By Seth Richtsmeier

On average, loyal customers are worth 10 times more than their initial purchase. If you want to keep customers coming back, invest in a relationship with them.

Little things can go a long way. Providing great customer service and wonderful products is half the battle. The rest of the challenge is in the details.

One of the most overlooked ways to connect with customers builds on the idea of reciprocity, or reminding them they’re valued. Many methods exist to thank your customers in a way that makes them feel special.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’ve compiled a list of several effective ways to grow your business by giving thanks.

How to Say Thank You

Taking a few minutes every day to thank customers for their business can be enough to convince them to come back time and again. These thank yous don’t necessarily have to be expensive gift baskets or time-consuming hand-written notes.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to sharing gratitude. Depending on your business and customer demographic, you should use different ways to communicate.

Say Thank You by Email

Email is a great tool to connect with habitual screen-scrolling Millennials and younger generations. According to Forbes, 75% of consumers between the ages of 25 and 34 expect personalized communication from the businesses they frequent.

And when 53% of Americans say they value more personal relationships with small businesses, it’s easy to see email’s benefits. A quick email is an easy way to send personalized messages to customers new and old.

Even better? You can set up these emails to send automatically and remain personal without taking up too much of your busy day.

How to Thank Customers on Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool when it comes to connecting with customers. A quick shoutout (such as a video) from you or your team is sure to impress and leave a customer feeling special. Just be cautious not to share sensitive information on public platforms.

You can implement a weekly or monthly customer appreciation post to highlight someone who left a lasting impression.

To maximize exposure, don’t forget to keep in mind which platforms are favored by each generation before posting.

Tweet Up a Storm

While Twitter is a good marketing avenue for some businesses, it’s a great customer service avenue for all businesses. Consumers often reach out with questions, comments and complaints via social media, especially on Twitter.

Whether you’re using Twitter to answer questions about your services or replying to customer tweets with a simple message of thanks, this is a great platform to broadcast your gratitude.

Respond to Online Reviews

Part of discovering how to thank customers most effectively in effort to build relationships is listening to your patrons and making them feel valued.

When prospective clients read online reviews about your business, your responses can help solidify your brand’s image.

If someone leaves a perfect review, respond to it and thank them! Consumers like to see when a business makes an effort to connect with its customers.

You also should respond to negative reviews. For instance, start by apologizing for their negative experience and offer to rectify the problem offline or through direct message.

Send a Text Message

If you collect customers’ mobile phone numbers, which you should be doing, send a quick text message after they make a purchase.

Or, better yet, text them when you haven’t seen or heard from customers in a while. Say “thanks for supporting my small business” and let them know you’ll be happy to see them again soon!

Mail an Old-Fashioned Letter

Handwritten letters are less common these days, which makes it more significant when you receive one.

They might take more time than an automated email, but customers will appreciate and remember the gesture.

Kick It Up a Notch with an Offer

If you want to sweeten your message, try including discounts or special deals on future purchases.

Seventy-five percent of consumers say receiving an incentive increases the likelihood of making another purchase. Offers can also help reel back in a stagnant customer.

For example, sending an offer to customers who haven’t booked a service in a while could jog their memory of the stellar service you provided last time and encourage them to book again.

Get Personal

Be sure your thank-you notes don’t sound too scripted or stiff. If you want your message to resonate, get personal and make your customers feel special. In fact, simply by using a person’s name, you’re more likely to make an impact.

Save a little time by creating a template you like that can be personalized. Change the name of the person it’s addressed to, thank them for buying the specific product or service and add a small detail or anecdote if you have one.

It can be as simple as something like:

Dear Emily,

Thank you for reaching out to us about your air conditioner! It was a pleasure helping you repair and upgrade the unit. If we can be of any more help, we’re happy to do so.

 All the best,

 Amy Adams, Owner, Mid-City Heating & Cooling

This note recounts a personal experience, mentions the service that was performed and shows the customer you’re grateful for their business.

Make a Habit of Giving Thanks

Customers enjoy hearing how their purchase affected a small business just as much as you like to hear about the impact you had on a customer.

Thank-you notes don’t have to be sent to every customer every time they hire you. It can become too repetitive, and even annoying if you’re not careful. Choose a few customers each week to thank and recognize.

Even though learning how to thank customers seems like a small task, it’s the best way to start building long-term relationships with customers.

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