Customer Appreciation: A Detailed Guide for Businesses

Appreciating your customers is the cornerstone of business growth. Here are 11 great ideas you can use to show them you care.

Aksheeta Tyagi
February 11, 2024
10 min read

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Remember the last time you got a surprise gift from a place where you often shop?  

Imagine opening your package to find a handwritten note, not just any card, but one that says, "Hey, thanks for sticking with us for a whole year!" And a little goodie is thrown in there just for you, something that's so “you”.  

The thoughtfulness makes you smile, right? That warm, fuzzy feeling is what customer appreciation is all about.  

It’s also what keeps your customers coming back for more and advocating for your brand. So, if you want to be the party that everyone wants to attend and never leave — be a brand that knows how to appreciate its customers.  

This page is going to show you how to do just that. 

What is customer appreciation?

Customer appreciation or client appreciation is genuinely thanking your customers and letting them know how much you value their choice to support your business. Showing gratitude involves creating experiences that make them feel valued and important — eventually helping you build strong bonds that lead to customer retention. Prioritizing their satisfaction and building these meaningful connections is smart and strategic, setting in motion a positive cycle that boosts referrals and strengthens customer loyalty. 

Why is client appreciation important?

In the heart of every booming business lies a core understanding: customers are its lifeblood. Showing appreciation does more than just make another sale likely — it builds a culture of respect and gratitude that’s reciprocated. It’s like a shared journey, where you and your customers collaborate and grow together — where you value the part they play and reward you with their business. When you lead your service with customer empathy and a shared purpose, you’re well on your way to earning their time and preference.

Loyalty is about emotion first, behavior second.  

Go for gratitude, loyalty will follow.

- Mark Bonchek  

Customer appreciation – 11 innovative ideas

There’s so much you can do besides just selling a great product — you can inform your customers of the special place they hold for you and your business. Here are 11 awesome customer appreciation ideas you can explore. 

1. Offer discounts and deals

Who doesn't love a good deal? Send your customers a surprise discount code or a deal they can’t ignore.  

Turns out, a Merkle survey shows that almost 8 in 10 customers want discounts as rewards by brands they transact with. What if such steel-worthy deals even turn a regular day into a shopping spree for your customers? You can personalize discounts for salary days or make festival seasons even merrier! 

Beware of:  

  • Unclear discounts: Make sure the discount structure is straightforward to avoid confusing customers. 

  • Irrelevant deals: Only offer discounts on products your customers actually need. 

  • Blanket approach: Tailor discounts to specific customer segments instead of using an impersonal, generic strategy. 

2. Celebrate milestones with them

Every milestone your brand reaches is a story written together with your customers. Whether it's welcoming your thousandth customer or toasting your fifth (or fiftieth) year in business, each achievement is a shared victory. So, let your customers know you appreciate them. 

Looks like Disney and Southwest Airlines knew just how to do it right. The companies teamed up for their 50th anniversaries, creating a Disney-themed Boeing 737-700 for an unforgettable sky journey. Their fun-filled 50 Days of Giveaways offered lucky winners daily trips to Disney World, complete with airfare, park fun and enchanting surprises. 

Check out how Josh and Taylor on YouTube had fun on their trip! 

3. Give your best every day

While 18th April is the dedicated customer appreciation day, it shouldn’t just be a calendar event but an everyday ethos. It’s the small, daily acts like:  

  • Bending the rules for a customer during an interaction 

  • Keeping calm during tense situations 

  • Not letting them repeat previously relayed information  

  • Minimizing case routing 

  • Proactively resolving issues 

  • Respecting customer’s data privacy choices 

Every time a customer reaches out to you with a problem, they should leave the interaction either with the right solution or the hope of finding one soon. Hope, understanding and compassion should always be central to the language and phrases you use in customer service.

“We’ve got you”, says who? Says you. 

There’s no better way to let your customers know you appreciate them than making every chat an effortless joyride with you. Today, you can use generative AI in customer service to always ensure you stay in tune with the energy they bring to the chat window. Optimize your tone to match theirs, deduce key query highlights and filter hard-to-find information from the knowledge base — all in real time. 

Sprinklr AI+: The power of Generative AI, within Sprinklr

4. Invite to events

Inviting customers to events like an exclusive product launch, a cozy VIP dinner or a fun, interactive workshop is a grand gesture of gratitude. These events make your loyal customers feel part of your business family and create lasting memories that deepen their emotional bond with your brand. 

Check out how we held one on building delightful CX back in October for our lovely community at ICMI CC Expo 2023! 

Experience the future of CX with Sprinklr at ICMI Contact Center Expo

5. Offer complimentary upgrades

Surprise your regulars with an upgrade. It's like saying, "Thanks for your loyalty, enjoy this on us!" It could be a bigger room, a premium product version or elite customer service. This unexpected perk creates delightful experiences and stories worth sharing. 

Marriott Bonvoy is one of the best-known loyalty programs in the hotel industry. Members can sign up for various programs, collect and redeem points for many perks — and, of course, room upgrades. Check out how this Redditor’s Gold Elite status allowed them a complimentary upgrade with no hassles at all. 

Customer feels appreciated by effortless Marriott room upgrade

Source

Right on the heels of our idea of event invites, check out how Marriott Bonvoy is also turning up the fun dial as Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour's official touring partner — by offering members a chance to win free tickets to the show. What fun! 

Marriott offers free tickets for winners to show customer appreciation

Source

6. Give social shoutouts

Give your customers their moment of fame. Featuring them on your social media is much like giving them a high-five in front of a big crowd. You can feature their stories and experiences with your product — and utilize the content your users generate organically to build credibility in the claims your marketing makes otherwise. It's a fun, public way to celebrate your relationship and make them feel like stars.  

Lowe’s Home Improvement knows how to appreciate and celebrate its customers, big and small, baby and all!  

Lowe's appreciates customers in an Instagram post

Source 

Article, an online-only furniture store, even has a dedicated page on its website that encourages users to show the fun, chic ways they style their furniture. People can scroll through the gallery, get inspired and buy on the go. 

Article offers dedicated UGC page to appreciate customers

Source

7. Access to insider preview programs

Let your loyal customers be the first to try new things in planning. They get to wander among the soon-to-be-released features, experiencing and testing them before anyone else. Essentially, they function as the co-creators — chiming in with their valuable insights that can help you sculpt the final service to perfection. Your customers feel appreciated when you proactively rectify any lags, issues, or redundancies they highlight in your service.  

However, if you have a physical product to sell, then... 

8. Give out free samples

Offering samples is a way to introduce customers to new products with no strings attached. It’s a gesture of trust, showing you're confident in the value of your offerings. And if there’s anything to improve, you can measure it through their initial, organic reactions. You can even find out if any new product has the potential to be your next hit. 

9. Personalize birthday engagement

Celebrate your customers. Be a part of their special day. Write them a personalized birthday email and top it up with a goodie. If you know they already have something added to their cart, give them an incentive to complete their purchase.  

See how the beauty brand Ulta makes birthdays special for their customers. 

Beauty brand Ulta appreciates customers on their birthdays

Source

10. Support causes closest to them

Support their causes. It shows you share their values and are willing to invest in what matters to them.  

For example, accessibility to food is a basic human need — and a cause many people passionately feel for. Chick-fil-A, for example, works to distribute free meals to those in need through its Shared Table® Program and has donated to serve over 18 million meals to date. Carrying your social responsibility diligently this way lets customers know you care about them beyond profit. 

Did you know? Cause marketing is big all over the world and especially effective with values-driven Gen Z. A 2022 survey of Gen Z consumers from 11 countries found that 50% of them almost always or often bought products/services from brands that were vocal about social causes. 

11. Interactive online Q&A

Host a live Q&A where customers can ask anything. Empower them to voice their curiosities, concerns and ideas. Think of it like inviting them backstage to your business and starting a dynamic dialog, a chance for them to influence your customer journey. They get a voice, you gain insights, and together, you create a brand community

Key benefits of showing customer appreciation

It can’t be stressed enough just how important it is to show gratitude where it is due. Here are the top benefits of showing customer appreciation. 

  1. Heartfelt connections: Appreciating your customers changes them from transactions to valued members of your brand's family. This creates loyal advocates who stick around and happily talk about you to everyone they know — boosting your net promoter score.  

  2. Brand value: Your brand becomes more than a logo; it turns into a story that people want to be part of. Through genuine appreciation, you stand out in a sea of sameness, build a community around your values, and create a loyal following that sees your brand as an extension of their identity.  

  3. Organic growth: Satisfied customers are your growth accelerators. Imagine them as a seed you plant that blossoms into long-term loyalty. Their repeat business and referrals grow your customer base and reflect in a healthy P&L.  

  4. Resilience building: In tough times, this cultivated goodwill acts as a buffer. Customers who feel appreciated are more forgiving and understanding, easing the way through rough patches.
    Read More: Your Contact Center Recession Playbook 

Examples of customer appreciation for businesses

What was Ferrera Candy Company’s way of appreciating its customers? A keen ear for the buzz around their brands, catching real-time chatter through social listening and turning it into golden opportunities. 

Imagine you're a bigwig at Ferrara Candy, and you spot a tweet from Kathryn Dobbs, CMO of the Columbus Blue Jackets (the very awesome Ice Hockey team, of course), sharing her pre-game ritual of munching on Fun Dip — that's your product!  

Now, picture turning this nugget of a tweet into a fan frenzy. Ferrara did just that. They swooped into action, partnering with the Blue Jackets to hand out Fun Dip to the first 8,000 fans at two games

Beyond the flurry of social media love, Ferrara's Brand Fan program raked in over $2 million in earned media in 2021. Now, that's how you turn customer appreciation into an art form, making every tweet and trend a chance to show your customer some love and score big. 

Ferrara Candy connects with fans to make every sweet snacking moment memorable

On the other hand, Hyatt International is no stranger to posh hospitality. The brand is known to tune their hotel experiences to be enough — and more.  

Imagine walking up to one of their reception desks, and they already know you love a room with a sunrise view and that extra-fluffy pillow for a perfect night's sleep.  

It's like they've read your mind, right? But no, it's just Hyatt's knack for making every guest feel like the VIP of the day.  

The brand understands the value of personalization in every interaction. Their service specialists are always briefed on case histories should a customer ever dial-up for help. From timely changes in reservations to tailoring guests’ entire stay to their likes and quirks, Hyatt uses unified customer insights to fine-tune stays just the way they like it.  

It’s just how the brand chooses to show gratitude — with experiences that say, “We remember you, and we've got everything just the way you like it.” 

Hyatt Builds Customer Loyalty by Putting Care at the Heart of Its Business

Candy wishes and five-star dishes with Sprinklr

Appreciating your customers pays indirect dividends of love, admiration and, surely, revenue. And that’s what both Hyatt and Ferrara received, keeping customers at the center stage. 

Sprinklr Service is your first purpose-built solution to ensure you never compromise on customer happiness. Created on a single-code base powered by proprietary AI (and generative AI), Sprinklr ensures experiences originate from one source of ultimate truth — an absolute customer view. 

But as ancient Vedic knowledge goes, “Truth is not to be believed, but to be witnessed.” Here’s how to experience Sprinklr yourself.

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