Ways to Say Thanks There are strategic techniques to show appreciation to your clients all year long -- techniques that benefit their companies and yours.

By Kim Walsh Phillips

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Hero Images | Getty Images

If you are like most business owners and entrepreneurs (and your momma raised you right) at this time of year you focus on how to thank those who do business with you all year round. Beyond gifting now in the holiday season, there are five things you can do to show your thanks and appreciation.

These practices also make your customers, clients and patients the center of your marketing, giving them recognition and celebrity status while helping you to build your brand. (Win, win, win and win!)

Besides sending an actual gift of thanks (note to my vendors: I like things that sparkle), put one or two of these practices in place to grow trust with your customers, clients, patients and prospects:

Smile pretty.

Forget stock photos. First of all, they look terrible. Second, they are a waste of money. Third, they look terrible.

In your marketing, use pictures of actual customers on your website, in your ads, your marketing materials, etc. We've split-tested it for our clients and the actual customers win every time when it comes to results.

Make their stories your stories.

In the content you share in your marketing, such as newsletters and blogs, instead of making your marketing about you, feature the successes of your customers. Tell the story of their problem before working with you and then after they had success with your business. If you can include actual tangible results, even better.

Related: 9 Ways Startups Fuel Great ROI From Their Existing Content Marketing Strategy

This practice elevates your customer to celebrity status, making them the center of your marketing, and gives your prospects "someone who says so besides you" proof. And the ROI for pieces like this can be huge. A piece I wrote about our financial advisor clients more than two years ago, still delivers clients to this day and is responsible for over a million dollars worth of business in my firm.

Q&A for ROI.

Create a regular feature of interviewing your customers in your content. This not only builds social proof to your prospects, but it makes for more interesting content for your readers. Plus it gives something to your satisfied customer to share with friends and family.

Try doing a Facebook Live when visiting with a customer in person, or use a software such as Zoom.com to conduct the interview remotely. You can even simply send your customer a list of questions that they answer each month in your newsletter or your blog for a regular customer feature. Either way, you are creating content that makes both your customers look good and your business look good at the same time.

Perks for players.

Recently I was at one of my "most frequented" blow-dry bars (this mane needs constant taming) and tried to use a Groupon I had purchased. They wouldn't take it because I was an existing customer. Mind you, I had spent thousands of dollars at this business before. Their decision not to honor something that they were giving to people who had never spent a dime with them, was enough to ensure I would never go back in there.

Related: 3 Ways to Create Customer Experiences That Boost Sales

Your customers who are already paying you should come before your leads. They should get every perk and privilege from your business. In our firm, our private clients get a complimentary membership to Powerful Professionals Association, a free subscription to our paid newsletter, and complimentary tickets to our upcoming GameChangerMarketingSummit.com. Let your customers know they are your VIP's all of the time.

Remember what most forget.

We do send a holiday gift to our clients each year, but we also recognize a holiday most forget – the founding date of the firm. An entrepreneur's company's "birthday" (its date of founding) is often more important than their own birthday, and we send our clients a cake on theirs. We also send a fun birthday treat on their actual birthday and a "shock and awe box" to welcome them into the agency. Our clients are continually reminded that they matter to us and not just from Thanksgiving to New Years. Because they do.

Related: Tech Makes Employee Gifting This Festive Season Sweeter

If all of what we do for our clients seem overwhelming at first, don't let it. You don't need to go zero to sixty in implementing customer recognition. Just start with one or two of the above strategies to get started. Be consistent and your customer recognition marketing will pay dividends, both for your customer and for your company's ROI.

Wavy Line
Kim Walsh Phillips

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

Founder of Powerful Professionals

Kim Walsh Phillips went from 32 clients to over 11,000 in less than a year and founded Powerful Professionals, a business coaching company that has been scaling consulting and coaching businesses. Phillips is the best-selling author of The No BS Guide To Direct Response Social Media Marketing.

Editor's Pick

She's Been Coding Since Age 7 and Presented Her Life-Saving App to Tim Cook Last Year. Now 17, She's on Track to Solve Even Bigger Problems.
I Helped Grow 4 Unicorns Over 10 Years That Generated $18 Billion in Online Revenues. Here's What I've Learned.
Want to Break Bad Habits and Supercharge Your Business? Use This Technique.
Don't Have Any Clients But Need Customer Testimonials? Follow These 3 Tricks To Boost Your Rep.
Why Are Some Wines More Expensive Than Others? A Top Winemaker Gives a Full-Bodied Explanation.

Related Topics

Business News

'All Hell Is Going to Break Loose': Barbara Corcoran Issues Warning About Real Estate Market, Interest Rates

The "Shark Tank" star appeared on FOX Business' "The Claman Countdown" this week.

Business News

This Is the Most Loved Company of 2023, According to a New Report

A new Axios and Harris Poll ranked the 100 most visible U.S. companies.


How I Made Money From My Book Without Selling a Single Copy

Did you know you can make money with a book without selling copies? Here's exactly how I did it.

Money & Finance

3 Ways to Create Multiple (Big) Streams of Income

Here are three ways to create multiple streams of income. These strategies require effort and resources but offer significant financial potential.


Finding Your Brand Voice — How to Write Copy That Sounds Like You

Here's how to nail your brand voice so you can differentiate yourself and build your business in an authentic way.

Business News

Lululemon Stock Surges After Strong Q1 Earnings Report, With Massive Earnings Overseas

The athleisure brand reported net revenue growth of 24% in the first quarter of 2023.