Let Them Know You Care: Client Appreciation Gifts

by Thom Tracy

3 min read

An important part of establishing a new business is building a loyal client fan base, which is easier said than done. Great products and solid customer service are enough to attract and retain new customers, but showing appreciation and thanks can help create brand loyalists and champions. You can win repeat business and referrals by creating a client appreciation program.

It’s Not About You

Your first inclination may be to give clients a promotional gift item emblazoned with your company’s logo. Although this is not an uncommon idea, and can sometimes be appreciated by clients, the promotional item works less toward client appreciation and more toward marketing. Branded items aren’t truly gifts, because your company clearly benefits. The strongest gifts are selfless in nature. For instance, a gift card to a coffee shop versus a company polo.

Time Your Gift Just Right

Make a big first impression by giving new clients a small token of appreciation when they first become clients. If clients know about your gift in advance, it’s an incentive. If they don’t, it’s a nice surprise. Periodically, thank your loyal clients by giving them a surprise gift item, which lets them know you appreciate their loyalty. Gifts can be quarterly, during certain holidays or once a year. These can be food items like fruit baskets or cookie tins, or tickets to sporting events.

Personalize Gifts

Giving a gift card to every client is a nice gesture, but it lacks the personal touch. It’s easy to personalize your gifts using client names and lifestyle preferences. To find out what clients ask them questions during interactions or you could create an online survey. Adding a personal touch to your gift can turn a casual client into a loyal fan.

Selecting Appropriate Client Gifts

Gift giving isn’t just about giving anything, you should put some thought into what to give. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about costs, because clients are mostly impressed by the effort that goes into selecting gifts they enjoy. There are several gift ideas that are ideal for individuals or office groups like swinging by their office with donuts.

Small Branded Item Gifts

The products you offer on a regular basis can make a nice give away to clients if they appeal to a wide range of people. This gifting method works well, because your clients are already familiar with your product offerings. Clients appreciate receiving a small sample of a new item, or a popular existing item. Or, you can give them a range of small items in a sampler kit. Some ideas could include branded stylus pens, or Bluetooth speakers.

15 Minutes of Fame Gift

Gifts don’t have to be a tangible item. They can be something like featuring a client on your online wall of fame, or selecting a client of the month. Clients are likely to feel honored to be chosen and might want to share this esteemed praise with their friends and family.

Special Occasion Gift

Special occasion gift giving is very popular among new and established businesses. Perhaps you can give away items during popular holidays, or give clients a surprise birthday gift. One way to collect birth dates is to offer an incentive for clients to sign up to your email list or VIP club, creating a form that includes date of birth (but not the year). This idea also works for anniversaries.

Regional Gift

Canadian provinces have a rich history, and each area has something unique to offer. A quick search helps you find unique and award-winning products produced locally. Unique specialty gifts are fun to give, and they shine a positive light on your company. Selecting regional products is also a great way to support local businesses. You can go a step further and set up a business partnership where each partner provides gifts for each other’s clientele. Taking the time to plan and implement a thoughtful client appreciation gift program is a wise investment. Gift giving makes your company look good, and it also nurtures strong, long-term client relationships.

References & Resources

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