Giving customers “thanks” for their patronage and loyalty is always important, but it’s even more so during turbulent or stressful times. Little gestures of appreciation can go a long way and are sure to be remembered and valued.
We asked business owners what they’re doing to show customers appreciation during the COVID-19 pandemic; here’s how they responded:
Virtual events and experiences
When the pandemic hit and everything shut down, I was immediately in touch with all of my clients. I wanted them to know I was here for them, and in the beginning, we did not talk about business at all. I invited them to some virtual event experiences I’d planned, just to give them something fun and positive to look forward to and participate in. I also produced my own large-scale virtual event with the solitary goal of educating them on how they can effectively do business events in the current environment. They didn’t have to pay to attend—they just needed to show up and learn.
—Valérie Bihet, founder and director, VIBE Agency, Miami
Personalized notes and calls
With COVID this year, I am showing appreciation with phone calls, gift certificates and personal notes. Employees, customers and clients will remember who treated them well during the crisis, and companies will be rewarded with loyalty from earning that trust during the bad times.
—Paige Arnof-Fenn, founder & CEO, Mavens & Moguls, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Random acts of kindness
I’ve been delivering random acts of kindness to brighten my customers’ days. These little surprises turn frowns upside down and remind the recipients that I am here to support them during this difficult time and, most importantly, that I care. For example, for some U.S.-based clients, I’ve sent Australian-themed hampers featuring Aussie favorites, including a koala bear, a jar of Vegemite and Tim Tams. I’ve also shared client “wins” on LinkedIn and forwarded an article with a note that I think a specific connection would enjoy.
—Melissa Park, founder, Melissa Park Events, New York City
We own an upscale beauty salon and spa. Upon reopening in June after the shutdown, we bought a bunch of custom-printed stemless wine tumblers, gift-wrapped them and put them in kraft bags along with travel-sized product samples. The first 2,500 customers who returned to the salon got the free gift as a surprise. The customers loved them and many of the gift bags and wine glasses ended up on Instagram, while tagging the salon’s account.
—Bret Bonnet, co-owner, Niki Moon Salon, Naperville, Illinois
As a small business in a tough time, we don’t have the funds large businesses have to send gifts or take clients to lunch, so we try to offer them something money can’t buy: free publicity. We work hard on our social media presence and have over 65,000 followers on Facebook alone. We know that giving our clients thanks and praise on social media helps drive business to their own sites while providing them with extra SEO benefits. It is also something we haven’t seen our competitors doing. And as a small business, we can be personal and sincere.
—Chane Steiner, CEO, Crediful, Scottsdale, Arizona
What is your business doing to show customers appreciation right now? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.Print this article