21 ways to brighten a customer’s day in less than 5 minutes

New thank you notesphoto © 2008 Jelene Morris | more info (via: Wylio)Your company needs clients to survive, and happy clients if you want to survive happily. That’s why you make the investment that you do in customer service and technical support.

Sometimes though, it’s good to step outside the way things are normally done, and send special thanks. Perhaps you have a client who has been especially valuable to you. Or maybe you just want to thank them for being there.

Depending upon the type of business you have, the income generated by each client, and how well you get to know each client personally, there are many different ways you can say thanks. Here are 21 to get you thinking… and thanking!

“How do I show I love thee? Let me count the ways…”

  1. Take them out to lunch, not to sell them anything, but just to say hi .
  2. Send them a thank-you card, just for being a customer.
  3. Send them an article you found that you think would be of interest to them.
  4. Write a blog post featuring their company or themselves as a businessperson.
  5. Give them a referral on LinkedIn.
  6. Mention them in a tweet or Facebook post, and include a link to their Website.
  7. Invite them out to dinner or coffee with a contact or potential customer for them.
  8. Ask for their feedback or ideas on a project you’re working on. People often appreciate being included and knowing that their opinions matter.
  9. Look through your contact database or Rolodex looking specifically for a name you could connect to your client as a potential client or resource they might be interested in meeting.
  10. Keep a file in Evernote or some other database of each client’s favorite coffee or treat, and when you’re dropping in to see them, surprise them with that treat. You’ll be letting them know you’ve been thinking about them and that you took the time to remember.
  11. Send a decorative bouquet of flowers, chocolate, cookies, fruit, or candy to their office with a card saying, “I just wanted to say thanks” or something similar.
  12. Make a contribution to Kiva or Oxfam or some other good cause on their behalf, and let them know about it. Depending upon the personality of your client, this may be more appreciated than anything you could ever have given that person directly.
  13. Send them a JibJab card. It can be a lot of fun and may give you a chance to stretch yourself creativity creatively while having a good time.
  14. Send them some kind of personalized or engraved items from an online gift store.
  15. Contribute to a charitable cause that you know the client actively supports.
  16. If you’re a member of Rotary or some other community organization, purchase a ticket for the current fund raising event or special event such as a gala dinner and send it as a thank you.
  17. Buy a drum set for their young son or daughter. No… no, maybe not. However, depending upon how personally you know the client, a gift for the family rather than the client may be very much appreciated. Care should be taken here however; you don’t want to overstep the boundaries of familiarity or professionalism. If you don’t know the client as a friend, sending gifts to the family may seem odd, intrusive, or downright scary.
  18. If you know the staff in his or her office has been working especially hard on a project recently, or has won a major contract, send over a round of donuts, coffees, healthy muffins, or some other way of saying you’ve noticed how hard they’re working, and want to give them something to keep them going.
  19. Send a gift card from a restaurant or some other business that is not your own. This shows that you’re not looking at this as any kind of a boost or gain for yourself. Rather, it is strictly and purely a way of saying thank you.
  20. Send them a gift card for an online shop of the NFL, NHL, MLB, or other favorite sport of the client. This is not only fun for the client, but also shows that you know them well enough to know what your favorite sport or even a favorite team or player may be.
  21. Send gift certificates or tickets to some special event to the staff of your client’s office, and note that this is in appreciation for the work that your client did. Everyone appreciates something that makes them look good to their associates, and this is an excellent way to make them look great!

And for 23 ways to make a customer smile while they’re right there with you or on the phone, check out our Happy Customer Cheat Sheet!

The bottom line is there are a lot of ways to say thanks. Which ones you choose are up to you; the main thing is to make sure you do it!

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