As many small business owners know well, it’s not enough to have the greatest products and services on the planet along with the best prices and extended hours. If you don’t treat your customers with kindness and respect, it won’t be long before you are closing your doors. As The Houston Chronicle notes, outstanding customer service can help set your small business apart from the competition. For example, if you own one of several small coffee shops in your city, all of which serve organically roasted coffee and feature live jazz on the weekends, the way you treat your customers will help you rise above the rest.
While being kind and polite to your clients goes a long way in establishing a company culture of great customer service, it’s also a great idea to go above and beyond when you can and reward customers in other ways. Consider the following ideas:
Send them a thank you note — through the mail
In our current era of emails and text messages, there’s nothing quite like sending a good old fashioned thank you note through snail mail. As Vertical Response notes, you can send regular customers birthday cards, a thank you note for their continued business or a postcard that informs them of a special promotion you created just for them.
Give them a goodie
Just about everyone loves to receive gifts, and regular customers are no exception. To reward a client who just placed a huge order with your company, or to let a customer who just became a Grandma for the first time know that you are thinking about her, consider sending them some type of present. It doesn’t have to be expensive — in the case of the new Grandparent, a gift card to a local baby products store would be extremely welcome.
Make a client the star of your Facebook page
Another nice way to show your appreciation for your regular customers is to feature one of them on your Facebook or other social media page. Offer your thanks to your client, tag his or her name so it’s visible on the client’s wall, and explain in the post how much you appreciate his or her business.
Offer them first dibs
Another terrific way to reward regular customers is to offer them first crack at a new product, sale or service. You can either host a VIP client event at your store or, if you run a home-based business and having a large group of clients over at one time would be challenging in terms of space, you could send out postcards or emails letting them know that they can get an extra special discount if they use a special code.