Tis the season for giving … and giving thanks certainly qualifies as something to give. Now, more than ever, local retailers and independent store owners (like nail salon owners) need to not just want business, they also need to remember to thank those who are giving them business. The economy is still tough, the competition for paying clients is definitely still tough and yet not enough store and salon owners are letting their customers know just how much they care. So this holiday season, reach out to your clients after they have reached out to you. Thank them for their support, their purchases and their efforts in keeping your local business community alive. A few ways to do this include:

1. Have a customer appreciation party in the new year. Not only will this bring customers back to your salon, but it will also remind them after the holidays that you haven’t forgotten about them just because the busy holiday season is over. Truly be grateful for their business and let them know this. Make the evening about them!

2. Send out thank you cards. Especially for new salon clients, once you have their contact information, send a handwritten thank you. This simple, old-fashioned gesture is neglected way too often these days and yet still greatly appreciated. Make sure to tell your customers exactly what you are thanking them for (services, retail items, referrals, etc.).

3. Give an incentive off their next purchase with the purchase of something now. This not only shows them you value their business, but it will also encourage them to come back to your salon again.

Remember to explain why you are thanking them. Explain to them quickly yet concisely the value in their “shopping local” and supporting your business. These gentle reminders don’t have to be grand, but they can still go a long way.

— Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, Retail Minded

Nicole is the Founder of Retail Minded, which is dedicated to supporting independent retailers and wholesalers through a professional blog and one-on-one, project-based support. To learn more about Retail Minded, please visit www.retailminded.com. You can also follow Retail Minded on Twitter at @RetailMinded.

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