Business Strategy

How to Show Customer Appreciation

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"How to Show Customer Appreciation"
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The holidays are such a hectic time of year. There is such a hustle and bustle in the air, and it seems like time flies by at twice its normal speed.

If you own a business or have clients, though, it is important that you find time to show appreciation for your customers during the holidays. Its' the perfect time of year to do so.

Below are some tips for how to show customer appreciation during the holidays.

* Offer a customer discount.

If you are a retailer, then a great way to show thanks to your customers is to give them a discount on your merchandise. Customers love even a relatively small discount.

If you apply a 10-percent one, for example, then your customers will appreciate this gesture. You can also consider a different kind of sale. Perhaps if customers spend a certain amount, then they can get a Christmas ornament for free.

* Wrap their packages.

Do you own a boutique store that sells all kinds of specialty products? If so, you may have an increase in shoppers during the holidays, as people shop for gifts.

A great, and relatively inexpensive, way to show appreciation is to offer a complimentary gift wrap. Customers love their packages to be wrapped by people who know what they are doing. You can put a nice touch on a package, and include a label for your business.

* Send a card with a handwritten note.

If you have a manageable customer base, you should strongly consider sending a card with a handwritten note. In a world in which technology is so pervasive, a handwritten note will provide a really special touch.

Your customers will appreciate that you took the time to write a note. If that is too much, given your customer base, then you can at least personally sign each card. While this may not be overly personal, it is more so than a generic email.

* Host a holiday party.

People love to gather for free drinks and hors d'oeuvres. It's a fact of life. So it's a no-brainer that customers would enjoy a party in which goodies and drinks are offered on the house.

If you can afford to host a holiday party, then this is always a viable way to show appreciation. Make sure to keep it relatively short and simple, as people's calendars get overloaded during this time of year.

* Provide a refreshment table.

Do you have a business in which customers stop by on a regular basis? If so, decorate a table for the month of December. Keep some hot tea brewing, and provide some gingerbread cookies or other treats.

That way, when customers enter your store, they can enjoy a treat or two. This small gesture will go a long way in showing appreciation.

* Send a gift basket.

If you have top-tiered customers who provide a substantial amount of business, then you should consider sending a gift basket. There are numerous vendors that do a great job of making such baskets, and you can easily order them online. If you prefer to send chocolates, Godiva is always a great option.

More about this author: Ann E. Smith

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