As a retailer, your customers are already a top priority — but how are you making sure they feel that way?
It’s extremely easy, and fun, to spice things up and remind your customers that you value their business. After all, there’s no better way to build brand loyalty than to tap into a happy customer base!
Our Favorite Customer Engagement Ideas
We’ve gathered a handful of customer appreciation ideas your small business can utilize to give them the warm and fuzzies. Feel free to snag a few — and let us know how they work out for you!
1. Gift Customers on Their Birthday
No matter your customer demographics, there’s no denying that most people get pretty excited about their birthday.
A super fun and easy idea is to offer birthday rewards at your shop. Starbucks is well-known for their rewards system for this reason — and their customers look forward to their free birthday item every year.
The item you offer doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, however, you want customers to be excited to receive it in the first place.
Put some thought into what you’d offer before pulling the trigger. It’s only a once-per-year commitment, and to be honest, it might slip some people's minds if they have other things going on that day. Low cost, high reward!
2. Engage with Visitors on Social Media
Many small businesses use this tactic. At checkout, ask your customer to follow one of your business accounts on social media, or post a photo on their profile tagging your business, and offer them something in return. This can be a free product, 10 percent off their entire purchase, or something along those lines.
Another idea is to take photos of your customers in store (with their permission, of course) and tag them in what you post on social media.
For example, if you run a clothing boutique and you notice a customer looks incredible in one of your dresses, ask them if you can snap a quick photo. Most people won’t mind, and we’ve found that younger customers who’ve grown up on social media tend to appreciate the recognition!
Then, once you publish the photo to your story or timeline with the customer tagged in it, they’re much more likely to share that content, putting more eyes on your shop.
Finally, a more hands-off approach is to simply offer to feature your customers. All they have to do is post a photo with your business tagged in it, and you promise to share it to your profile (or repost). This works best if your business account has a significant number of followers, because your customers will love getting eyes on their profiles too.
Social media engagement is free, it makes shopping fun for your customers, and it’s a great brand awareness tactic.
3. Surprise a Customer of the Day
This is a fun opportunity as well, because you can set benchmarks for your business in advance.
For example, you can plan to reward your 50th customer, then your 100th customer and so on. Maybe you could even reward your first customer to spend over $200 in your store.
No matter the goal they reach, make it known that this person is the customer of the day. Whether you give them a free product or a discount off their in-store purchase, this unexpected surprise will put a smile on their face.
4. Offer Occasional Freebies
Discounts are great, but consumers love free things.
Think of what makes sense for your business, and consider offering some free items to brighten your customer’s day.
The freebie can be as simple as free candy at your register. Or maybe once a month you have a variety of exclusive product samples that customers can try out at no cost. You could even do something bigger on a quarterly basis, like a free health and wellness evaluation for all of your grocery store customers.
You can really get creative here! At the end of the day, high-quality freebies will leave customers feeling impressed and valued.
5. Incentivize Customer Reviews
Reviews should be honest and unbiased, so we are not recommending that you try to sway customers to have a certain opinion of your business.
However, there’s no harm in rewarding customers who were a pleasure to work with and left a positive review about your store!
Whenever someone leaves a positive review about your small business, or even says something incredible about your store on social media, reach out to them in a reply or direct message. You can tell them to stop in for a special treat, and of course, you can decide whatever you want that surprise to be.
On the other hand, if someone leaves you a negative review, there is still an opportunity to get a customer back and nurture that relationship. Make sure you publicly reply to the comment so that others can see it’s being handled, and offer to make it up to them. This lets customers know that their feedback is heard and taken seriously.
6. Stay in Touch with Fans
This sounds like a no-brainer, but many small businesses are not taking full advantage of modern communication methods.
It’s more important than ever to stay in touch with customers. Most people spend an astronomical amount of time on their phones, and are constantly overstimulated. If you’re not reaching out to them, they’ll forget about you — especially because there’s likely an overwhelming amount of retailers who are reaching out to them.
Utilize customer emails, phone numbers, and mailing addresses to reach out. Send people who haven’t visited in a while customized coupons. Or send a text invitation to a special in-store sale or after-hours event. No matter the occasion, you want to make an effort to stay connected to the people you value most.
Managing Customer Appreciation with a POS Solution
Do all these ideas sound great to you, but you’re not sure where to begin?
Managing customer relationships is much easier with a point of sale solution that’s designed to meet retailers’ needs.
A POS system that’s not custom to retail won’t do the things you need it to, which results in lost time, wasted money, and a lot of frustration. It’s why we recommend finding a solution that serves your specific industry.
If you’re interested in a powerful POS system that was made with retailers in mind, give CAP Retail by POS Nation a spin in a live software demo! You can also reach out to our team with any questions you have at 1-877-727-3548.