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Saying thank you is important – it feels good, makes others feel good and is great for business. It needn’t be expensive, either. Read on to discover loads of ways you can thank your team and your customers – and start reaping the rewards of stronger business relationships.
Thanking your team
Appreciated employees are happy employees, and happy employees do better work. Try some of these tips to boost morale and get the most from your team.
- Say thank you face to face. The most genuine way to express your appreciation is in person.
- Make Fridays fun days. Let employees finish early for pizza and drinks (or something healthier – try to be aware of your team’s tastes and preferences).
- Leave a hand-written note. Whether a thank you card or a post-it note – it’s personal, powerful and sure to be appreciated. Remember to be specific.
- Invite them to lunch. Treat your team to a tasty meal and let everyone get to know each other a little better.
- Acknowledge good work. Did somebody do a great job? Be specific and give them praise for a job well done.
- Go out for the day. Give team members a chance to bond over a fun activity like paintball, wine tasting or hiking – choose something that suits your team.
- Give gifts. A bottle of wine or a voucher lets employees know their hard work is appreciated – you don’t have to wait for Christmas or birthdays.
- Throw a party. Give everybody a chance to blow off some steam and get to know each other better (the drinks are on you).
- Bring tasty treats to work. Go for a selection of fresh fruit and tasty cakes so everyone’s happy.
- Remember your indirect team. Show gratitude to the postman, the cleaner and anybody else who helps to keep your business running smoothly.
- Match charity donations. Help your employees support their favourite charities by matching their contributions.
- Remember birthdays. Nobody likes to be forgotten – a thoughtful card or small gift is all it takes.
- Give a day off. Almost all employees will really appreciate this – however dedicated they might be!
- Upgrade your workplace. Find out if your staff are comfortable at work – if not, what do they need? A happy employee is a productive employee.
- Organise breakfast. Have a breakfast buffet delivered or go out for coffee as a team.
- Award a trophy. Recognise a great job with a trophy – this can also be rotated on a weekly or monthly basis.
- Free massages. Not given by you – hire a professional. You’ll be amazed what a 45-minute session can do for productivity and staff morale.
- Encourage learning. Help your employees get better at their work by paying for a training course or class for them.
- Be respectful and considerate. It only takes a moment of frustration to undo all the great work you’ve done developing a positive relationship.
Thanking your customers
Customers are the lifeblood of any business, so it makes sense to take care of them. Happy customers are more likely to be loyal and refer you to their friends and family.
- Give hand-written thank you notes. In a world of instant messaging and email, a personal note shows how thoughtful you are. Post it alone or include with an order.
- Send a Christmas card. A simple greeting card lets your customers know you value them – and look forward to doing business again.
- Reward loyal customers. This can be as simple as sending vouchers to your top customers at the end of the year.
- Offer free delivery. Even if only for a limited time, customers love free delivery – especially during the holidays!
- Give away branded products. Choose something practical like pens or mugs with your name and logo on it to help keep your business top of mind.
- Deliver great customer service. Be polite, engaged and willing to work with your customers to solve any issues they have (and make sure your team do the same).
- Show customers you’ve listened. If you made changes after getting feedback from a customer, be sure to them know.
- Give surprise rewards. Offer a random customer a discount, upgrade or free product. Unexpected kindness guarantees positive word of mouth for your business.
Working in retail? Try these tips:
- Branded bags. We all need shopping bags. Pick one at your price point, add your logo, and remind customers of your business every time they shop.
- Free samples. Whatever you’re selling, most customers love free stuff. A tried and tested method of attracting attention and winning customers.
- Offer gift wrapping. Nothing says thanks like saving customers some time – especially during the Christmas season.
- Hang up a banner. Sometimes the simplest approach is the best. Make a sign that says “Thanks for your business in 2016. Looking forward to seeing you again next year.”
Here are some ideas for gardeners and landscapers:
- Give out custom calendars. Great for Christmas, you can highlight your best work in photos and add seasonal reminders like “Schedule summer gardening.”
- Send a packet of herb seeds. A thoughtful gift that’ll help customers remember you – many can grow indoors or out, even in winter months.
- Seasonal greenery. A simple wreath with a bow and a hand-written note is a lovely way to thank your customers.
Hints for hairdressers and salons:
- Make photo magnets. Add a photo of your customer’s fresh haircut along with your business phone number so they remember who keeps their hair looking great.
- Give away some products. Offer small sample bottles of your products – if customers like them, they’ll come in to buy more.
- Be attentive. Salon customers are coming to be cared for – remember their names, offer them complimentary drinks and extend a warm smile.
What about bar, restaurant or café owners?
- Use loyalty cards. This classic tactic is the perfect way to reward loyal customers for repeat business – offer them a free drink, a free meal or even a surprise gift, like a box of chocolates.
- Offer tempting treats. Give passersby bite-size menu samples or seasonal treats like hot chocolate and gingerbread. They’ll remember your goodwill and festive food!
- Host a party for your locals. If you’ve got enough loyal customers, put on a night dedicated to thank them – you can offer them special prices and VIP treatment.