It's that time of year when you feel obligated to designate someone in your company to send customers gifts. Is this really the best way to say thank you to your customers, especially when they do business with you every day?
As a marketer, I've found too many marketing teams don't have enough stake when it comes to customer engagement and retention. All throughout the B2B industry, the idea of rallying around your customers, making them heroes, and investing in customer success continue to gain traction.
But there's also the added level of "surprise and delight" for your clients--going the extra mile to ensure they have the best experience possible with your brand.
Marketers are truly starting to understand that your next customer is going to come from your current customers. Customer advocacy is the most authentic type of marketing.
According to a Nielsen survey spanning more than 100 countries, 92 percent of people surveyed said they trust the recommendation of a family member or friend over any other marketing channel. Getting that type of referral comes down to creating an awesome customer experience 365 days a year.
Outside of the holidays, how are you and your team going to show your customers you're thankful for them?
Here are 10 ways to give thanks and show your customers love every day.
1. Ask for an interview
This is one of my favorites. One of the first ways to start building a relationship with a customer is through an interview. When your marketing team interviews customers, the content of this interview can be used internally or published in external collateral such as a case study, a quote for your website, or a blog post.
2. Thought leadership
Featuring your clients in blog posts, video testimonials, and "customer of the month" spotlights on your website is an easy way to highlight your clients. Then, you can ask them to share the links on social media to showcase themselves as "customer heroes."
3. Connect them with influencers
Your company should be collaborating with industry influencers, such as reporters and speakers, whom you can engage by introducing them to your customers. It's a great way to show value to your customers when they're quoted in a magazine or cited in an analyst's report.
4. Broadcast their success
Consider putting one of your customers and an industry influencer on a webinar together, with one of your company's executives serving as a moderator. The combination of these two voices is a powerful way to create buzz. Be sure to follow up with a gift to thank them for their time.
5. Publish them in your press release
If you're announcing company news or debuting a new product, include a quote from one of your customer advocates discussing why they are excited about this new development.
6. Have a communication plan (and stick to it!)
How you communicate with your customers is essential to their continued happiness. At my company, Terminus, every account has a designated customer success manager who communicates regularly with clients. We also have a weekly customer newsletter and a monthly webinar series just for customers.
7. Invite them to events
Consider bringing clients to your booth at a trade show. When show attendees walk up, you can introduce them to your customers, who can talk about their experience with your solution. This is a great opportunity for them to make new connections in their industry and sit down one-on-one with your company's team members.
8. Host events
Whether it's your annual user conference or an exclusive dinner, an invitation to an event is a great way to surprise your clients. Also, think about hosting an event in your client's backyard. Pull your list of client companies from your database to see if there are clusters in certain cities, and plan a meetup event such as a breakfast, happy hour, or one-day training session.
9. Engage on social media
Follow your customers on Twitter, retweet posts from their company accounts, and commenting on their LinkedIn posts is a great way to show them you're listening. Every year at Terminus, we highlight our list of "customer heroes" and create graphics for each "hero" to use on their own social media channels.
10. Send them mail
And we're back to the obligatory holiday gift--but I must admit, I'm a huge fan of direct mail! Sure, you've seen countless boxes of sweets and healthy fruit baskets. However, I'm a huge fan of the hand-written thank-you notes from your company's executive leadership team thanking customers for their business.
There is an endless number of ways to show your customers you're thankful for them. It's all about making them heroes.