Community February 24th, 2017

These Companies Are Showing Major Customer Love

Before the mid-1990s and the advancement of e-commerce, a business’ display of customer gratitude was seemingly more immediate and a lot more intimate. Walk into a store, and you may have been greeted by name or given a coupon booklet prior to looking around. But times have changed.

According to a 2016 Pew Research study, 79% of Americans have traded in their brick-and-mortar purchases for doorstep delivery. However, in this age of endless online shopping, an interaction between vendor and customer can often feel limited. Although the shopper is certainly appreciated, there isn’t always a direct or easy way to show it.

Here in the Zappos call center, it’s commonplace for us to creatively display gratitude towards our customers for shopping and supporting our business. But we aren’t the only ones doing it. Whether you’re an up-and-coming entrepreneur or a long-time business owner wanting to shake things up, here are five ideas (inspired by various companies) to help show gratitude to loyal customers.

Number 1: Eco-Friendly Rewards

If a company is selling physical goods, they can incorporate gratitude by mixing it in with being environmentally aware.

Lush is a great example of this. Its skin and hair care come in 100% post-consumer recycled black pots, which Lush encourages their customers to bring in-store in exchange for a free facemask.

MAC Cosmetics does something similar with their Back-To-MAC program. By returning six MAC primary packaging containers in-store or online, you’ll receive a free lipstick of your choice. And supermarkets have been engaging in this practice for years with plastic bags. A customer can either gain rewards points or a slight discount for using reusable bags instead of the store’s plastic ones.

Number 2: Thoughtful Add-Ons

Zappos loves to show appreciation to our customers. It’s typical of us to do so simply for them being awesome! We like to give it a personal spin, though. While assisting them on the phone, it’s not uncommon for us to send a baby blanket to a customer who has a screaming infant in the background, or even a wine set for that stressed out mommy. I once sent a Slip ‘N Slide to a family with four little girls who needed something fun to do over summer.

Number 3: Notes of Thanks

Depending on what kind of business you run, there are numerous ways to personalize your thank-yous to your customers while skipping the cost of physical gifts. Sometimes, communicating via a personalized email or telephone call will work wonders. This also helps ensure their satisfaction with whatever goods or services you’re providing for them.

And don’t forget, many people still love getting hand-written notes! Sending a thank you from the heart is sure to make a customer feel appreciated and special. Hex, a fashion tech accessory brand, has taken this concept and ran with it. They are notorious for their personalized notes to customers and has mailed out over 13,000 of them!

Number 4: First Name Basis

Showing genuine gratitude can be even simpler than gifts and letters. Remember your repeat customer’s name, along with their preferences, so it feels like a friendship instead of just another transaction. Make them feel like family from the get-go!

Disney is known for their amazing customer service along with fun interactions. When speaking with hotel or park employees, if they see your nametag they’ll refer to you by it.

Furthermore, if a little one were dressed up as a character, a cast member would mention them by that name. Who knew a “Hello Princess” and “Hello Minnie” could light up a child’ (and parent’s) face!

Number 5: Community Interaction

Hosting special events just for your customers can show them their patronage is appreciated. By asking their opinions or feedback, they know you trust them. That makes them feel involved in helping your business be the best it can be for them.

Zappos not only shows appreciation for our customers with gifts but also with unique interactions and events.

For example, the Friends With Benefits Roadshow is hosting weekend-long events in 10 cities across America. Here, attendees can enjoy live local music, happy hour, and free pet adoptions!

It’s amazing how giving thanks to customers can create a chain of positivity. Create a repeat customer for life by implementing variations of these unique ideas into your business plan!