Your small business wouldn’t be where it is today without your valued customers. The holiday season and new year can be an ideal opportunity to say thank you and show your appreciation. If you’re looking for ways to say thank you for supporting my small business, here are some ideas.
Why Is It Important to Thank Loyal Customers?
Thanking customers can be an easy way to foster business loyalty. If you show your appreciation in a tangible way, customers may be more likely to continue purchasing from your business and interacting with your content or initiatives.
Top Examples of Small Business Thank You Message to Customers
If you’re looking to build customer loyalty and show your appreciation to your customers, the following ideas may help. Some may work specifically for long-time clients, while others can appeal to both new and returning customers. Here are some ideas and templates to get you started.
1. Thanks for Supporting My Small Business
Expressing gratitude doesn’t have to be rocket science. A tried and true way to share warm regards with your customers is to thank them for their support after each purchase. You might send a thank you email or include a small note with their order.
As a small business, every order means so much to us. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for supporting our operation and shopping small this holiday season.
2. We Appreciate You, Valued Customer
Thank you messages can also go deeper for those who have done repeat business with you. Send special notes or emails that aren’t connected to a specific sale to make your company stand out.
Just wanted to send a quick note to say that we appreciate your business. No matter when you last shopped with us, we wouldn’t be where we are today without your support!
3. Thank You to a Loyal Customer
Thank you notes to valued customers may be even more special if they’re handwritten. You may send handwritten note cards during the holidays or just mail them during a slow period for your business.
As one of our most loyal customers, you’re a huge part of the reason our business is where it is today. So we wanted to share a special [promotion/update] with you! [promotional details]
4. Customer Appreciation Badges
Customer appreciation badges may include physical buttons or even digital stickers. They may include titles like “valued customer” or “brand ambassador,” to thank your most loyal supporters for their continued patronage.
We wouldn’t be where we are without you – display this badge proudly as one of our best customers!
5. Enjoy a Discount on Your Next Purchase
Genuine gratitude is great, but it’s also beneficial to offer real value to your best customers. Consider thanking them by sending out a discount code or coupon they can use on a future order.
We’re so thankful for all your continued business through the years! As a token of our appreciation, enjoy this discount code for [percent] off your next purchase!
6. Thank You Treats with Purchase
You could also express your gratitude by including a small token with their order. This may work either in person or online; just include a short note to explain.
Thanks for shopping small this holiday season! Enjoy this extra gift on us as a token of our gratitude.
7. Samples During Special Events
Businesses with a physical location could invite loyal customers inside for a special buying experience that also includes free samples. This may encourage future purchases while also expressing your thanks.
As one of our most loyal customers, we wanted you to be the first to know: We’re hosting a special event on [date/time]. Visit us to enjoy free samples of [product] and mingle with other [company name] customers!
8. Social Media Posts and Giveaways
Social media can be the perfect place to express thanks to a wide base of customers. Consider offering a giveaway along with your heartfelt message of thanks.
Wow! 100,000 followers. To share our appreciation for each and every one of you who follows our content, here’s a giveaway for [giveaway details].
9. Thank You Stickers
Small trinkets like stickers are inexpensive. But they provide just enough of a special touch that your customers are likely to remember the experience.
We’re stuck on you! Just wanted to say thank you for supporting our small business this holiday season!
10. Private Sales or Hours
If you want to create a truly positive experience that makes your best customers feel appreciated, consider offering special hours just for them. Send out an email to your best customers inviting them to a private sale or loyal customer-only hours.
We’re inviting all of our best customers to a special shopping event! [Hours/details] Enjoy exclusive deals and a unique shopping experience as a thank you for your continued patronage.
What to Include in a Customer Appreciation Social Media Post
Business messages on social media often get lost in the shuffle. To make your heartfelt thank you stand out with your followers, include the following elements:
Does Customer Appreciation Improve Customer Retention?
Building business loyalty involves many elements, from creating a positive experience to interacting with customers on an ongoing basis. Customer appreciation can certainly help, by adding a personal touch to the relationship and making customers feel valued and appreciated.
Should Small Businesses Thank Customers All Year Long?
Yes, businesses can thank their best customers and spur future purchases at any point in the relationship. After the first purchase, send an email thank you. During the holidays, offer a handwritten thank you note. When they sign up for a loyalty program, go the extra mile with free gifts or incentives.
There’s no excuse not to use automation in your day-to-day operations. The tools now readily available to every business can help you make more money, faster, with fewer resources deployed. Not only can people, time and headspace all be freed, but your customers can have a better experience. Once intense processes can now happen without your involvement as the business’ owner.
Paul Vigario is CEO and founder of SurfCT, a dental and healthcare technology integration company working with practices to help them stay ahead of the curve by using automation. Vigario helps practices integrate technology into every aspect of their operations, and his team spot problems they can solve and bottlenecks they can remove in their clients’ businesses. With fifteen years of experience in the fields of dentistry and healthcare technology and having given keynotes on the topic at various universities, Vigario believes that every business can make better use of automation, and he has supported companies to access the benefits.
According to Vigario, automation can, “streamline operations and simplify tasks that may typically be time-consuming and counterproductive” Here are three simple automations every business should have in place.
1. Automatic onboarding
Ideally, your customers can make their purchase and onboard themselves with your company without speaking to a human. Your automations should collect all essential information and your customer should be able to complete their details at their own pace, from the comfort of their own home. This avoids the need to hire teams of sales and customer service people, as well as many admin and support roles.
Vigario’s industry is behind the curve, but so are many others. “Although almost every dental facility uses electronic medical records, many still require physical forms in order to complete the intake process.” If forms are required to onboard your customers, make sure they can be completed, “from a customer’s personal computer or smartphone.” Reducing the time customers spend at a physical desk or on the phone to a sales or support person means more customers can be onboarded faster.
Automated forms and email workflows, automatic payments by integrating Stripe, electronic signature collection and identity checks are all expected by customers. Most will follow instructions without questioning because it’s in their best interests. What’s missing in your onboarding process?
2. A customer portal
If you have ongoing relationships with your customers, they should be able to log in and see their information. Whether that’s details of their reports or next meetings, invoices they have paid, delivery information or space to complete additional details, a customer portal of some kind will free up your team for other tasks.
Vigario works with clients to create customer portals, which “offer their customers a sense of independence” and means they can, “instantly access their data.”
Not only should the portal securely save the customer’s information, it should be a source of information. “A comprehensive portal should include walkthrough videos, how-to documents and answers to frequently asked questions.” Customers should also be able to buy more or book an appointment, if that suits your business. “Every customer log in represents a reduction in the time you spend answering emails or speaking on the phone.”
3. Computer-generated marketing assets
For Vigario’s dental practice clients, marketing ensures they acquire new patients and stay in touch with existing ones. He advises that businesses incorporate automation into their marketing to ensure it’s systemized and consistent rather than last minute and disorganized.
“Get the basics right first, by scheduling your social media posts and promotional emails from a social media scheduling tool and CRM system.” Then you can get clever. Artificially-intelligent article generators, image creators and advertising copy systems can ramp up your content creation without hiring a team of freelancers.
Most industries can access online “libraries of premade content,” bringing inspiration and updates to their audience at the click of a button. Vigario makes use of these for his dental practice clients. He advised, “Empower a high-level marketing professional in using these tools and give them a budget for the software that will make their role more effective.” Resourceful and switched-on marketers know how to make marketing automation work.
Automating these three simple processes means your team “can focus on more pressing tasks that require a higher level of attention.” If a machine can do it, delegate accordingly, and enjoy the “heightened levels of productivity, profitability and efficiency” this brings.
Image Credit: Getty Images
If your business isn’t utilizing social media, you need to rethink your marketing strategy. It’s estimated that nearly 92% of marketers these days are using social media.
Nearly 38% of respondents even admitted to buying a product after seeing a social media advertisement. If utilized correctly, that could mean a 37.9% increase in sales for your business via Instagram!
Here are three quick tips for using Instagram to grow your business.
1. Define your brand and market to your target audience.
You can’t expect people to engage with your social media if you haven’t defined your niche yet.
First things first, define your brand. What do you stand for? What is your business's mission? The answers to these questions should be clear and consistent in all your Instagram posts. Once people see what your business stands for, they’ll be more likely to not only engage with a post but become loyal followers.
By defining your niche, you’re defining your target audience. Therefore, create all posts with your target audience in mind.
2. Utilize hashtags to find local and international followers.
Never underestimate the power of a good hashtag, but remember, there’s a healthy balance.
If your Instagram page is new, start with hashtags with less than 1 million hits. If not, your page will be one in a sea of millions. Instead, use less popular but still relevant hashtags on your posts. An easy way to get hashtag ideas is to look at the autogenerated hashtags in the search bar.
A good rule of thumb when using hashtags is to prioritize connecting locally before connecting internationally. Don’t expect your Instagram page to go viral overnight. Typically, the process starts slow and should pick up more and more each day.
Use popular hashtags in your local area. Then, once locals start discovering your page, it can grow organically and you’ll gain loyal followers who are genuinely interested in your posts.
Next, you can focus on growing more followers in nearby communities, states and, eventually, countries. Getting too ahead of yourself too fast is a good way for your Instagram to stay stuck.
3. Be authentic with your followers.
Nowadays, authenticity is the new beautiful. Similar to having a consistent brand identity, followers want to see that your posts are original and can add value to their lives. So, don’t push your product too aggressively if you're a business.
Make your posts unfiltered and real. Along the same lines, be sure to engage with your followers. If they follow you, follow back. If they comment, respond. If they send a private message, reply promptly. Engaging with your followers is a great way for them to see you as a real person instead of just another company trying to attract more followers.
Get your Instagram noticed!
Businesses are sitting on a goldmine that didn’t exist 20 or even 10 years ago. Whether you want to boost your brand awareness, sales, revenue or number of users, use these tips to get started!
Image Credit: Getty Images
Is it possible to keep your brightest team players from moving on? Yes, if you focus on growth. Here's how to do it sustainably — and with a people-centered focus.
The floodgates have opened for talented professionals. Now that the Great Resignation is alleviating people's fears of becoming "job jumpers," high performers are seeking greener pastures. But this doesn't mean that your company can't hold onto your best employees — you just have to win their loyalty.
One of the best ways to do this is to focus on your corporate growth. How does growing your business, brand and revenue help you reduce turnover? According to Ceridian's "2022 Pulse of Talent" report, 30% of active job seekers say they are looking for new roles due to a lack of growth opportunities at their current jobs. Almost 20% say it's because their work doesn't align with their skills.
A lot of workers want their skill sets to be identified, molded and honed. They want to be immersed in a company that sees them as part of the solution today and tomorrow. By scaling your business, you can satisfy all these employee desires. As you grow, you'll have more money to invest in training, more positions and roles to offer talented workers and more chances to create a culture that makes people want to stick around for the long term.
Of course, growth won't happen overnight. It won't happen by accident, either. To increase your corporate profits and provide team members with the opportunities and encouragement they're craving, you'll need to make intentional changes. Here are three steps to get you started.
1. Empower top talent to think like entrepreneurs
As a founder, you know what it's like to be an entrepreneur. You've had to innovate, facilitate and advocate for yourself and your business to get where you are. Do your other team members have the same experiences? Only 16% of adults in the U.S. could be considered entrepreneurs, according to Babson College research. However, your employees (and company) could benefit from adopting an entrepreneurial mindset.
To drive growth and simultaneously reward top achievers, ask key players to help you overcome obstacles and problems standing in the way of growth. Empower them to devise creative solutions. You might even want to authorize them to take steps forward without asking, such as by building a product prototype or working with marketing to attract untapped audiences. Google, for example, encourages employees to spend 20% of their time on what they think would most benefit the company.
Just make sure you offer a soft landing for any ventures that don't pan out. Giving your employees permission to experiment and then pulling away the safety net when they don't succeed isn't fair. When workers feel like they can flex their entrepreneurial mindset, they tend to be more adaptable, more innovative and less stressed. Plus, they'll be more apt to go the extra mile for your company, which can prompt faster growth.
2. Paint a clear vision of what's down the road and around the bend
To maintain your best team members and propel your company toward growth, you have to show your team where you're going. Never assume that workers have read your annual business plans or that they can somehow read your mind. Employees won't know your chosen direction until you tell them.
This puts the onus on you and the rest of your leadership team to lay out company goals for employees. You'll need to go one step further, though. In addition to describing your plan, illustrate how every person can contribute to it. Be as specific as possible so your teams can see where they fit in.
When people feel valued, they'll think twice before leaving. They might also feel more energized because of their sense of belonging. Throughout 2021, Gallup noted a drop in employee engagement. Providing a business roadmap can help stimulate the mental excitement your employees might be missing. At the same time, your purpose-driven team members will be more likely to want your business to grow — and to contribute to that growth.
3. Promote from within when possible
When your business promotes from within and is on a growth trajectory, talented employees know it. They realize that they might just be months away from landing their next role or fulfilling their career path dreams. As such, they'll be less likely to reach out to recruiters.
Although business growth might open up promotion opportunities, you'll also want to reimagine how every employee can contribute to your company's success and scalability. For example, you could reconfigure a role to utilize someone's unique skill set. Case in point: You could pay your best cold caller more and also put them in charge of training other sales team members.
Promoting internally and moving people around creates closer connections in your workforce. Employees will get to know each other and form bonds. Just be certain that you're coaching everyone appropriately and educating your managers on how to mentor their strongest team members. A case study by Together found that employees who took part in a company mentorship program were almost 50% less likely to leave the organization.
Sometimes, business growth means bringing on new talent. That's understandable. Just be sure that you focus on retaining as many high performers as possible. If you don't provide top talent with the career and development opportunities they're looking for, then you'll find yourself back where you started.
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