Why You Should Thank Your Customers This Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is our opportunity to reflect upon the things we're grateful for. Expressing gratitude to your customers will help your company succeed.
It's that time of the year,
where the fallen leaves cover the streets
and the sweet smell of pumpkin pie fills the house.
In the midst of our holiday preparations we find some time to sit down and think.
As we reflect upon the past year, we smile with appreciation, we have a lot to be grateful for.
We realize that there is one group we should not forget:
They really ensured our financial and professional success with their decision of doing business with us.
Customers are so important, and yet, we rarely thank them.
Keep reading to learn:
Why you should express your gratitude to your customers?
How you can express your gratitude regardless of your budget?
Gratitude Builds Relationships
"Gratitude is a positive emotion that arises from the results of another person's actions" (Mangus, Bock, Jones & Garretson-Folse, 2017).
We feel grateful when peoples' gestures towards us helped in some way;
this could be a colleague who helped us solve an issue
or a friend who made us feel good about something we were uncertain of.
Gratitude allows us to learn more about the people around us.
Since it prompts us with the desire to reciprocate, it also strengthens our social bonds and relationships (Bock & Thomas, 2021).
Gratitude can strengthen relationships with customers
As stated above, gratitude strengthens social relationships for the simple reason that it motivates the recipient to give back.
Isn't it obvious that we need to create a culture of gratitude in the organizations we work for?
We have a lot to thank our customers for,
our company (and teams) succeed thanks to the customers' decisions to do business with us.
We cannot, and should not, take their decision for granted.
In today's business environment, with similar products being offered by multiple companies
and customers can easily turn to competitors,
we need to cherish our customers who chose us over other companies.
The Practice of Expressing Gratitude
Research shows companies that do not express gratitude toward their customers tend to:
Miss out on customer loyalty.
Form weaker relationships with customers (Mangus, Bock, Jones & Garretson-Folse, 2017).
Alternatively, companies that regularly express gratitude to their customers are able to:
Form stronger and more loyal relationships.
Foster positive emotions and prevent negative customer emotions.
You see, when a company expresses gratitude,
it signals to both existing customers and prospects that
high-quality relationships are prioritized by the company (Bock & Thomas, 2021).
4 Ways to Express Gratitude
Before you start listing reasons why you can't express gratitude to your customers,
There are so many ways to express gratitude regardless of your budget.
Below are my top four ways to express gratitude listed.
#1 - Use Your Out-of-the-office Auto Reply!
We are all familiar with the auto-reply system.
We turn it on when the email volume is too high or when we're off on vacation to set the right expectations with our customers.
You've probably started working on your Thanksgiving auto-reply.
Why not dedicate one sentence to thanking your customers?
I mean, you're already writing it.
Just start by wishing your customers Happy Thanksgiving and thanking them for working with you and your company.
This is a free and easy way to express gratitude that can really go a long way.
#2 - "Thank You" Email or Social Media Post
Next in line is the mass email or social media post scheduled a couple of days before Thanksgiving.
Instead of just posting a beautiful, yet random, banner that reads - "Happy Thanksgiving",
take a minute to write a genuine "Thank You" post/email.
To make sure it is genuine, list a couple of things you're grateful for that your customers have done for your company during the past year.
Depending on your messaging platform, this could also be a FREE way to express your gratitude.
Since the goal is to send it to all customers or post it on the company's social media channels,
I recommend collaborating with your Marketing Team,
which will require their "buy-in" and time.
#3 - Celebrate Customers' Wins
Here is my favorite way of expressing gratitude:
Celebrating the past year's customers' wins on social media.
Instead of just a "thank you" post,
create a video with the wins and milestones of your customers (with their approval, of course).
Use it as a way to both:
Celebrate those wins and milestones.
Thank your customers for their trust in your company/product.
This method has one advantage over the other:
It serves as a marketing post that further shapes your brand's perception and personality.
Customers want to do business with a company that is not only grateful but also celebrates their wins.
Just make sure the video is professional and on-brand.
#4 - Personal and Handwritten "Thank you" note
This practice is so uncommon that customers who do receive a handwritten thank-you note,
will be so pleasantly surprised that they'll appreciate doing business with you.
A handwritten note indicates that you took the time to express that you truly care about each and every customer
and see them as individuals rather than as another sum of money.
The key is to make it personal.
So, if you can include some personal details shared with you from a customer - do it!
For example, if you know that your customer has kids,
You can mention them in your note!
Thanksgiving is just around the corner.
Let's make the most of it by expressing our gratitude to our family, friends, and customers.
I'd love to hear your ways to express gratitude - please share them with me in the comment box below!
Side note: while the focus of this blog post is on expressing gratitude to your customers, I highly recommend doing so internally as well - with your colleagues and managers.
Mangus, M.S., Bock, E.D., Jones, E. & Garretson-Folse, A.J. (2017). Gratitude in buyer-seller relationships: A dyadic investigation. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 37(3), 250-267.
Bock, D. E., & Thomas, V. L. (2021). Too exciting to care? When expressing gratitude is a detriment to the brand. Journal of Advertising, 1-18.