Only two things make customers want to tell the world about their experience with a brand these days: amazingly great service and horribly bad service. Unfortunately too many retailers fall somewhere in between, keeping customers just satisfied enough to come back once or twice in the future.
The fact is, word-of-mouth stands to be one of the most powerful marketing channels available to businesses today. And as most cunning business owners know, there’s a relatively simple science to generating positive word-of-mouth amongst their best customers.
In this post, we’ll explore one sure-fire way to get your customers talking about your brand, through unexpected, thoughtful and relevant gifts.
Develop a strong connection with your customers and your brand by going above and beyond
Loyalty programs are great for rewarding your best customers, but in most cases these customers already expect the benefits. This means there’s only a little surprise and just a hint of positive emotion when they get your gift.
The aim of gifting is to incite powerful emotions, to develop a real connection by giving a great customer a gift he/she would love to get but would never expect. That’s why surprise is vital.
An important factor to keep in mind when gifting customers is that it’s all about them. Forget about trying to promote a specific product if it’s not something that your customer has no interest in. If you’re going to gift your customer, make sure it’s something they actually want, rather than something that’s an obvious marketing ploy.
So how do you know who and what to gift?
This is just one of the many situations in which your customer buy data becomes an invaluable resource. Perhaps the simplest way to collect this data is a through a loyalty program.
If you’re currently running a loyalty program, you’ll have reams of powerful customer buy data that you can use to firstly decide on the best gifts to give, and secondly decide who to gift.
It’s vital to reserve your gifting goodness to your best customers. You might be tempted to send out products or discounts to everyone on your customer list if there’s little to no cost to your business. But if you’re going to treat everyone the same, then no one’s really special. And ‘special’ is precisely how you want your random gift-recipients to feel.
Gifting in action
Three of our favourite examples of customer appreciation taken to the next level include:
- A scheduling company started an initiative called Random Acts of Cake in which they send clients, partners or suppliers cake to show their appreciation.
- A clothing retailer, sends thank you notes to customers a few weeks after they’ve made a purchases. The notes coming directly from the sales person in the store.
- A car brand’s Random Acts of Kindness campaign in which employees go around doing incredibly generous things for car customers.
Regardless of your budget, there are an infinite number of ways to show customers some love. Overall it’s not only a great opportunity to give and an impressive way to connect with customers, it’s also an invaluable source of word-of-marketing. So stop making excuses and start planning your random acts of customer appreciation today.