By John Oechsle
Let’s face it—you can work hard, have a great team, and offer great products or services, but it’s ultimately your customers who keep the business going and growing. While this has always been true, today’s technology is enabling an unparalleled awareness of customer centricity for small businesses. In fact, Walker Consulting predicts that in the next few years the most successful businesses won’t be winning based on price or products, but on their ability to deliver amazing customer experiences.
In light of this, it seems rather remarkable that—despite the myriad of national holidays that have been established to celebrate pretty much everything (National Earmuff Day?)—there’s no national holiday that’s specifically about celebrating the customer. After all, what better way to show your recognition and appreciation of those who support your business than by embracing a day that’s all about them? Luckily, the international business community has got a handle on it.
March 19 is International Client’s Day, an unofficial holiday (which originated in Lithuania and Russia) that I’m hoping will gain greater popularity around the world. This holiday acknowledges that customers are the foundation of every business—big or small—and encourages organizations to find creative ways to show their gratitude. With just a few weeks left to plan, what can you do to show your appreciation?
Here are a few simple ideas:
Spread the love on social media
Who are your best and most loyal clients? What are some of their most recent successes or milestones? Social media was made for celebrating these things! You can spotlight your customer superstars by creating encouraging graphics or even just crafting simple messages that tag their business or team (e.g. Keep up the great work, @SwiftpageFan! Happy #ClientsDay).
By acknowledging the success they’ve had and giving them a shout-out on Facebook or Twitter, you can not only help drive traffic their way, but also build up critical customer engagement—both with existing and potential clients who follow your feed.
Check in with a personalized message
Chances are you know your customers pretty well. In the course of your relationship with them, you’ve collected priceless information about what they do, what they purchase, what their specific challenges are, and more. Use this data to reach out to each customer directly (digitally or in person) with personalized messages that demonstrate how much they mean to you and your organization.
Are they running low on a certain product? Is there a new/different service that could help them accomplish their goals? Could your team be doing something to improve their experience with your business? International Client’s Day provides the perfect opportunity to make the rounds and check in with your customers, all while offering customized insights that showcase their position as a valued business partner.
Reward their loyalty with exclusive offers
In order to appeal to new customers, many businesses offer special rates and promotions for first-time buyers. This may be a great way to drum up new business, but what about the customers and clients who have been integral in supporting your business thus far?
This International Client’s Day, make it a point to reward your loyal customers with offers meant just for them. Start a “Client’s Day” campaign by sending exclusive email blasts to your existing customer base with special promo rates, product upgrades, premier customer support, or products from one of your partners. By putting the needs of your existing customers first, you can show that you really mean it when you say that your customers are the reason your business exists.
As business guru Michael LeBoeuf notes, “Every company’s greatest assets are its customers, because without customers there is no company.” That truth represents why March 19—International Client’s Day—is the most valuable day of the year for businesses: it puts a priority on building trust, engagement, and a true sense of partnership with those who are most important to your business success—your customers and clients. By taking this one day to demonstrate just how much your customers mean to your business, you can provide an exceptional experience that will help keep your customers satisfied, inspired, and connected to your company all year long.
John Oechsle is the president and CEO of Swiftpage.