9 Customer Appreciation Ideas for Small Businesses

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Any business, small or large, knows the importance of having satisfied customers. They are the backbone of any successful company. But for larger corporations, customers tend to come and go so often that they don’t feel the difference as much as a small family business. That’s why smaller companies need to pay special attention to developing great relationships with their customers.

Your product or service is probably the reason a customer chose you in the first place. After manufacturing a great product, selling it to a client is the first step in building your relationship. Market these days became very competitive, so much that it’s highly likely that there will be brands that will try or manage to create a very similar product. The result of the ever-growing competition in the small business market is driving companies to value each customer interaction!

One of the best ways to show your customers how attentive you are to their needs is to invest your time and energy in showing them appreciation.

What is customer appreciation?

Simply put — it’s a way of expressing gratitude to customers. Making them feel special and showing them that you care. Making time to get out of your busy schedule to say thanks, not only makes them feel better but increases the chances of them returning to your business.


The importance of customer appreciation is backed by a survey that says that 91% of respondents claim they are more likely to do business with companies that appreciate their customers.

Businesses need to show love to their customers. But, it can be time-consuming, especially for smaller businesses. It’s tough to show great care with the little time you probably have handling other stuff. That’s why we’ve created a list of ideas that might save you some time. While the good ol’ “thank you” message might do the job, being creative will likely have a bigger impact. With that being said, let’s start with our list!

#1 Scented “thank you” cards

Being creative is all about lateral thinking. You don’t need to invent a never-seen-before way of thanking your best customers. But improving already proven tricks might work great.

That’s why we suggest you write (by hand if possible) a personalized “thank you” card to a designated customer, but spray it with a scent. After all, the sense of smell is our strongest one, and engaging it will likely leave a strong impression on your customers.

#2 Give a shout-out on social media

Engaging with your customers on social media is becoming the best way to develop relationships. Statistics from 2019 show that there are 3.5 billion social media users in the world. That equates to 45% of the global population. That’s an insane number.

That means that they became an integral part of many customers, and featuring them on one of those networks will likely do wonders for your relationship. For instance, you can create an Instagram story thanking them for being a great customer with their username tagged. It’s a great way for your other customers to see how engaged you are with the community!

You can do other things like following them back, mentioning them in your posts, or even asking them to provide you with content for social media.

#3 Treat your customers

Everyone loves surprises! They are fun and they drive positive effects between your brand and your customers. Offering an unannounced discount, a free (and valuable) online course to help their business, or a small gift can be a small gesture that means a lot. They will associate positive feelings with your brand and might be more likely to become regular customers.

Handing out discounts to your regular customers is a good strategy of which you probably already know. But newcomers might also become regulars after a gift or a discount. So don’t forget to impress them as well! Pro tip: Reminding your customers about coupons they still had not used will show that you care about them!

#4 Birthday gift

You should have a list of your customers and include birthday dates in them. That way you can use it to your advantage and send gifts. Sending a handwritten birthday card with a basket filled with goodies will not only dazzle them, but they’ll probably spread a good word about you! Even a simple “happy birthday” or a birthday discount can do the trick. It’s certainly better than not doing anything.

#5 Give to a cause in their name

Donate to a charity in the name of your most loyal customers. Inform about their designated charities and make a donation. Let them know of your good deed. This way they’ll know you care about them and what’s dear to them. Helping improve the local community will show them they made the right choice in supporting you. People do care about their favourite brands showing an affectionate side.

Pro tip: You can even create a campaign in which you’ll donate an X amount of money to a charity for every purchase your customers make!

#6 Offer a hand in a difficult situation

The global pandemic is having a huge impact on our lives. Social distancing, lockdowns, etc., made us all adjust to a tough new reality. Businesses adjusted as well. They quickly realized that people are in a difficult stage and helping them out is the only right thing to do.

Customers acknowledged these acts of kindness. Many companies started helping out their communities with free supplies or donations for a large purchase of masks, for example. These good deeds helped their awareness on social media and even in the media. People felt like they needed to share the good news in the sea of bad ones.

This means that cutting the price in half or handing out free stuff to your most loyal customer might help you establish a deep relationship with them. They won’t forget how you acted when they were in need. They’ll likely spread the good word!

#7 Create “thank you” videos

There aren’t many better ways to show gratitude to your customers than by filming a personalized video. Include the whole company, refer to your customer by their name, say why you appreciate them and how thankful you are and they likely be amazed. They might share it on social media, and you can share it as well! You might even create a series of “thank you” videos for your most loyal companies.

#8 Celebrate your customers

This is can be done in two ways:

  • By celebrating a milestone
  • Including them in your company’s celebration

Having on record the date when you’ve first done business with a customer will show them that you appreciate them. You noted the first time you’ve done business with them and you remembered enough to thank them. Including a “thank you” card, a discount or a small gift will likely boost their trust in you.

On the other hand, involving your customers in victory celebrations will show that you understand that they’ve helped you reach your goals. Saying something along the lines of: “we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you” shows love to your customers. Thank them for helping you succeed.

#9 Send handwritten cards

In this day and age, where everything feels salesy and robotic, personalization is the gold mine for businesses. Ironically enough, you might say that with the help of social media people became more antisocial. That’s why personalized messages could be a breath of fresh air.



Handwritten “thank you” notes show that you made an effort to thank your customers for supporting your business. The problem is it’s very time-consuming if you have a significant amount of customers you want to thank. But some tools can help you write many cards as if you have handwritten yourself. They use ink and a pen-like writing style that can convince anyone that it’s written by hand.

This can create positive impressions and long-lasting bonds!


Showing appreciation to your customers will help your business. By making every client feel special, you might see a rapid rise in loyal customers.

Having satisfied customers is probably one of the most important business metrics in 2021. The way society works with social media and how fast the news spread, having an impeccable image is as important as your product.

With the help of our list of ideas, your business might flourish, and if you set aside time to work on customer appreciation, you’ll likely see improvements!

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