Get to Know Your Customers Day is the third Thursday of each quarter (January, April, July, October). And while you don’t really need a special day to put your customers front and center, think of it as a day dedicated to making deeper connections with the people who make your business tick. And let’s face it, work would be pretty dreary without them.
Customer relationships fuel business success
The data doesn’t lie—customer relationships matter more than ever.
Consider these insights from a recent survey. If a customer has a bad experience with a business, almost half will stop buying from you. Nine out of ten will do so without giving you any reason, and more than 60% will vent about their bad experiences. Once it’s out there, the damage is done.
In the digital age, it’s all too easy to disconnect. If you operate primarily online, it’s even easier. If your customers aren’t getting what they need from you, they won’t hesitate to click over to a competitor’s site and file you under yesterday’s news, and that won’t take long to reflect in your bottom line. By the time you start to notice the downward trend, it’s probably too late.
Interestingly, it’s hardly ever about price. Customers are more likely to jump ship because of poor service, and most will gladly pay more if they know they’ll be treated right.
It takes as many as 12 positive customer experiences to outweigh one negative, so if you find yourself on the business end of that equation, you’ll always be chasing your tail.
7 awesome ideas for Get to Know Your Customers Day
You can nurture strong customer relationships in many ways, and we’ve got a few actionable ideas to get you started. What does this have to do with Get to Know Your Customers Day? It’s simple, really. If your customers are happy, your business thrives. It’s all about relationships.
Wondering how you can build better customer relationships? Here are seven ideas we think are simply fab.
1. Encourage honest opinions in exchange for a reward
One of the best ways to get to know your customers is by asking them what they think. There are several ways to accomplish this, but you should have a game plan going in. Create a Get to Know Your Customers Day survey to deploy online, in-store, or in context (while they’re shopping on your website).
Survey respondents should have the freedom to get as detailed as they’re inspired to be, but don’t force the issue. Online surveys, especially, tend to lose participants if they’re too lengthy or complicated.
Provide enough latitude for them to express their opinions and, most importantly, ask them what you could be doing to improve, what products or services they’d like to see, or areas of your business that could use an upgrade.
Involving customers in your next chapter is the best way to keep them interested, especially if you implement their ideas. Nothing says “I appreciate you” more than putting their suggestions into action!
2. Create detailed customer profiles in your CRM
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a great tool to help you learn more about your customers. There are many different CRM platforms. Some are dedicated to a specific industry or function, like sales enablement or marketing, but their core purpose is basically the same.
At its most basic, a CRM helps you keep track of all your customer data, from names and contact information to sales history, communications, interactions, and so on. The cool thing about CRM is that all that information is accessible from a single screen so you can visualize the complete customer lifecycle at a glance.
Plus, you’ll be able to automate birthday and anniversary greetings or let them know when there’s a sale coming up on a product they like—all with minimal extra effort on your part.
For larger companies, CRM is an essential tool that enables omnichannel customer service. It saves tons of time for smaller companies, too, as it provides valuable insights into the customer journey and helps you see places where you might improve. For example, you might identify a feature or service they’re not using that could benefit them and then proactively make that suggestion. Being part of the solution to their pain points will gain you massive dividends in customer loyalty.
If you’re not currently using a CRM, you can get started with HubSpot for free. If you use Invoice2go, a Bill.com company, you’ll be happy to know that we’re very close to launching our HubSpot integration. We’re also interested in your suggestions, so if you have a tool you use that you’d like to integrate with Invoice2go, let us know, and we’ll get right on it!
3. Celebrate! Your customers, that is
While throwing a party might not be possible with current public health restrictions, there are other ways you can make your customers feel special, such as offering perks tailored to their buying habits. Offers might include free or upgraded shipping, extra loyalty points on any purchase, or incentives they can collect to use later.
Some cool ideas we’ve seen include “secret envelopes,” which are given to customers when they come in on Get to Know Your Customers Day, to be brought back for a deep discount or free merchandise at a later date.
To do this, make up some gift certificates for various prizes, seal them in an envelope, and instruct the customer to come back within a specific time frame to redeem. (Don’t forget to print the return dates on the envelope as a reminder.) The envelope can’t be opened until they return, and the gift should have significant value. Restaurants, for example, might offer a free entrée, half-price on the entire meal, cocktails for two, a flight of wine, or movie tickets.
Of course, you don’t have to gamify your celebration to make it fun.
A few more ways to let your customers know you care:
- Pet stores: free toys or treats for loyal customers
- Ecommerce stores: special gift with purchase or free shipping
- Salons: gift bags, samples, or coupons for free treatments
- Clothing and cosmetics stores: complimentary styling sessions
- Landscapers: free consultation on landscape design or deep discounts for yearly maintenance contracts
- Freelancers: preferred/priority deliveries, waive rush fees, or free copyedits
How you celebrate your customers is about what you do best and why they love you. After all, you wouldn’t be where you are without them. How would you want to be thanked if you were in their shoes?
Think about what your people would genuinely appreciate; do something for them you know will make them smile. You know what to do.
4. Announce a new loyalty program or benefit
If you don’t already have a loyalty program, Get to Know Your Customers Day is a great time to start. Announce the launch of your new loyalty program in advance and encourage sign-ups on the day. Offer bonus points or benefits for new sign-ups, or double the loyalty points for purchases made during that day.
Encourage customers to fill out a detailed profile so you can tailor their rewards experience to their preferences. For example, some might want to roll their points over into discounted services, while others prefer free merchandise or upgrades.
Loyalty programs can be as simple as punch cards that add up to free stuff or a deep discount, or you could tie them to a loyalty app. If you’re an eCommerce business, look for third-party loyalty apps you can add to your site as a plug-in.
Other ideas include VIP memberships, insider’s clubs, referral programs, or free trials. Don’t forget to ask for emails so you can follow up with all the goods.
5. Create a social media event or contest
Get the word out on social media to start a buzz about Get to Know Your Customers Day. In the meantime, start collecting short video shout-outs from your best customers to feature on your page when the day comes. You can post them periodically throughout the day or add them to your story so everybody gets their moment. Your customers are the reason you’re in business, and this is your chance to shine the spotlight on them!
Contests on social media are also a popular way to encourage customer engagement. Ideas can include asking customers to take photos of themselves wearing your t-shirt, drinking your beer, or using your branded goods. Have them post them to their social and tag you to qualify for a big prize. Customer of the month, maybe?
Or, you could simply create a post and ask for an engagement—just one word in comments—to express their sentiments about your brand. At the end of the day, choose one person at random to win the prize. Make the reward valuable so people are invested in the result.
To take the engagement idea a step further, you might ask customers to submit a quick video about your company, an employee, or their experience with your brand to feature on your Instagram or Facebook Story. Sometimes recognition is just as nice as a tangible reward!
6. Thank your best customers personally
A personal “thank you” is a gesture not soon forgotten. Your best customers deserve to know that they’re part of your success, and there are few better ways to do it than by extending a personalized, heartfelt symbol of your appreciation.
If feasible, try to reach out to each one directly by phone, email, or writing them a note. The key thing is, make it personal. If you’re sending cards, write each one by hand. It’s a gesture seldom seen in the digital age and is sure to help you stand out as someone who cares.
If you’re sending an email, you could include a discount code or invite them to provide feedback as a way to help you improve your services. Let them know you want to continue to serve them in the best ways possible and solicit ideas on how you can do that. Everybody wants to be heard. All you have to do is open that door and listen to what they have to say. Business success is a two-way street, after all.
7. Give back
These days, people tend to choose brands based on shared values. Customers care more about how you conduct yourself, your manufacturing methods, and how you treat your employees than ever, so it’s that much more vital that you let them know where you stand.
Getting involved is a great way to show you understand what matters to your customers, but giving back in their name takes it up another notch.
So, ask yourself: What causes are your customers passionate about? It could be anything from a community initiative, like a school music program or a sports team, to affordable housing, guide dogs for veterans, the local children’s hospital, clean water initiatives, carbon offsets, plant a tree, or you name it. Just ask your best customers if you’re stuck for ideas or can’t decide. Send out a quick poll on social media to get a consensus before you move forward. And then…
Take that ball and run with it. Announce your cause and commit to donating a portion of sales to it each month. To take it a step further, invite customers to contribute and offer to match their donation. There’s no better feeling than being a part of a movement that’s bigger than yourself. If your business is the catalyst for that movement, it’ll manifest a strong sense of community that won’t easily be torn down. It’s a feel-good moment, and it’s also a way to show your customers that you’re listening.
Celebrate Get to Know Your Customers Day throughout the year
Get to Know Your Customers Day happens quarterly on the third Thursday, every January, April, July, and October, but that shouldn’t stop you from carrying these ideas forward throughout the year. Hopefully, these ideas will help you make meaningful connections with your customers that lead to strong, loyal relationships that are fruitful for all concerned.