13 Ways to Surprise and Delight Your Customers Today 1

From handwritten notes to just-baked cookies, a simple gesture can go a long way toward shoring up customer loyalty in a competitive marketplace. Even just a quick phone call can do more to earn your customers’ long-term trust than any coupon or discount code—really.

To find out which methods have been most effective for my peers, I asked thirteen entrepreneurs to share one special way they get more word-of-mouth referrals and thumbs up. Their answers may surprise and delight you—and give you some great ideas to test drive in your own company:

 

1. Writing Notes

Bridget HiltonDuring our first holiday sales season, one way we inspired word-of-mouth support for LSTN Headphones was by writing handwritten notes to each customer who purchased a pair of headphones. It seems simple, but it made a huge difference!
Bridget HiltonLSTN Headphones

 

2. Setting the Bar High

Charles GaudetMost companies make it a mission to have satisfied customers, but satisfied customers aren’t compelled to share their experiences. The factor that inspires word-of-mouth support is having happy customers. To achieve this, you must set the bar high by going above and beyond what your customers expect of you. Underpromise and overdeliver. Shock them with delight. Wow them with service.
Charles GaudetPredictable Profits

 

3. Sending Cookies

Danny BoiceAt Speek, we use AppSumo religiously for great deals on the tools we use to run our business. One day, I got a box from Noah Kagan (the CEO of AppSumo) that contained some amazing cookies—completely out of the blue! It was a random, simple gesture that meant so much to me as a loyal customer. I thought it was absolutely brilliant of Noah to do this.
Danny BoiceSpeek

 

4. Providing Personal Service

Xenios ThrasyvoulouPeoplePerHour has a community of more than 500,000 users, but one of the main delights for customers is getting support tickets answered by myself—the CEO and founder. Customers get delighted when they see the guy at the top take time for this and consider customer support important.
Xenios ThrasyvoulouPeoplePerHour

 

5. Getting to Know Your Customers

Andrew SchrageLearn your customers’ names and some brief personal information. Establish a basic friendship with them because you’re looking to meet their needs.
Andrew SchrageMoney Crashers Personal Finance

 

 

6. Valuing the Little Things

Alfredo AtanacioFrom time to time, we send gifts to our clients, such as their favorite tea or coffee. Another great thing all of our VAs do is really care about the client and ask about their kids and parents. It’s great because you really build a strong relationship with the client.
Alfredo AtanacioUassist.ME

 

 

7. Being a Customer Advocate

Pablo VillalbaReal customer advocacy means looking out for their best interest, even if it means a short-term loss for you. Is a customer paying too much for your product? Ask him to downgrade. Did you screw up? Refund him proactively. Does he have a charge complaint? Resolve it in his favor until you can prove the opposite. Small gestures like this can build real fans for your brand.
Pablo Villalba8fit

 

8. Saying Thank You

Phil DumontetSend handwritten thank you cards and fruit baskets during the holidays to show your appreciation.
Phil DumontetDASHED

 

 

9. Retweeting Customers

dave-nevogtWe follow many of our clients as they come in the door, and then every once in a while, we retweet their tweets. They get a notification that we’ve done this, and it shows we are paying attention to them and that we’re on the same page. It establishes a bond that goes beyond client service. It shows that we respect what they are saying.
Dave NevogtHubstaff.com

 

10. Treating Them to Birthday Coffee

Matt ShoupWe always make sure to ask our customers when their birthdays are. They soon forget we asked this until their birthday rolls around. When it does, they receive a birthday card from us with a gift card for coffee. Our customers are inspired and excited to see that we remembered, thanked and recognized them on their special day.
Matt ShoupMattShoup.com

 

11. Sending Them Postcards

Jenny BlakeAs a token of gratitude for anyone who reads my blog or book and has the courage to reach out via email, I ask for their mailing addresses and send handwritten postcards. The postcards match my brand and have a fun quote or saying on the front, and readers seem to really appreciate the human touch from someone they previously assumed would be inaccessible. Plus, who doesn’t love snail mail?
Jenny BlakeJenny Blake

 

12. Remembering Important Dates

Caitlin McCabeIf a client shares an important milestone for the company, the date she opened the company or even a birthday, you should remember them! People like to know that you were listening when they shared information, and a surprise card, cake or gift on that milestone will let clients know you are on their team.
Caitlin McCabeReal Bullets Branding

 

13. Checking In

Elizabeth SaundersIt’s nice for clients to know you were thinking of them even when you didn’t have something on the calendar. With coaching clients, I try to reach out and check in with them or send articles I thought they might like in-between scheduled sessions.
Elizabeth SaundersReal Life E®

 

About the Author Scott Gerber is the founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. Follow Scott on Google+ Read more »

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  • http://www.callboxinc.com/ Julie Dawn Harris

    It’s a great article. I love how the entrepreneurs shared their stories and experiences with their clients/customers. This 13 ways are amazing. If we do this, surely our customers will be very pleased and this will create a long lasting bond and trust between the entrepreneurs and customers.