This is a Part 2 of that post where small business owners described ways they go above and beyond in customer service.
Reach out during a holiday
Why not highlight a holiday important to you and give back at the same time? Samantha did just that with her NC-based IVIVIIV cosmetics brand on Twitter. Here’s what she did:
I am a single mother running a business, so I know it can be a job that never ends. On Mothers’s day I decided to have mothers tag me in a make up look, where they felt beautiful, with my hashtag and describe what being a mother means.
A fun, signed token
Forget about holiday cards – that’s what Michele at Chicago-based SENDaBALL does to make customers “bounce” with joy:
I sent the top 10 customers a ball in the mail with a note on it saying “we sure do have a BALL with you as our customer”. Each one of them – all 10, reached out to me via email / phone to say how they had never actually gotten a ball themselves & how they appreciated it.
A regular, monthly draw
One reward card company made loyalty their policy. Jim of Florida’s Aegis FinServ has a way of showing appreciation to customers, month after month:
To show our appreciation we routinely (every month) select randomly 25 customers and provide at our cost, a gift card to one of our customer reward card restaurants for $100.00.
Help in a difficult situation
An Ohio-based Hyers & Associates decided to act when their customer had an unfortunate situation. Adam shares his story of good deed:
I was working on a couple’s insurance plan as he was turning 65. Soon after, the wife called me to say her husband’s car had broken down near my office. Like any good agent, I drove out, picked him up and got him home so he could arrange for a tow.
Help them help someone
Loyal customers are valued at All Set, Boston’s house cleaning marketplace. Here’s how Christine shows her love for customers in a unique way:
We sent our most loyal customers gift certificates for three free house cleaning to give to their neighbors, coworkers or friends. They already know how wonderful it is to come home to a clean home and wanted to give them an opportunity to do the same for others.
Use connections to surprise
Know someone that can put a smile on your client’s face? Why not pull some strings and make things happen? iPartnerMedia’s Randy shares his story:
A Florida client was honored by a visit from Florida Governor Rick Scott and awarded a Business Ambassador Award. We arranged for an autographed photo of the event from the governor’s office, framed & presented it to our client.
Pay their medical bills
One business owner took an unusual step in thanking a very important client. Jesse from LA-based Zeus Legal Funding explained:
We had a customer who brought us a huge case. It was the biggest case that our company had in its history. I knew she was having surgery soon and she had no medical insurance, so I paid for her surgery & visited her at the hospital.
Combine gift + marketing
If you have a clients that offer a number of products and services, why not support, give & donate in one step? Kenneth of Twin Citie’s Kunkle trademark, media & legal came up with a three-step idea:
One of my clients makes socks. I sent one pair to each client, sent the same to homeless shelters, and supported a client’s business all in one step. We got great feedback on the novel gift, along with the supported cause.
Mail a “forgotten discount”
Haralee from Haralee, a women’s cooling sleepwear store likes to surprise frequent customers with a hat or a small fan. But that’s not the only thing she has up her sleeve:
Some customers would not use a discount code with their order and we would mail them a rebate check. They were always thrilled!
Help their kids out
When giving back, why not focus on the important thing in a client’s life – their children? Debra Brenton, executive coach, shares:
My executive coaching work is for senior executives, paid for by the company. When I have a relationship with a client and learn about his family I make the offer to give his son/daughter graduating from college free career advice.
Crafted office supplies
Looking to do something more fun than a Christmas card? William from NYC-based IdeaRocket prefers things that stick around on a desk in someone’s office for a long time:
What we came up with was a flipbook. It’s a little book about forty pages, and you unfold it with your thumb to reveal an animation. In this case, it was Santa on a rocket. It was a nice fit for our brand because we’re an animation studio.
Encourage a family activity
Robin from UK’s Au Pair in America says that her gifts are extra memorable because they promote a family activity. Can’t say we disagree with this clever tactic!
Last December, I mailed each of my clients seed paper from Etsy in fun holiday shapes (snowflakes, etc.) Because my business focuses on children, I include the entire family in whatever items I send. Clients loved it & enjoyed the activity.
Create a VIP program
Jimmy, a photographer and owner of Montreal’s Pixelicious realized he spent too much time on coffee gift certificates. He instead started to offer bundled gifts related to his business:
I’ve decided to offer family portraits, something that will last a lifetime instead. Didn’t stop there though, a surprise large acrylic print was given as a gift, hand signed and delivered to the client’s home. Clients will remember you made them feel special and continue to be loyal and supportive.
A surprise with every purchase
Anne at Missouri-based AnnabelleEvents wants every customer to walk away happy after their event. Depending on who they are – every client gets a personalized gift:
Depending on the client, they will receive either a blanket and two half champagne bottles, or a travel backpack with a large champagne bottle and gifts inside. We also include a handwritten note from our event planner.
Give away free samples
Brian at Colorscience of San Diego gives away surprise samples – but only to customers who spend over a certain amount. The benefits are two-fold:
For starters, everyone loves freebies.. this goes a long way in establishing good will with our customers. We are able to easily expose our existing customer base to other products which they may not be familiar with. This gives us a low cost way of potentially upselling.