10 Customer Appreciation Day ideas to build brand loyalty

By: Matt DeVries
boxes with customer appreciation gifts

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.

Let’s explore our experts’ top ideas to show appreciation on Customer Appreciation Day itself, as well as throughout the year. Know that it’s OK—in fact, we even encourage—to segment and group customers to apply all ideas as targeted strategies.

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.

Related: Dive deeper into how surprising and delighting customers keeps them loyal to your brand. 

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.

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, Forrester reports customer-centric B2B companies are roughly 2x as likely to show more than 10% year-over-year growth in revenue, profit, market share and employee engagement, and 1.6x as likely to show 10% year-over-year improvement in customer retention, as compared to non-customer-centric businesses.

Leverage a customer loyalty program to surprise and 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 a few tips to maximize a program’s impact. 

  • Offer awards 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Provide personalized rewards throughout the customer journey using first and zero-party data to identify individual needs and preferences. This will make customers feel appreciated and valued as a person, not just a customer. 
  • 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: Learn how a year-round communications plan can increase brand loyalty long term.

Say thanks today and 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 Appreciation 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! Not quite ready to execute? See how end-to-end customer loyalty programs build loyalty right away. 

Matt DeVries
Matt DeVries

Matt DeVries has more than 10 years’ experience managing loyalty and engagement solution design. With an educational background in both marketing and organizational behavior, Matt's vast expertise and knowledge have helped shape effective solutions for many leading brands worldwide. His primary focus is understanding each client’s needs and industry concerns, which he couples with a solution-minded approach to position them for incredible results. In his free time, Matt enjoys off-roading with his family and camping off the grid in remote spots across the country, especially the southwest.