Remember that one time you bought a product or an item from a brand and they made you feel special? It may not have been a grand gesture. It could have been a simple thank you note or a free water-based conditioner to accompany the new wig you bought. Either way, the brand made a pretty good impression on you and probably earned your loyalty.
That’s exactly what happens when you go out of your way to make your customers feel special and valued. Not only do you make them fall in love with your brand, you also earn their lifelong loyalty and trust.
Thousands of brands and small business owners all over the world have discovered this secret and are now focusing on customer-centric gestures. Here are a few ways you could also do this:
1. Including Handwritten Notes
Believe it or not, handwritten notes have a way of evoking emotions from your customers. Imagine opening up a package and getting a special “Thank You” note for your purchase. It would make your buyers feel special and valued and will definitely motivate them to stick to your brand no matter what.
One company/business that has tried out this approach is HEX, a fashion tech accessory brand. HEX competes with bigger brands such as Michael Kors, Tumi and so on. However, this young company has managed to retain customers and compete with the big dogs by incorporating personalized, handwritten thank you notes to buyers.
So far, they have written over 13,000 thank you notes and consequently, endeared themselves to customers.
2. Giving out Free Samples
Everyone –and I mean EVERYONE –loves freebies and your customers are not left out. Your customers will love it even more when you ask for their opinions on your product and give them a chance to sample it for free. These days, big brands give out free samples to customers in order to inspire future orders, motivate repeat shopping and of course, expand customer knowledge about the product.
One brand that has consistently done this is L’Oreal. It offers consumer testing where customers get to test their products for free and then review them.
3. Illustrating Packaging with Cartoons
Illustrations can make even the toughest customer smile. Try animating your packaging or note cards with fun cartoons or illustrations. This way, your customers’ faces will light up once they receive their orders.
It will also show them a fun, perky side of your brand that they have probably never seen before.
4. Find Out What Your Customers Need and Give it to Them
What do your customers really need? When running a business or brand, it is advisable to launch a customer-centric campaign. Find out what your audience or customers need and give it to them. This could be your own little way of letting them know that you care about them and their needs.
In 2008, Starbucks sourced ideas directly from their customers on how they could be better. Of course, their patrons came up with tons of ideas, from free wi-fi to gifts –you name it. At the end of the day, Starbucks listened and delivered.
This act boosted brand loyalty by up to 375%. If it worked for Starbucks, it could work for you too.
5. Personalize and Solve Their Problems
When a customer has a problem with your product or service, you have three options:
a. Ignore it.
b. Fix it.
c. Personalize it, fix it and transform the problem into a customer loyalty program.
Out of all these options, only the third can boost your brand’s customer loyalty and win the heart of your customers. When faced with customer complaints, don’t just fix the problem. Ensure that the customer knows that they are special and that your brand cares about whatever problem they might be facing.
One company you could take lessons from is LEGO. A 7-year old customer once complained about a missing Lego part and customer service swung into action. Not only did he get a replacement, he also got a few extra complementary toys for his collection.
The package was accompanied by a heartfelt email message that explained the bonus toys.
The bottomline here is: no matter how small your customer’s problem may be, turn it into a heartfelt experience that will endear them to your brand.