorites).

4. Cookies (Because Who Doesn’t Love Cookies?)

Show your customers some love and send them some delicious gourmet cookies. Our gift boxes here at UdeserveAcookie come with a personal note and/or custom coffee mugs branded with your logo.

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5. Give them free resources or educational tools

If your product or service comes with a learning curve, be sure to offer your customers as much education as you can. For example, Realtors can provide mortgage calculators and community news on their websites. If you know your client has an interest in a particular topic or industry, send them an interesting article (but be sure not to overdo it!).

6. Send a useful or unique gift associated with your brand

Everything from t-shirts to coffee mugs can be customized with your brand, which not only makes your customers feel appreciated, but builds word-of-mouth awareness for you!

7. Remember special occasions

Birthdays aren’t the only special time in your customers’ lives. If it’s appropriate, consider sending a gift or note for wedding anniversaries, graduations, and other special events. A realtor could send a gift on the first anniversary of their clients’ closings. A photographer could send an anniversary card to each wedding client (which might be the perfect reminder to schedule an upcoming newborn session!).

8. Put them in the spotlight

Showcase a “customer of the week” on social media. Refer your friends to a client’s business. Create case studies that highlight your customers’ success while using your products.

9. Create a loyalty program

Your repeat customers should get the white glove treatment. Start a program to reward your most loyal customers with exclusive discounts, offers, content, and gifts.

10. Donate to their favorite charity

Does your client support a particular cause that you support too? Make a donation in their name.

11.  Throw a party

Don’t underestimate the impact of a good customer appreciation event. You can host an open house to showcase your office, invite guests to a cool venue, or take a “field trip” to a sporting event.

Resource: Hosting a Customer Appreciation Event that Customer’s Appreciate

12. Send out surveys

Send out surveys to get customer feedback, but don’t stop there. Send out additional emails to let them know how you plan to use their specific feedback.

13.  Congratulate them

Has your client achieved something notable? Maybe they were elected to a non-profit board or received a business award. Send them a note or call them to say “Congrats!”

14.  Follow them on social media (and promote their content!)

Help your customers spread their message by following them on social media and sharing their content to your following.

15. Be silly

Business doesn’t have to be all work and no play! Show off your lighter side in your emails and social media posts. Use a tool like “Elf Yourself” and share it with your customers for a laugh.

16. Create custom welcome graphics for your lobby’s TVs

If you have a flatscreen TV in your office lobby to display promotional graphics, you can also use it to wow your customers when they visit. Create a simple welcome graphic with a welcome message and the client’s logo, then display it on your TV.

17. Hold a contest

There’s no doubt about it: contests are fun! Host a giveaway for something desirable (we like to give away Yeti Tumblers!) and promote your contest on email and social media.

18. Say thanks

We saved the best for last. A simple thank you is one of the easiest, yet most sincere, ways to show your customers how much you care.

What about you?

Tell us how you show appreciation to your customers in the comments!

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