Picking a gift to show customer appreciation is exciting, yet it can also be tough.
You want it to be appropriate, within your budget, and most importantly, you want the gift to stand out so that your customer has your business top-of-mind. You also want to be mindful of when you send someone a gift and what the gift is, as you don’t want to come off as trying to bribe or corrupt a customer!
Fortunately, you don’t have to break your budget to send a nice, memorable gift to a great customer. Of course, occasion does have a lot to do with what kind of gift you give, so sometimes it is fitting to go a bit pricier with your gift selection. You can check out our list of recommendations that fit an array of budgets below.
A handwritten note
A handwritten note shouldn’t be underestimated. People always love and appreciate getting a handwritten note – it’s an old, yet tried and true move. This is an especially smart idea if you’re trying to establish a new relationship with customers, as a “thank you for supporting my business” gesture (which can easily inspire them to think of your business in the future).
If you do a handwritten note as customary gift to send throughout the year, it’s smart to invest in some good letterhead paper and envelopes. Some great places to buy letterhead stationary from are VistaPrint, or support other small business owners and check out the selection on Etsy.
This can act both as an appreciation gift as well as an incentive to get your customer to return to your business in the future. Especially if you are in a trade that people only need once in a while (such as a repairman, landscaper, or a plumber), it’s a good gesture to offer some type of free individual or add-on service.
If it’s the holiday season, or a loyal customer has reached a milestone amount of money spent on your business, that’s a good time to reach out and say “I’d like to offer you your next service for free. Thanks for being such a loyal customer.”
If you do some customer research or interact with your customer daily, you may learn that they are involved in and very passionate about philanthropy. A great gift idea could be to send your customer a letter noting that you have made a donation to their favorite cause, such as saving the ocean or a local women’s crisis center.
Maybe your customer is a philanthropic organization, such as an animal rescue center. Making a donation to their cause shows your utmost support and can easily help build a more trusting and loyal relationship.
Let’s say you have a close work relationship with your customer, such as being someone’s consultant, and you have learned their favorite band is playing a concert locally. Or, maybe they are a big sports fan. Gifting them with event tickets is pricier but totally worth it. You’re both offering them a memorable experience, and they’ll remember you did such a kind thing for them.
Similar to an event, you could also give them a spa gift certificate and encourage them to go get a well-deserved massage. This is especially appropriate if your customer is into wellness and fitness. Or, if you know they have great taste in food, get them a restaurant gift card so they can enjoy a great meal.
People love money, especially gift cards, so that’s an easy way to give a good gift. You could make it specific to your trade, but it’s smarter to go based off of what your customer likes. If you don’t know, it’s safe to go with something like an Amazon gift card because that can basically get the customer anything. If you know your customer loves Starbucks, a good Starbucks gift card and a mug is perfect.
You could also do a Visa gift card so it can be used anywhere that accepts credit card payments, but that’s probably better as a reward rather than a specific gift of appreciation.
Professional notebooks & pens
This is a really good gift idea, especially if your customer is another business owner. Say you know your customer just launched their new business, you might get them a fine leather notebook that’s engraved or embossed with their business’ name on it along with their first name.
If you want to send a gift to a customer that can be shared with their family (or coworkers), delivered gourmet food is a great option, such as cupcakes or a fruit basket. If you know that your customer is a fitness nut, get them a basket that has an organic food and wellness theme. Or, if it’s for the holidays, get a traditional basket filled with hot cocoa, chocolates, and other seasonal desserts like chocolate-drizzled popcorn.
If you’re looking to send a customer’s company a gift and you know that they absolutely adore a local pizza place, order their company catering. A good, prepared meal is always well-received and appreciated – and if you go to the lengths of finding out their favorite lunch spot, you’ll make yourself stick out even more.
People love a good floral arrangement or even a lovely plant. Get your customer a succulent garden in a beautiful pot as a gift of gratitude for their business. If you are trying to amp your customer service, and you know your customer is going through a hard time, send them a floral arrangement along with your condolences. That will definitely make your business stand out and stay top-of-mind. Plus, the gesture could inspire your customer to speak highly about you to other potential customers.
A good bottle of wine
Especially around the holiday season, a good bottle of wine is usually a well-received gift. If you know your customer is a crafty person and enjoys DIY, maybe give them a beer brewing kit – it’s fun and something they can consume!
Wine and liquor is also a really good gift to send if your customer has just celebrated a personal life success or milestone, such as a job promotion, marriage, or buying a new home. Maybe send your customer a good bottle of bubbly as a celebration for the launch of her new eCommerce shop – celebrating your customers’ victories is a very good move to boost your reputation.
The world is becoming more innovative and dependent on technology, so it’s safe to say that your customers are also using tech consumers. If you want to go big, get them a tablet or music player. If you aren’t looking to spend too much money, get them something such as a portable phone charger or headphones.
If you want to really impress a customer who you have a tighter relationship with, you may consider getting them an iPad or another tablet. There’s always a new “it” tech item, so researching the latest and greatest tech products will help you out big time!
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When she’s not writing for SB, Pauline runs an intuitive healing business... and is still writing as she types up psychic readings! As she was raised by entrepreneurs, she knows what it takes to be a small business owner.
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*Harborway Insurance policies are underwritten by Spinnaker Insurance Company and reinsured by Munich Re, an A+ (Superior) rated reinsurance carrier by A.M. Best. Harborway Insurance is a trade name of Simply Business, Inc., which is a licensed insurance producer in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.