Showing appreciation for your customers should be a year-round priority, not just a holiday tradition. Gratitude opens up the opportunity for emotional connection with your customers – and an emotionally connected customer is worth 306% more in lifetime value.
What does it mean to show gratitude to customers?
Customer appreciation or gratitude simply means acknowledging and thanking customers for their business and support. It’s more than just sending a "thanks for your order" email – it's an intentional mindset backed by tangible actions that convey your gratitude.
The risk of not deliberately showing it, is that customers may perceive your company as being indifferent to them. Make it obvious to show that you care and you'll see immediate and long-term changes in your customer retention rate.
Why it matters all year long
Customers have more choices than ever when deciding where to spend their money. Showing appreciation year-round differentiates you from transactional competitors. Nurture meaningful relationships that inspire customers to stick with your brand.
Delighting customers is more cost efficient than acquiring new ones. And loyal customers tend to convert more often because they already know, like and trust you. Appreciating both new and repeat supporters all year long is a proven growth strategy.
Example: TD Bank gets it
This example is delightful: TD Bank started "TD thanks you" in Canada in 2014, and it has since evolved into almost a decade of showing appreciation. One year, they turned the ATM into an "Automatic Thanking Machine" and presented ATM users with treats like $20 bills and flowers:
10 year-round ways to show customers gratitude and appreciation
Small gestures go a long way when executed consistently. Here are 10 ideas to delight your customers anytime:
- Handwritten notes. Mail thank you cards or postcards when customers make a big purchase, refer others or mark an anniversary.
- Loyalty perks. Offer perks for taking action, like deals, discounts and freebies, or VIP events based on purchase activity tiers.
- Spotlight social shares. Reshare or feature testimonials, product photos or reviews from happy customers.
- Personalized promos. Gift customers special discounts on upcoming purchases or repeat purchases.
- Customer surveys. Solicit feedback via email surveys or phone calls to uncover pain points and improve experiences.
- Co-created content. Invite customers to submit ideas for new offerings or collaborate on content themes.
- Give back programs. Make donations to causes customers care about on their behalf.
- Milestone tracking. Acknowledge meaningful thresholds like 10th purchase, 5-year anniversary, or company birthdays.
- Loyalty rewards. Offer redeemable points that convert to discounts or free products over time.
- Values-aligned partners. Spotlight the brands customers would appreciate at that point in the journey.
While not every tactic will be right for your brand, incorporating a few year-round customer appreciation practices deepens connections in a distinct and memorable way. Even small businesses can bake simple gestures into regular interactions (more emojis for everyone! 🤗).
The more value you provide, the more loyalty you inspire. When customers feel genuinely appreciated, they pay that feeling forward with referrals, repeat sales and glowing word-of-mouth. Gratitude is truly a gift that gives back.