It’s not that hard to say, “Thank you,” so why don’t we do it more often?

As business owners and managers, we get so focused on improving processes, increasing sales, and delivering promises on time that we forget to recognize those who make it possible for us to do what we love.

In fact, Harvard Medical School published an article mentioning several studies that show how simply expressing gratitude can increase personal happiness, improve relationships, and motivate employees.

Pretty impressive for two little words.

Regardless of the excuses we make, Zoho is here to help you make a consistent effort to make your customers feel appreciated. Trust me, they want to be appreciated. (I asked ’em.)Customer appreciation zoho

Here are five ways Zoho can help:

1. Recognize important dates.
Important milestones in yourcustomers’lives should  be important points of contact for you. Whether it’s a birthday email to a lead or a loyalty call to say thanks to an existing customer, it’s a simple way to show your gratitude and make them feel appreciated.

Zoho’s solution:  Use time based actions inside Zoho CRM (Enterprise edition) to schedule email alerts or tasks at a given date. When you close a new deal and you’ve created this workflow rule, you’ll automatically be notified one year after their close date, so you won’t miss these important milestones..

Pro tip: If you really want to make an impact, schedule your reminder a week in advance and send a hand written note to your customer. Thank them for their loyalty and maybe include a restaurant gift card for a meal on you.

2. Listen to your customers.
When you understand what your customer thinks of your organization, you’ll be able to make improvements that will result in happier customers whowant to stay with you long term.

Zoho’s solution: Use Zoho Survey to create an NPS survey. The results from this survey will enable you to understand what your customer thinks about your business. Plus, when you integrate Zoho Survey with Zoho CRM, your customer responses will be visible inside their contact record in your CRM.
Once the survey is completed, engage some of your low and high scorers and listen to their suggestions. Don’t take offense if they aren’t what you want to hear. Look at these surveys as an opportunity to grow your loyal customer base. After the conversation, thank your customer for his or her time and for providing valuable feedback.

Pro tip: If you want to take this a step further to increase your online reviews, follow up with a select group and offer an incentive for those who leave an online review. Just make sure you make it clear that you’re not buying good reviews. Encourage customers to leave honest reviews.

3. Proactively contact current customers. 
Wouldn’t it be great if you could gain insight on your current customers just by seeing who is visiting your website? Perhaps you have a current customer visiting your new product page several times. That simple activity could  indicate that he or she might be interested in another one of your products. Reach out and thank them for their loyalty  and ask if there is anything you could do to help.. It’s a simple gesture with positive returns for both you and your customer.

Zoho’s solution:  Integrate Zoho SalesIQ with Zoho CRM to enable visitor engagement inside your CRM. This will enable you to see which of your customers are landing on specific pages of your website. This insight will tell you that your current customer might be interested in a specific product. So, when your sales reps makes their sales calls, they already have some inclination of what the customer wants so they can tailor the conversation to meet the those wants.

Pro tip: To increase your sales and give your sales team qualified leads that they’ll get excited about closing, setup lead scoring with Zoho SalesIQ. This will help you rank potential customers who visit your business, so you’re following up efficiently with the most qualified leads.

4. Stay connected to your loyal customers.
When was the last time you received a “thank you for your business” message from an organization? Iknow I don’t get very many. Letting your customer know that you appreciate their business willgo a long way.

Zoho’s solution: Strong relationships are built through frequent engagements  and are customized based on what you know about your customer. Using Zoho Campaigns with Zoho CRM lets you create effective email campaigns that can be targeted to specific customer lists from your CRM. Just try to keep the messages simple, personal and not too salesy.

Pro tip: Take your engagements with customers a step further and send an invite to a customer appreciation event like a happy hour or a boat cruise down the lake in your email.. The ROI from this intentional time with your customer is going to be invaluable in building lasting relationships.

5. Recognize your customers publicly.
Social media is a necessity as a business owner so you might as well own it and use it to your advantage. It’s the perfect place to recognize your most loyal fans.

Zoho’s solution: Use Zoho Social to mention your customers in a post with a little blurb about why they matter. It’s a little free promotion for them and can go a long ways in building that relationship.  Also, go ahead and interact with your customers. If they post something interesting, share it or respond to it. It’s one more touch point you can have with your customer.

Pro tip: Schedule Tweets or Facebook posts in advance, so you can  efficiently manage all your appointments and phone calls. Go through your list of valued customers at the beginning of each week and schedule recognition posts to go out on the date and time you request.

The five applications mentioned in this post are included in Zoho CRM Plus, which is an eight-product bundle designed for sales and marketing teams.