Customer Appreciation is NOT a Sale!

If you search Google or Twitter for “customer appreciation” a lot of what you will find are sales. defines appreciation as “gratitude; thankful recognition.” Somehow marketers have decided that an invitation to buy stuff at a discount is a form of appreciation. At the end of a customer appreciation sale, the customer spent money and the business made money. This is not recognition of the customer. This is another sales promotion.

customer appreciation sale

Think about how you feel when you get a card in the mail. You open it and it says “Thank You.” You feel satisfaction inside that someone sincerely appreciates you. It will most likely brighten your day. Your feelings toward the sender are something like, “How thoughtful!”

Now consider the same scenario. You receive a card in the mail. It’s clearly not a bill, so you open it first. You see the thank you and start feeling good. Then inside you find that because you are a “loyal customer” the business is giving you 20% off. I like a good deal as much as the next person. If this comes from my favorite business, I might even use the coupon and be glad. But it is a much different feeling than a sincere thank you with no other purpose than appreciation.

Better Ways to Show Customer Appreciation

If you really want your customers to know you appreciate them, don’t host a sale. Instead, send out cards. Give gifts to your top 20%. But please don’t consider a sale the same as appreciating your customers. Customers are smart. They easily recognize ulterior motives. As a business owner, you need to be clear on what your motives are. Is it a sales promotion or an opportunity to appreciate your clients? Is it an opportunity to increase revenue, or a chance to give back to the people who made you what you are?

Don’t get me wrong. I believe there is a place for sales. It is wonderful to offer a special discount to your loyal customers. You should reward them for their loyalty. But there is also a place for good old-fashioned appreciation. Thank you for your business should be shown in more than the sign they see on the way out the door. It should be integrated into everything you do.

You can give extra time and attention. Get to know them as a person so you can better serve their needs. Give extra service and do it with joy. Send a hand-written thank you after they have done business with you. Send a gift at a holiday or birthday to let them know that they matter to you. But please, don’t include your business card. Don’t include an offer. Just be sincere in your appreciation. Let them know you mean it – because a business without customers is OUT of business.

If you sincerely appreciate your clients, yet you know you aren’t showing it, contact Touch Your Client’s Heart. We can help you find a way to appreciate your clients that doesn’t involve the word “sale.”

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