As people begin to gear up for the holiday season, there's no better way to show your sincere appreciation for a customer's business than by offering a token of your appreciation that is both unique to your business and your relationship with that customer. Gift baskets and branded pens are nice, but a more personalized gesture can make a real impact.
Eleven entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) share their preferred methods for demonstrating their gratitude for their customers' business and loyalty.
1. Send a meaningful thank-you note.
Sending a thank-you note is always a great idea to thank a customer. You can make it even more powerful by including a brief sentence or two about why you appreciate them beyond just being a customer. Be sincere and your customer will savor your honest appreciation and praise.--Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Video Doorbell
2. Personalize your gift based on their taste (literally).
I make a point to ask my clients about their favorite desserts so that I can try to send fun related gifts. Rather than sending something they'll throw away, I know that they'll appreciate the gesture and literally "eat it up."--Allie Siarto, Allie Siarto & Co. Photography
3. Get creative with your branding.
We love our clients and always try to think of ways to thank them, especially around the holidays. Last year, we sent them I&Co. mugs with marshmallows that said, "High-quality content is brewing." (I mean, who doesn't love marshmallows with their hot cocoa?)--Kelsey Meyer, Influence & Co.
4. Pay a personal visit.
I like to make sure our customers get a personal touch each year. We can't do this with our free customers but for all of our higher-profile customers, we like to add an element of human interaction. Whenever possible, we send someone from our company to meet them in person -- this allows for face-to-face interactions and encourages clients to remain long term.--John Rampton, Due
5. Provide a swag bag with a note.
For years, we've sent out swag bags to our key customers around the holidays, and it has always been a huge success. Being a game studio, we generally send things like t-shirts, playing cards, game soundtracks, posters, etc. We bundle that with a handwritten personal note thanking them for being amazing. This ensures they remain a key customer and acts as a form of marketing.--James Simpson, GoldFire Studios
6. Have your gift box show up early.
Conference room tables will be packed with sweets and trinkets during the first two weeks of December. Don't get lost in the corporate gift shuffle by sending an end-of-year thank-you before Thanksgiving. You'll stand out by being the only gift they have on hand, and if it's shareable, all the employees can dig in and the "Who's this from?" question will be answered with your company's name.--Sam Davidson, Batch
7. Send them something unexpected.
It's a little to send out a holiday card or a special promotion during the holidays. Try something new and give them something they don't expect. This gets them talking, shows that you care, and helps them remember you. A great example could be sending them a gift that has no direct correlation to your business, as it seems like a more genuine gift just to let them know you care.--Kumar Arora, Aroridex, Ltd.
8. Provide a personal greeting and deep discount on a product/service.
Deliver a personal greeting to your most important clients or customers, and ensure they know you care by giving them a deep discount on your product, service or area of expertise. Even if it costs you in the short term, it may build loyalty and further solidify their patronage and continued support of your business. Always remember that a lifelong customer is more important than a short-term sacrifice.--Blair Thomas, EMerchantBroker
9. Deliver custom chocolates.
We have a special provider that we always use for all of our company gift packages. It's a pyramid of boxes with different types of chocolates in each box, finely wrapped with a golden ribbon. The colors represent our company branding. This gesture has proven itself to be a big hit among all of our customers and company associates.--Engelo Rumora, Ohio Cashflow
10. Record a personal video message from the team.
We love recording videos, and once a year we bring the team together to record something special and heartfelt for our users. It doesn't have to be well-produced. A short video with some heart can really help your customers connect with your team. Make it weird and quirky, and use it as an opportunity to get the entire team motivated around something fun for the holidays.--Mattan Griffel, One Month