Small business owners and their employees, just like everyone else, want to have a Happy Thanksgiving: spending time with their family and friends, eating too much food, watching bad professional football games, and reflecting on the many blessings they’re grateful for.

Some small businesses aren’t able to take Thanksgiving Day off. Others eagerly close up shop on Tuesday or Wednesday and travel to visit their relatives or to start preparing their Thanksgiving feast. In all the frantic activity surrounding this time of year, what’s often lost is gratitude toward the people that keep you in business.

This Thanksgiving, show your clients and customers why you’re grateful for them. Giving your clients thanks lets them know you’re aware of their contributions to your organization and increases customer loyalty. Gratitude is also good for you and your staff as you prepare for a busy holiday season.

Here are seven ways to give thanks and send a Happy Thanksgiving message to your small business customers this and every year:

1. Offer personalized customer service

“The average person is more interested in his or her own name than in all the other names on earth put together.”
– Dale Carnegie

Giving your clients a personalized experience is what makes them want to be evangelists for your business. This year, remind your staff to express appreciation to customers by wishing them a Happy Thanksgiving. This simple gesture strengthens relationships with customers and makes them feel appreciated on their way out the door for their Thanksgiving weekend.

Studies show that the average consumer, including your customers, loves hearing their own name. When an employee calls a client by their name, certain areas of the brain light up like a Christmas Tree in response. Be sure to use customer names as you share Thanksgiving wishes. Memorizing hundreds of names can be a daunting task, but it is possible when you have phones that show you customer names and profiles as they call in.

Wishing customers a Happy Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be limited to in-person conversations. This Thanksgiving, show gratitude by personalizing your voicemail, text messages, and email marketing with a friendly Thanksgiving message. While the quality of your business’s service always takes precedence, a personalized text message lets customers know their worth at this time of year.

2. Be transparent with your customers

“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.”
– Spencer Johnson

Did you know 60% of adults can’t get through a ten minute conversation without telling a lie?¹ Clients value a small business that treats them with honesty and respect. As you approach Thanksgiving this November, remember to keep your customers up to date with whatever’s going on in your organization.

If you’re expressing appreciation and giving customer Thanksgiving wishes, don’t be afraid to also include information about how your schedule might be changing during the holidays. Let them know if you’re experiencing longer wait times than usual this year or if one of your professionals is unavailable. Sharing these holiday alterations to your business via texting, email marketing, your website, online marketing outlets, or social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is a gift to your clients and a great way to ensure they have a Happy Thanksgiving.

3. Give your customers more than you take

“For it is in giving that we receive.”
― Francis of Assisi

The rule of reciprocation is a crucial finding in social psychology that says we feel motivated to reciprocate when someone gifts us with something. Of course, small business clients are grateful for their dental cleaning, their massage, or their new HVAC system. But offering them a small token of your customer appreciation such as thanksgiving cards can really garner their loyalty.

According to psychologist Robert Cialdini, if a restaurant server delivers the check with a mint, then looks the customer in the eye and gives them a second mint while telling them the candy is meant specifically for them, tips go through the roof. Find a way to give a little extra to your clients this year, whether it’s cards wishing them a Happy Thanksgiving, a bottle of sparkling cider, or a discounted rate for their next visit.

4. Don’t make your customers feel rushed

“There’s only one thing more precious than our time and that’s who we spend it on.”
– Leo Christopher

Customers absolutely hate feeling rushed through an appointment during this time of year. Small business owners and their employees will obviously want to hurry to Walmart for groceries or home to their family, friends, and loved ones for Thanksgiving festivities, but they should take the time to be present with their clients, remember to be grateful for their business, and wish them a Happy Thanksgiving. Pumpkin pie, Black Friday, and the other good things about Thanksgiving can wait.

5. Show customers you understand them by listening

“If you make listening and observation your occupation, you will gain much more than you can by talk.”
– Robert Baden-Powell

This year, you can set yourself apart from the competition by being a small business who’s interested in listening, rather than rushing customers through appointments as quickly as possible in order to maximize profits. In the end, your profits will probably be better off if you take the necessary time to get to know, listen to, and educate your customers.

Your clients really just want to be heard. Businesses can’t always control the frenzy of Thanksgiving and Christmas schedules, high wait times, or other common customer complaints. However, you can control whether you listen intently to show customer support and to try to understand their situation. If you treat your clients with empathy and wish them a Happy Thanksgiving, they’ll be much more likely to forgive you for the inconveniences of the holiday season.

6. Explain complex things simply so your customers understand

“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
– Albert Einstein

Many customers feel overwhelmed when businesses use industry-specific jargon instead of ordinary language. Small businesses aiming for success want their clients to know they’re knowledgeable in their area of expertise, but explaining things simply, especially in the rush of Thanksgiving preparation and events, is even more important. Simple explanations show that you want your customers to have a Happy Thanksgiving by providing them with all of the possible information before they make important decisions.

7. A little humor and entertainment never hurts

“A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.”
– Dwight D. Eisenhower

According to Forbes, 84% of people feel that professionals with a good sense of humor do a better job. This year, share Thanksgiving wishes and joy with your wonderful customers by making them laugh! It’s okay to be corny, just don’t be overbearing. Having a sense of humor in the midst of a holiday rush humanizes you and your business. Gobble, gobble, and have a Happy Thanksgiving Day with your family and friends!

For more information on how you can build your relationship with your customers all year round schedule your free demo with Weave.