12 Customer Appreciation Ideas Based on Research

Want loyal customers? Our research generated 12 customer appreciation ideas that are free, easy, and insanely effective.

By Ivana Taylor

Published on July 7, 2022

In This Article

It’s time to make customer appreciation a priority in every sized business. These customer appreciation ideas are insanely easy and most are free.

We just completed a consumer survey and the results showed that giving your customers just a little bit of attention will make all the difference and drive repeat business.

Bur first a few important details.

What’s More Important Than Sales

Many businesses are focused on anything that generates new customers and additional sales. But you can generate a ton of sales and still be losing money. What you need is profitable sales — and that comes from existing customers.

Customer Loyalty Isn’t a Given

Customer loyalty shouldn’t be taken for granted. In fact, it needs to be earned through providing excellent customer service and taking care of your customers.

Most Customers Feel Appreciated

The good news is that nearly 80% of customers overall feel at least somewhat appreciated.

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But you have to ask yourself — have consumer’s expectations fallen? You’ll have to ask yourself that same question — I know that mine have.

Customer service has gotten so poor over the last few years, that most consumers have lowered their expectations.

This means that there’s a lot of opportunity for you — if you raise the bar.

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Appreciated Customers are Loyal Customers

Here’s where it really matters. If you can simply do the basics, you’re going to get a stream of loyal customers.

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What NOT To Do

We also asked consumers what businesses do that make them feel UNappreciated — and that bar is pretty low too!

customer appreciation ideas from consumer research

It’s not enough to just do the opposite — is it? Of course not. We asked our consumer panel what businesses can do to make them feel appreciated and the results are astounding — and FREE.

Acknowledge them, be happy to see them, and make them feel like they matter.

customer appreciation ideas that work

Customer Appreciation Ideas

All of this research is great. But I wanted to know what real businesses were doing RIGHT. So I reached out and asked a bunch of small business owners just like you what they did to show their customer appreciation — and WOW!

Send Them a Helpful Email That You Found

The branding work we do gives us an in-depth understanding of our clients, their customers, differentiators, challenges and more. As I go through my day, researching and keeping up with marketing and branding trends, I sometimes come across great articles and tips that address a specific client’s challenge or inspire an idea for them. I will send them a quick email with my idea or a “to-do” for them to accomplish a quick win based on the link. No matter where they are in our client journey (past or current client), this is just how I show that they are always on my mind.

Tanya Gagnon, Miss Details

Don’t Flood Them With Irrelevant Emails – Respect Their Time and Attention

Being considerate of our customers’ time shows them that we respect them and value their business. We take an unorthodox approach with email marketing campaigns by not sending too many of them as our customers are typically B2B. We don’t believe in pestering them with multiple emails because we know they are busy, so we keep sending one monthly. And that particular email focuses on upcoming holidays—obscure and popular—so they can plan their corporate gifts accordingly. Sending emails on the right frequency to our customers creates a consistent schedule for interaction that they can depend upon to help them grow their business.

Shaunak Amin, SnackMagic

Create An Online Community Can Show Your Customers They Matter

Create an online community, such as a Facebook group, where you can interact with your consumers. Customers’ ability to see you, ask you questions, and connect with you is a terrific approach to demonstrate gratitude and establish relationships with them. Offering your time to a consumer also strengthens your relationship with them and demonstrates that you value them. This is a straightforward, cost-free, and very effective method for demonstrating client appreciation and fostering brand community.

Hector Ruiz, BBQ Grill Academy

Send Handwritten Thank You Notes

One simple way to show your customers that they matter is to send handwritten thank you notes. A handwritten note is a personal and memorable way to show your appreciation for their business. It also shows that you took the time to sit down and write a note, rather than simply sending an automated email. Thank you notes can be sent after a purchase, or for any occasion when you want to show your appreciation. They’re a great way to stand out from the competition, and let your customers know that they’re important to you.

Rick Elmore, Simply Noted

Ask for Feedback

This may come across as the most obvious answer but asking for feedback costs absolutely nothing or at the most a trivial amount for software. Asking your clients and customers about their experience with your business shows them that you care and want to genuinely improve. If their response is positive it means you did good and that they felt inclined enough to take the extra time to let you know. If their response is negative, well, you have work to do and if the survey isn’t anonymous you can reach out to them to make amends and prevent a negative review. To incentivize them all the more, feel free to offer a discount, reward, or entry into a giveaway. Ask and you will receive!

Isaac Mashman, Mashman Ventures

Offer Free Product Trials 

Our business realizes the importance of making our customers feel they get the best value for their purchase. Thus, we provide free trials so they can test out our product and see if it works for them without any risk. Then, should they encounter any problem, our customer care team is ready to assist in sending the product back to us. Doing so allows us to make the necessary changes for their satisfaction.

Ben Rollins, Axon Optics

Send Birthday Greetings 

One way to show customers they matter is by sending them Birthday Greetings through email or snail mail. I have found that Birthday emails are beneficial to both the business and the customer. First, it reminds our customers that we care about them and that they matter. As soon as they realize they are being treated as the “best customer”, they will be more loyal to the company, thus generating more revenue for the company.

Tristan Harris, Thrive Agency

Provide Excellent Customer Service 

One easy way to show your customers that they matter is by providing them with excellent customer service. This can include greeting them when they come into your store, helping them find what they need, and offering assistance with any questions or concerns they may have. For online businesses, this can mean replying to customer reviews and questions promptly, providing helpful information on your website, or offering live chat support. When you go the extra mile to show your customers that you care and value them, they’ll be more likely to stick around – and tell their friends about you, too.

Darren Litt, Hiya Health

Give Them Credit Toward An Exclusive Upcoming Product

I love to tell my customers they matter by offering a discount to upcoming products. This can be in exchange for loyalty (i.e. high LTV), taking a survey before the product launch, or just because! These spontaneous touches go a long way, and also have the added benefit of being a solid conversion-generating item for new products. If you want to keep the business thriving, reward your best customers for making your business great.

Jeff Sauer, Digital mantis

Acknowledge Them Publicly and Say Thank You

A simple thank you can go a long way. When a brand acknowledges a customer comment or tag, they may have created a new disciple. It happened to me. I sang the praises of my Lenovo Chromebook on Instagram. I swear, within five minutes they responded with a sincere thank you and made me feel like a million bucks. When a brand likes, comments, and follows a customer, they feel like two million bucks.

Debbie Elicksen, Digital Public Relations

Repost On Social

Repost customer pictures of your brand on your social media channels. It shows your appreciation for them and helps strengthen your brand’s community. Also, it reveals a real-life picture of the people who buy, value, and incorporate your brand into their life. A re-posting via social gives your customers a personalized experience that makes them feel special.

Jason McNary, Brandon Blackwood

Listen to Your Customers at All Times

To show that customers are important, all you have to do is listen to them at all times. To do so, you need to understand their doubts, questions, dissatisfaction or when they are happy with your work. This job requires listening, being supportive and understanding their expectations. Even if they don’t contact you, they will surely have questions, however small. You should anticipate their requests by facilitating access to customer service, or by contacting the customer in the first place. This will make them feel valued.

Welcoming a customer is the simplest and least expensive way to show that you care. You need to show that welcoming a customer is part of your company’s culture. To facilitate contact, you can set up chatbots, phone calls, emails, etc. You need to understand that customer service is an opportunity for growth, not an unnecessary expense.

Léa Soller, Digiberries Paris

Appreciation = Lifetime Customers

Small business owners, don’t be afraid to show your appreciation for your customers! Whether you choose to provide excellent customer service, give them credit toward an upcoming product, or simply say thank you, these tips will help strengthen the relationship between you and your customers. When you make your customers feel valued and appreciated. Most importantly, you’ll get lifetime customers instead of one-time customers.