When you’re caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday business, it’s easy to lose sight of the need to keep customers feeling appreciated. Yet, the simple act of saying thank you can go a very long way to keeping them not only happy, but also loyal.

In these challenging economic times, it’s worth remembering that it’s always less expensive to nurture relationships with existing customers than to acquire new ones. With this in mind, maintaining a high customer retention rate clearly hinges on showing appreciation. At RingCentral, we thank our most loyal customers through the RingCentral Superfan program, a no-strings attached customer appreciation idea that integrates the five tips below. If you’d like to join the Superfan club, please send us an email.

Five ways to thank your customers:

1. Send Personalized Thank You Notes

There is something formal and distant about an automated email to thank a customer. Instead, taking the time to write a personalized thank you to a customer shows both appreciation and dedication. Sure, it may seem like a small gesture, but in this age of spam mail and automated, pre-recorded calls, picking up a pen and paper to write a short thank you note can grab a customer’s attention and leave a lasting impression.

2. Give Referrals

If your customers are other business owners, it can really pay to keep your eye out for opportunities to refer business to them. A referral to a customer is a goodwill gesture that not only shows that you appreciate them; it also positions you as a valuable ally to have for the long-term.

3. Create Loyalty Rewards

Do you have customers who buy repeatedly from you and are loyal to your business? Reward them with special discounts or promotions such as a “punch card” programs or a birthday club to show your appreciation. Not only will you generate more sales, you’ll communicate that you truly want customers to keep coming back. Want more loyal customers? Why not advertise this program on your business phone system’s on-hold message to encourage others to participate, too!

4. Host an Event

Another way to make customers feel special is to host an exclusive event. An after-hours cocktail event or an early special in-store sale just for loyal customers can make them feel like they’re part of your business’ community. Build up the exclusivity of the event by sending them a postcard invitation that they must present to attend.

5. Ask for Feedback

Customers have opinions, and, as a business owner, you should value them. By asking your customers for their advice, recommendations, and suggestions on your products and services, you are saying thank you to those who support your business and communicating that you want to make sure that you’re building a business that they can support on an ongoing basis.