- How to get started with a customer appreciation strategy?
- 20 Customer Appreciation Gifts
- 3 Client Appreciation Ideas Outside of Gifting
Customer appreciation doesn’t have to be expensive or even hard to accomplish! In this article, discover 20 memorable and inexpensive ways to appreciate your loyal customers every day to keep them coming back.
Why client appreciation should always be top-of-mind
All of your business partnerships are important and valuable, but how often do you communicate that to your clients? A casual “thank you” here and there just isn’t enough to help your customers feel the love. Nothing motivates people more than positive recognition and feeling appreciated. That’s why client appreciation should always be at the top of your list.
Client appreciation is a mindset and a business practice. It starts with an attitude of gratitude and becomes a habit of regularly expressing thanks in sincere and tangible ways. When clients sense you see and value their worth, customer loyalty increases and they’re likely to make a greater investment in your business partnership. Customer satisfaction should be a top priority!
Cultivating the practice of showing customers appreciation can have many positive ripple effects. For example, a customer may speak highly of you to others in their industry. Good news travels fast, and everyone wants to network and partner with a business that shows gratitude. Positive word of mouth also boosts your company’s reputation, helping you make a good first impression before even beginning a cold call or an initial client meeting.
How to get started with a customer appreciation strategy?
With so many meetings conducted over zoom and feedback handled via email, it can certainly feel like true client appreciation is part of a bygone era. So how can you help your clients feel the love in this high-tech world? The keys to a winning customer appreciation strategy are intentionality, authenticity, and commitment.
1. Contact your customers regularly
Are you reaching out to customers simply for transactional purposes? If you’re only contacting your clients when you need something, you are missing a big opportunity to build rapport and trust with them.
The first thing you need to do is set an intention to contact your clients for the sole purpose of checking in and expressing thanks. Schedule time quarterly to reach out and ask them how they are doing, and if there is anything your business can do to support them. Identify one specific piece of positive feedback to give the customer that shows gratitude for their patronage.
Customers will see that you care on a personal level. Building a habit of regular positive communication builds trust that will strengthen your client base.
2. Promote your customers
You talk the talk, telling your clients that you are a “team,” but do you walk the walk? The best way to show appreciation and solidarity is by promoting your customers. Do this by:
- Tagging them with a shoutout on your social media outlets
- Reposting when they share a victory or are promoting an event
- Name dropping their brand when asked for a referral
- Incorporating their products and services in presentations when appropriate
These simple acts inspire confidence in the business world and send the message that your company has a win-win mindset. Organically promoting your customers is a great way to communicate that they are an asset, and chances are high that that good deed may be returned in the future.
3. Make them feel like a VIP
Business leaders often make the mistake of assuming that customer appreciation is reserved for well-established customers and high-value clients, or they want to wait a long time until their company has the right budget or enough time to focus on this objective.
The truth is this type of rationalizing completely backfires. How many new prospects have walked away due to a lack of authentic connection? You should be rolling out the red carpet for new customers and treating all your clients like VIPs. Whether it’s special access, custom gifting, premier services, or thoughtful communication, commit to showing your customers the gold standard treatment from day one. These habits develop strong relationships and a loyal customer base.
What makes a good customer appreciation gift?
Authentic customer appreciation is all about showing sincerity, and what better way to do that than with a hand-picked gift? Having a tough time thinking of client gift ideas? Here’s a short list of what makes great customer gifts:
- Offer a little luxury
- Can be shared
- Spark joy (as Marie Kondo would say)
- Can be customized
E-gift cards that reflect a knowledge of customers’ interests paired with an appreciation email can also make a thoughtful gift!
20 Customer Appreciation Gifts
Gearing up for your next client appreciation event? Surprise your clients with one of these tangible, memorable gifts that they are sure to love.
1. Pretzel Pizza for One
Sendoso Partner: Sweet Secrets
Description: Take a whack at a new kind of fun indulgent snack. Loyal clients will love cracking into layers of all your favorite sweet and salty ingredients. A base of semi-sweet chocolate and crunchy pretzel pieces, topped with layers of broken sugar cones, milk chocolate M&Ms, chocolate cookie chunks, mini chocolate chips, rainbow sprinkles, and drizzled throughout with white chocolate.
2. Ceramic Desk Succulent
Sendoso Partner: Lula’s Garden
Description: This on-trend gift will keep the positive vibes living on long after unboxing. A perfect desk accessory, this preppy succulent is sure to add a little sunshine to any employee’s office space.
3. Explorer Cold Brew
Sendoso Partner: Explorer Cold Brew Co.
Description: The clients can choose from four different levels of caffeine and get a delicious pick-me-up with this handy cold brew 4-pack. No need to put the coffee pot on, it can be enjoyed right out of the box! A little caffeine boost can go a long way on a Friday!
4. Vegan Chocolate Bonbon Giftset
Sendoso Partner: The Cheeky Project
Description: Customers of all dietary lifestyles can indulge in these gourmet treats. The artisan chocolates arrive in a sampling of flavors. Nothing like a sweet treat to escape the stress of work!
5. BBQ Sauce Box
Sendoso Partner: The Sauce Shop
Description: Send employees a gift that’s sure to spice things up! This flavorful favor is perfected for after-work grilling and relaxing.
6. Festive llama pinata filled with candy
Sendoso Partner: Pinatagram
Description: Want to send pure joy? Look no further than this Festive Llama Pinata to get the party started! Sure to be posted to Instagram, this funky little pinata will definitely disrupt any boring workday. Packed with a variety of candy, there’s nothing more fun than busting into this little guy.
7. Personalized 8 fl oz. Coca Cola
Sendoso Partner: Coca Cola
Description: Does anything beat a refreshing Coca-Cola? Only the fun surprise that this custom label will bring to your valued customer when they unwrap this fan-favorite beverage gift. Show a personal touch with this unique client appreciation idea.
8. Cookies in a Jar
Sendoso Partner: Bonjour Bakehouse
Description: Looking for a gift that provides a fun experience? Pre-packaged cookies can sometimes arrive hardened, but the Cookies in a Jar delivers an award-winning recipe mix that customers can bake at home and enjoy fresh out of the oven.
9. Popcorn 3 Bag Bundle
Sendoso Partner: Toronto Popcorn Company
Description: This snazzy snack pack is perfect for sharing in the customer service department. Sample fun and unique flavors that are always made fresh. Premium ingredients really set popcorn apart from its convenience store counterparts.
10. Whoopie Pack
Sendoso Partner: Sift Dessert Bar
Description: This super-cute treat is a throwback that is deliciously nostalgic. A cross between a cookie and cupcake, the whoopie cookie is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. This two-pack includes the best of both worlds, chocolate, and vanilla, and arrives in a darling pink bubble mailer.
11. Forest Bath Salts
Sendoso Partner: AMASS
Description: These days everyone is seeking a better work-life balance, and for good reason. Help clients and teachers invest in their own wellness with this therapeutic and aromatic blend of nourishing bath salts.
12. The Sweetness and Light gift bag
Sendoso Partner: Botanical Candle Co.
Description: This calming gift bag comes with a custom amber jar candle of your choice, extra-long matches, and a chocolate bar that is vegan-friendly. Your best customers can slip right into relaxation mode as soon as they open the branded cotton drawstring bag.
13. Gluten-Free Care Package
Sendoso Partner: Snack Box USA
Description: How many clients are heartbroken when they receive gifts that they can’t even eat? Show you care by sending a snack package that is accessible to those with gluten restrictions. Tasty snacks include Popcorners chips, Veggie straws, Kind Dark Chocolate, Stretch Island Fruit Strips, Pistachios, and more.
14. Grove 42 – Distilled Non-Alcoholic Spirit
Sendoso Partner: Seedlip
Description: A sophisticated spirit, with a citrus blend of Blood Orange, Bitter Orange & Mandarin. Balanced by zesty ginger root, Lemongrass & Lemon peel, & a cool prickle from Japanese Sansho peppercorn. Perfect for treating the office to a round of non-alcoholic Bloody Marys at the next client appreciation event!
15. Golf Enthusiast Box
Sendoso Partner: A Gentleman’s Trove
Description: Know some financial advisors who spend their weekends on the golf course after a week of hard work in the office? This gift will be a hole-in-one! The box includes Bridgestone Performance golf balls, ProLength PLUS wooden golf tees, stylish argyle socks, and savory single malt scotch caramels.
16. Organic Mixed Fruit (3 lbs)
Sendoso Partner: Frog Hollow Farm
Description: Are your clients sick of the stale options in the vending machine? Send a gift bursting with fresh flavor. This mixed fruit sampler includes two to three different varieties of fruits that are in season, which change daily based on availability and the farmer’s choice.
17. Whispering Angel
Sendoso Partner: ReserveBar
Description: Who doesn’t want some rosé all day? Help your team members unwind and build community with Whispering Angel, the chic market leader for premium rosé. Wine enthusiasts and novices alike will enjoy this bubbly.
18. First Choice Flower Bouquet
Sendoso Partner: The Flower House Co
Description: Fresh flowers never go out of style and are a staple gift that every customer can appreciate. This luxury bouquet is crafted by a master florist with stunning seasonal blooms, it’s an order that is sure to bring pleasure to any recipient!
19. Rise & Shine Gift Box
Sendoso Partner: Birdytell
Description: Everyone is working for the weekend and this breakfast box is perfect for planning a homestyle Sunday brunch. Complete with a gourmet waffle, pancake mix, Prickly Pear jam, and Prickly Pear cactus syrup. These thoughtful gifts can be shared with the whole family.
20. Handmade With Love Gift Box
Sendoso Partner: Curated for Equality
Description: Want to give with intention and support Black business owners? The Handmade With Love Box features three amazing Black Woman-Owned brands: Bottled With Love, Soyful Aromas, and Butter Love by L.C. The self-care box includes goodies made only with the best ingredients and is sure to delight and relax your clients.
3 Client appreciation ideas outside of gifting
Not every customer wishes to receive a gift tied with a bow in a show of thanks. Here are a few different ways to show client appreciation outside of gifting:
1. Volunteer your time or talents
You can really tell what a company cares about by how they allocate their time. For example, if a customer contacts you about a 5k charity run they’re organizing, ask about volunteering or racing. Perhaps you could offer your skills by designing a flyer or t-shirt logo. The point is, show up for your customers. Going the extra mile shows your appreciation.
2. Write a handwritten note
Few things show more sincerity than a handwritten note. It’s all in the personal details. The goal is to highlight specific things you appreciate about your customers and writing them a message will be very impactful. Customer appreciation letters are worth the time and hard work. Your personal touch and effort shows that you are a real person, not just a company, and that will leave a lasting impression!
Not sure where to start? We write clever puns for our clients often to help them (and you) stand out with clever messages and gifts.
3. Make a donation to a cause
When brainstorming for your client appreciation events, it is important to get to know your clients’ passion projects and which charitable causes they are involved in. Show your appreciation by making a donation. This communicates that you’ve paid attention to their interests and support your customers in their philanthropic endeavors.
If you’re not sure what causes they care about, you can use an eGift like Charity Choice, a Sendoso client favorite. It allows the recipient to apply the gifted amount to a charitable organization of their choosing.
3 tips for writing a client “thank you” email
Thank you’s are not always grand gestures or gift baskets. If you’re showing gratitude with consistency, you’ll also be saying it in emails on a regular basis. Follow these best practices for writing authentic “thank you” emails to clients:
- Always greet clients by name
- Clearly state what you appreciate
- Give details and examples of what made the experience with your customer positive
Keeping client appreciation top-of-mind requires an attitude of gratitude and a strategic plan, and a corporate gifting platform can help. Request a demo today and let Sendoso, the leading corporate gifting platform, help you execute that plan. And for more customer appreciation gift ideas, check out this list of 41 unique client appreciation gift ideas.
This article was originally published on September 8, 2021. It has been updated for relevancy.