Brands should be showing customers how much they’re appreciated every day, but National Customer Appreciation Day offers a unique opportunity to take your efforts to the next level.
Customer Appreciation Day is celebrated every year on April 18. While the date is fast approaching, it’s not too late to prepare a plan you can execute quickly, or elevate your existing plan to strengthen customers’ relationships with the brand and make them feel valued.
Why Customer Appreciation Day Matters
Customer Appreciation Day was established as a day to recognize and thank customers for their loyalty and continued support. Recognition may involve personalized messages, special offers, giveaways, discounts and other incentives.
In today’s competitive market, customers have more choices than ever. You need customers to not only choose your brand, but also to continue choosing your brand. Showing customers how much you appreciate their business is important for several reasons.
- It builds brand loyalty and trust. Customers who feel valued are less likely to explore other brands and products because yours is a known, trusted entity.
- Appreciation encourages repeat business. After you’ve established trust in your brand, customers will keep doing business with you because they trust your product and service record.
- Recognition strengthens customer relationships. Every positive interaction throughout the customer journey improves their relationship with the brand, which is essential for any business.
- Good relationships boost the likelihood customers will recommend your brand. Appreciating existing customers can lead to new customers through word of mouth.
Appreciation improves the overall customer experience which has financial benefits as well. For example, Forbes reports 85% of companies that improve their customer experience report an increase in revenue, and brands with a superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors with lackluster customer experiences.
Let’s explore our experts’ top ideas to show appreciation on Customer Appreciation Day itself, as well as throughout the year.
10 Customer Appreciation Day Ideas You Can Implement Quickly
1. Take the time to send handwritten thank-you notes to customers.
The extra time reflects how much you appreciate the personal connection between the customer and the brand. Prioritize this initiative in March and early April so you have time to recognize the maximum amount of customers.
2. Give out special offers redeemable only during the week of Customer Appreciation Day.
These could be discount codes or even free gifts with purchases.
3. Ask customers to leave feedback on the brand—what's working, what's not working and why the brand matters to them.
Not only does this build trust with customers, but listening and acting upon feedback shows you care and value customers’ opinion.
4. Go above and beyond to provide excellent customer service on the day itself.
For example, use first- and zero-party data to offer personalized product recommendations customers will truly value.
5. Add special promotions tied to the day to your existing customer loyalty program.
This helps to reward your existing customers while nudging new customers to join the program.
6. Invite customers to special events or unique experiences.
Consider bringing in local artists and influencers, for example, to meet customers.
7. Incent customers to make referrals by offering rewards for new referral business during April.
Similarly, offer rewards for leaving reviews or testimonials on your website.
8. Send customers surprise-and-delight packages with goodies.
Or send samples of new products to get them excited for any upcoming launches.
9. Show appreciation for your community as well as your customers through a give-back campaign.
Survey customers on charitable organizations they would like to support, and make a donation from the brand on their behalf.
10. Email customers a personalized video message thanking them for their business.
Be sure to share new announcements and messaging to immerse them in the brand.
Leverage a Customer Loyalty Program to Surprise & Delight
If you’re looking to employ a more robust customer appreciation strategy that can incorporate Customer Appreciation Day efforts while also provide lasting recognition, utilize a customer loyalty program.
Here are four tips to maximize a program’s impact:
1. Offer rewards for repeat customers.
Whether it's points for every purchase or discounts for frequent buyers, rewarding customers for their loyalty is a meaningful way to show your appreciation while also encouraging them to keep engaging with the brand.
2. Make the program easy to use.
A program that’s easy to understand encourages customers to join and start earning rewards quickly. Consider adding a welcome kit to create excitement, and promote use when customers sign up.
This will make customers feel appreciated and valued as a person, not just a customer.
4. Communicate regularly.
Keep customers engaged with the program by sharing progress and any new benefits they can earn. Customers are busy, so communication is key to keeping the program top of mind.
Related: Dive deeper into how a strategic customer loyalty program can surprise and delight customers, keeping them loyal to your brand even in competitive markets.
Say Thanks Today & Every Day to Improve the Customer Experience
Taking the time to show your customers how much you value them creates strong business relationships that last for years. Authentic expressions of thanks go far in encouraging customers to connect emotionally with your brand, and that emotional connection has powerful benefits throughout the customer journey. Use this Customer Apreciation Day as a special opportunity to reach people in new ways, and watch how the extra push to improve the experience yields results.
Need help executing a customer appreciation idea in time for April 18? Chat with one of our experts and start building customer loyalty today!