Retail companies know first-hand the ROI of rewarding loyalty. If you’re anything like me, you receive a token of their appreciation each day in your inbox in the form of thank you notes, discount coupons, offers for free shipping, etc. But what about other industries? What works for one industry may not work for another. It’s not so relevant to receive a coupon for enterprise software or consulting services. Yet the need to reward loyalty remains.
There are many great ways to recognize and thank your customer. And, what I love about these ideas, it lets THEM shine. It puts the spotlight on them; recognizing what they are achieving and in the end; recognizing your company for contributing to their success.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Nominate them for an Award: This is hand down my FAVORITE. Find an award that recognizes a company or leader making a difference and nominate a customer. To do this well, it takes time and coordination with them but when they win, it’s huge. I’ll warn that some awards are pay-to-play so take a look at the cost and see if it’s worth the ROI for your organization. Remember, the award sponsor frequently issues a press release featuring award nominees and recipients so this two for one ends up being marketing GOLD.
Speaking Engagements: You’d be surprised how many people would jump at the chance to share their story in front of their peers. This may not be an award, but standing in front of hundreds to thousands of conference attendees and sharing their wins and challenges is a huge opportunity to enrich their brand and the personal brand of the speaker.
Press Placement: Most reporters today want a story pitched to them. Make their job easy by pitching one of your customers and how their product or service makes a difference, is the future of their industry, changes the way people do business. The result could be an article, interview or blog but any of them are a win. This obviously takes coordination with their PR Team but usually getting edit rights before release earns you a “yes”.
Free admission to an event or training: While many organizations cannot accept gifts per se, many of them can accept free passes to your annual event or training. Most people want to attend the event but often budgets prevent them. Alleviate much of the burden by getting them in the door for free. This not only rewards them by saving them money but also fills seats, gets them in the room with prospects and customers, posting on social media and listening to the new offerings available to them.
Discount on renewals: The closest thing that most industries can offer to “free shipping” is a discounted renewal. Your CRO may not love the discount rate, but typically this offer gets people to renew sooner saving some end of year uncertainty. This does effect the bottom line a bit but having them not renew effects the bottom line even more.
Celebrating your customer is important. It’s not 100% altruistic and that is OK. It’s really not very different than donating money to a charitable organization and realizing a tax benefit. At the end of the day, honoring your customer in these ways deepens your relationship with your customers and that is priceless. The stronger the relationship, the stronger the referral, the renewal and the online review. Celebrating your customer is just a win-win for everyone.
Have questions about anything discussed here? Don’t hesitate to contact me.