As a professional dog trainer, your clients are your livelihood, filling your classes and private training calendar with needed income. Many clients can also become your biggest supporters, referral generators, and even close friends. By reaching out with a heartfelt thanks, you’ll strengthen those relationships, help build your business, and get a lot of personal satisfaction and joy from your work, as well.
Here are 8 ways, both traditional and unique, to thank your best dog training clients
An in-person thanks still carries the most weight
When it comes to feeling valued, a 2016 study found that a face-to-face thank you is more appreciated than an email, text, or even a mailed thank-you card – especially if it’s accompanied by a gift. While receiving something special is always welcome, receiving it directly from you indicates you are genuinely grateful for their support.
A gratitude-filled email provides immediate thanks
Sending a quick email shows a client that you noticed they did something particularly thoughtful, like writing a gratitude-filled social media post, leaving you a five-star Facebook review, or helping another participant in one of your classes. That email sends the message that you value them so much you wanted to be sure to offer an instant thanks. Follow up with one of the other thank-you suggestions here, too!
A personalized thank you card will brightens their day
A traditional, hand-written thank you card, sent via postal mail, is a small but meaningful gesture that offers a special surprise at a time when mailboxes are often echoingly empty of anything but invoices and business notices. When you send a mailed thanks, take the time to personalize and hand-write your message. Be sure it is specific to their dog and training experience.
Host a playdate or group walk
Consider organizing a group walk for your best clients and their furry companions. This is a fun way for you to spend time with your clients in a relaxed setting and for their dogs to socialize with each other in a controlled but fun adventure.
Offer a free training session
Every dog guardian would love a free training session, and this would be a valued gift to your best clients – especially those who have only experienced group classes. This can be a great opportunity to work with them one-on-one and address any specific concerns they may have about their dog’s behavior. It might also spur them into looking into continued private sessions with you in the future when they need extra help, or when they’d like to venture into new skills or dog sports.
Send a canine-centric gift basket
Everyone loves receiving a gift basket – especially when it’s full of presents for their dog! If you have a client who is such a big fan that they are continually sending new people to your classes or for private help, a special gift will let them know you appreciate their referrals. A basket full of dog treats, toys, and other dog-related items is a great way to thank them for their business and loyalty.
Offer a referral incentive
For those clients who refer friends and family to your business, consider offering a referral incentive, like a discount on their next training package as a thank-you for spreading the word about your business. This type of thanks feels a little more like a business transaction, however, so for your biggest fans, a more personalized thank-you is definitely in order to let them know your appreciation comes from your heart and not just your business bottom-line.
Host a client appreciation event
Sometimes you just want to thank everyone! A dog-themed party or a training demonstration is a fun way to show your clients how much you value their business, while also showcasing your expertise as a dog trainer. If you have the space, invite them to bring a curious friend or two.
These gestures of thanks can help strengthen your relationship with your clients and build long-term loyalty. Nowadays when people receive an unexpectedly kind gift, they are also inclined to share their experience on social media, which helps spread the word that you truly appreciate your clients as individuals as well as customers.