What is the ROI of Client Appreciation?

When you give gifts to clients, what is the reason that you do it?  Everything you do in business should be driven by an end goal or a purpose.  The plan behind your actions is what gets results.  Client appreciation is one of those fuzzy areas that you want to be heart felt, but you want to make sure you spend your money wisely.

In business, everything is tracked with the ROI, or return on investment.  Business owners want to know that the investment they put into their business is coming back to them. This may include increased revenue, building their list, or increasing brand awareness.  The return on investment for client gifts is partly found in un-measurable things like how clients perceive your brand.  It can also be directly tied to client retention and referrals.  The key is to do it the right way.

client appreciation

What is Your Intention?

Clients can sense insincerity.  They know right away if it is another marketing ploy.  Customers don’t want to be sold to or marketed to.  They want to know you care.  If you give a “gift” for their birthday for $15 off of services, the intent is for them to come and spend money with your business.  That is marketing.  There is nothing wrong with marketing.  Just don’t expect your client to feel like you care about them and are doing them a favor.  In the end of the transaction, your business will still make money off of that “gift” and the customer knows that.

If you send out a gift because you want more business, clients will sense that, too.  Your client will be able to sense your intention to increase sales rather than truly appreciate them.  And that is a big turn off.  When a client feels like the reason for the gift is not to be nice, but to get more business, it can actually have the opposite effect.  They will recognize it as a marketing ploy and will be less likely to tell their friends.

If your goal in sending out a thank-you gift is to appreciate your clients, they will feel that as well.  If they feel that you value and appreciate them sincerely, then they will sincerely want to do more business with you and refer you to their friends.  The only way to get that reaction is to give without any expectation that you will get anything back.

ROI Happens Over Time

You may not see the return on investment immediately, but what you give out will always come back to you.  If you sincerely give to your clients, they will sincerely give you more business.  Trying to pull more business out of them through a marketing ploy may actually have the opposite effect.

If you need help finding the difference between sincere client appreciation and just another marketing ploy for your business, schedule a Client Loyalty Audit.  I would love to give you some guidance to help you appreciate your clients AND grow your business.

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