It’s not easy to build a loyal customer base but you have the ability to make a memorable impression in showing your gratitude for their business. This is where the old adage comes in that “actions speak more loudly than words.” Your attempt at providing thanks should be relevant, personalized and, above all, sincere. Here are some new ideas as well as some classic ‘tried and true’ plans to use through the coming year.

Help customers learn something new. The more you educate your customers the more they will appreciate your business. You can also use a blog, webinar, or fact sheets to help your clients make the most of your products and services. The benefits of helping your customers learn something new is that they will trust you but will also have a greater appreciation for your products.

Spend quality time with your customer. Schedule a lunch or take lunch out into the field. This could be a critical learning experience for your business. Knowing your customer’s concerns and /or needs can help improve your product or service.

Start a loyalty program. Invite your most loyal customers into a VIP rewards program. Customers love rewards, and your program does not have to be complex, it can be as simple as offering customers an annual discount.

Reward social media-savvy customers. With Facebook and Twitter you can reward your customers with special announcements, exclusive promotions or simply to help and answer questions. This is also a great way to get customer feedback.

Consider writing a note. In the age of online communication, don’t underestimate the power of the written word. Your note should be specific, personal and handwritten. You’ll make your customer’s day!

Throw a party. A summer barbeque or golf day is a great way to engage and entertain your customers and their families. It shows your appreciation.

Giveaways and schwag. Branded company gifts such as pens, shirts, jackets, hats or coffee cups will be appreciated by customers. If it’s something useful and relevant to their business even better.

Excel at customer service every day. Friendly and informed staff can go a long way in saying thanks. Let your customer service team’s personalities shine through.

Send a gift card. It doesn’t matter if it is a $10 card for the local coffee shop or $100 gift card to a restaurant, this is a great opportunity to provide a gift that is personalized to your customer’s tastes.

Honour an achievement. Make your customer feel like they are part of as big family, by recognizing special events in their lives by sending a small gift. The event could be a major birthday or even a new addition to the family. The thoughtfulness of your gift will make an impact.

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