You can’t expect customers will become loyal just because your business exists. You have to find ways to show them you care—that you appreciate their business. 


We asked business owners how they show customer appreciation. Here’s how they responded:


Rewarding repeat customers

My backpacking business has a loyalty program for repeat customers that keeps getting better over time. Customers receive $100 off their second trip, $200 off their third, and $300 off their fourth—reaching a cap of $700 off a two-week backpacking excursion. These discounts never get lower, never expire, and they can be used in addition to other discounts, such as referrals and any sales we run. This loyalty program has had the effect of building a vibrant community of clients who return again and again and who furthermore form long-lasting bonds with other clients they meet on our trips. It’s really quite a vibrant community. Over 50% of our customers are returning participants.

Steve Silberberg, owner, Fitpacking, Saco, Maine


Providing VIP treatment

I show my most loyal customers genuine appreciation in a variety of ways, including making an extra effort on their requests, giving them special discounts on service calls, and sometimes—beyond sending my team of best hands—I personally attend to concerns they have and resolve them. This approach has helped to foster great relationships with several clients over the years because they trust us, thanks to the personal connection and attention our business gives.

Dave Bringer, CEO, Bringer Appliance Repair, Louisville, Kentucky


Giving early access to products

One way we show our loyal customers appreciation is by giving them exclusive access to new products or services before they’re released. This gives them a sense of exclusivity and importance while also encouraging a sense of community and belonging. These customers get to be the first to review and give feedback on new offerings, making them feel valued and heard—because they are! This feedback is also great for us. With these reviews, we can make necessary adjustments to our products and services before they’re launched broadly, increasing our chances of a successful rollout.

Miguel Camperos, vice president of operations, SunVara, Gainesville, Virginia


Send holiday greetings

Our business relies on customers who don’t need our services all that often. In most cases, they’re better off if they never need our services. In order to show our appreciation and remind them that we’re there when they need us, we focus on sending greetings around major holidays. We currently send cards to all past and present clients at New Year’s and the Fourth of July, and focus entirely on sending warm, friendly greetings. This gesture of goodwill does a lot to make sure our clients return to us when and if they need legal services in the future.

Ben Michael, founder and managing partner, Michael & Associates, Austin, Texas


Acknowledging furry friends

One unique way we show appreciation to our loyal customers is by acknowledging their beloved pets. During our sign-up process, we ask if homeowners have any pets, and if they do, we take note of their names. After the customer has completed their third service with us, we send them a special surprise—a dog bone, for example, and a thank-you card. This small, thoughtful gesture often ends up being a delightful surprise that not only strengthens our relationship with the customer but often finds its way onto social media, where customers share adorable pictures of their pets enjoying their gifts.

Bryan Clayton, co-founder and CEO, GreenPal, Nashville, Tennessee


How does your business show your most loyal customers gratitude? Share your insights in the comments section below!

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