Customers are needed in order for a business to be successful. A great service or product would not mean anything if there's no one willing to purchase it. This is why business owners have to be thankful for the customers that they have.
A bonus to showing your customer appreciation is that they may come back for more of your business as well as tell others about it. Customer appreciation efforts should be meaningful, memorable, sincere, unexpected, and affordable. One way to say thank you to your customers is to have appreciation events for them. Here is a list of best customer appreciation event ideas for you to implement in your business.
12 best customer appreciation event ideas
1. Help Your Customers Learn Something New
One of the best ways to give back to your customers is to make them more informed about the work you do so they can make better decisions. This gives you a chance to show your customers how knowledgeable you are on a particular topic. In return, the customer will feel more educated and put more trust in your company when it comes to products or services related to this area.
For example, if you sell paintings, you could offer a free paint class to your customers, or if you are an entrepreneur, you could have workshops teaching others about owning a business. Home Depot does this multiple times each month with workshops for children and do-it-yourselfers.
Consider hosting free classes a few times each quarter and inviting your customers to attend. This can also serve as a marketing strategy if your customers invite friends and acquaintances who might find value in the information.
2. Share Local Goods
If you manage a B2B business and work with various brands in your area, look for ways to promote your customers for a unique customer appreciation experience. Help yourself, your customers, and other local companies by partnering with these businesses to offer a special discount or code to your customers. For instance, a blogger runs a summer reading program, and when children have read so many books, they can take their reading log to companies in the surrounding area. These businesses offer discounted or free products such as a free slice of pizza or hour of free play at a children's fun zone.
Another example is, if you manage the accounting for local businesses, host a networking event or business fair where these organizations can promote their wares. In this way, you are giving their businesses a marketing platform and financial boost while showing how much you value them.
3. Organize a Simple Meeting to Spend Quality Time Together
For some companies, quality is better than quantity. While a big event can attract lots of people, you may only want to spend time with a few key customers. Consider the number of people who you want to thank as a business owner and what size event you should plan for.
For a few ideas, one company might host customer appreciation networking nights where a few customers get to know each other so they can build their businesses.
Another company might take their customers out to a fancy restaurant where attendees can talk and enjoy some good food. Both of these events can be valuable for customers, though they vary by the cost and the level of effort required for the business.
Setting aside time to sit and listen to your customers about their lives can also be beneficial to your business. Not only will you show your customers that you value their opinion but you can also gain insights on how your product or service can be more helpful to them. You can choose a customer at random from an email list or place a bowl in your business for customers to leave their information.
4. Throw a Customer Appreciation Party
Another easy way to show your appreciation is by providing a fun event for your customers by throwing an epic party. You can either have this event at your business location or consider renting a space for a more high-end affair. This event doesn't necessarily need to be expensive or grand if you can't afford it. Simply buying a few bottles of wine and some cheese can set you up for a night of drinks and networking. This may align better with your brand than a major celebration or loud party. You can always try multiple event formats to see which ones your customers like best.
For this event, you can invite new customers as well as your loyal customers. As stated by LiveAgent.com, loyal customers buy 90% more often and spend 60% more per transaction. Therefore, this is a great opportunity for your loyal customers to enjoy themselves and interact with each other.
5. Have a Customer Appreciation Day Sale
Your customer appreciation event ideas can also be used to promote your business. For example, you can throw a specific sale to thank your customers with significant discounts and unique deals on items. Give your customers more reasons to shop with you by having a day especially for them. This is a fantastic way of showing gratitude for your customer's loyalty. Before the event, customers should receive an exclusive invitation that gives details on the event such as the date, time, and what discounts they will receive. Tell your customers that they will be given an additional perk if they bring a friend. Now your customers feel special and you will gain more business.
Most companies that launch these sales try to make the deals more competitive than those that are typically offered. If you offer the same discount for customer appreciation as any other day, there's no reason for your existing customers to feel important or like they're saving money.
If you are going to have a big sale, consider launching it during a slower season when you need to attract customers. This way, your customers aren't overwhelmed by your brand messaging or by ads from your competitors.
6. Host a Barbecue or Picnic
You may want to throw a party to thank your customers but might not have the space you need at your office or the budget to do it. If this is the case, consider throwing a barbecue or picnic where you can invite customers and their families to spend a fun day out with you. One of the main benefits of throwing a picnic is that you can find space affordably. You can rent a pavilion in a nearby park or set up along the beach.
If you don't want to go to a park, consider hosting the barbecue right in your company parking lot. The smell of the good food and excitement from the dunk tank will bring people over, potentially allowing you to win over new customers while thanking your existing ones.
This client appreciation event is great for when the weather gets warmer and people are eager to get out of the house. Besides that, this is another opportunity to partner with other local businesses such as restaurants that can provide food for your event.
7. Give Your Customers VIP Treatment
Everyone wants to feel special, so roll out the red carpet for a day to thank your top customers for their business. For some companies, this may mean booking box seats to a sporting event for their top clients. For other companies, this could mean offering complimentary upgrades or free add-ons for a weekend.
Look at your customers and consider what would make them feel valued and how this value would tie to your business. You can also cater to their needs by greeting them at the door and offering them a drink. Make sure that an associate is available at all times to assist each customer with no waiting times. Once the customer has completed their shopping, have an associate on hand to help clients carry bags to their car.
You may even develop a tradition of throwing a “VIP weekend” every year as a customer thank-you event.
8. Arrange an Event and Distribute Complimentary Goodies
Another alternative to throwing a party is to have an event where you distribute client gifts. These can be small tokens of your appreciation or valuable tools that clients can use to improve their businesses or lifestyles.
As you consider various gifts for customers' appreciation, look for something that matches your brand but also something that customers will get excited about. These gifts can include the logo of your store, for instance, on a bottle of water or tote bag. You will want to choose gifts that make your customers think of your business. For example, a spa could hand out a hand lotion or foot scrub that customers can use to treat themselves at home. This also has the added marketing value of making customers think about the spa every time they use the gift.
Your customer gifts shouldn't be expensive, but they should provide enough value to make customers want to receive them and use them.
9. Host a Sale After Regular Business Hours
Give the customers that regularly frequent your business a special block of time for them to enjoy your company by themselves. You can serve food and drinks and interact with them during this exclusive time. This is also a great time to introduce a new product or get feedback on a possible new process you want to implement.
10. Schedule a Coffee Break
When you travel to other cities, arrange to meet a few customers for coffee. This is great for online businesses that do not get to physically see their customers. Let your customers pick their favorite coffee spots in town and enjoy one-on-one time with them.
11. Meet With Customers Through an Online Video Conference
Just like the previous tip, this is a fantastic way for businesses with an online presence to interact with their customers. Since you don't get to see your customers face to face regularly, this will give you that chance. Take this time to answer your customers' questions, enjoy small talk, and hear their feedback. You can open up multiple meeting slots for customers to quickly reserve their spot.
12. Give Spontaneous Discounts
Choose a specific day that you will give random discounts for every customer that makes a purchase at your business. For example, you can offer $20 off or 10% off and take it off their purchase that day. Not only will your loyal customers be pleased but so will new customers, which will most likely give them more incentive to visit your store again.
Client appreciation events are just one way to show your customers that you value them while also building loyalty. You can also look for traditional ways to thank your customers with thank-you cards and messages on holidays. You can also set up a loyalty program that rewards people with free items or extra upgrades as a thank-you for choosing your brand. You can determine the best way to thank your customers and show your appreciation. Like most gifts, it's the thought that counts.