Why it Pays to Reward Loyal Customers

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Dunn Brother’s coffee. I have blogged about them before and often tweet about my love of their vanilla iced nirvana or coconut lattes.

But as much as I love Dunn Brothers, I can’t always sneak away from the office to get a cup of their sweet, delicious coffee.

A few weeks ago, I lamented on Twitter about how I could really use a cup of coffee and that I wished Dunn Brothers delivered. They responded and asked where my office was located and said they might just surprise me some day.

Well, yesterday was that day!

The owner of the store, Fawn, showed up with a growler of Infinite Black, their cold-pressed coffee, a bottle of vanilla syrup, cream and a few cups with ice in them – everything I needed to make my own vanilla iced nirvana and share with friends!

I was impressed. I was already a raving fan, but this just took my loyalty through the roof.

The genius part about this is that the growler they gave me is refillable. When I bring it in, I can get it filled up with cold-pressed coffee for $10. So, not only did they reward my loyalty, they gave me another reason to come back into the store. Brilliant.

Rewarding your loyal customers and clients will pay off in dividends. If you do something to make your customers feel special, you won’t be able to stop them from spreading the word.

Want to make your loyal customers feel like royalty? Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Pay attention to preferences. Take time to really get to know your customers. Find out what they like, don’t like and what makes them tick. Dunn Brothers knew knew which beverage I liked because I tweeted about it before. You have to take time to listen and have an ear for catching cues that your customers give.
  • Do something unexpected. People love surprises, so offer a gesture when they least expect it. Don’t wait around for the holidays to do something special. Throw in something extra with their next order, drop by their office with some fun treats or send them tickets to that concert they’ve been talking about.
  • Go over the top. Dunn Brothers could have just brought me a beverage. But, they took it a step further by giving me a kit that will last me for days. And, it was hand-delivered from the owner. If you want to make an impression, be bold. Go big. Your customers will love you for it.
  • Don’t turn it into a sales push. It’s awfully tempting to throw in a sales pitch or a discount coupon with your kind gesture, but don’t. It will only backfire. Do something nice without the expectation of anything in return. I promise you that your clients and customers will talk about it without you asking them to. And, if you do it right, they’ll keep coming back for more.
  • Give something shareable. People love to share stories about gifts and prizes, so why not give something your clients something they can share? Dunn Brothers gave me some extra cups of ice so I could share my cool treat with friends. Think I told them about what happened? You bet I did! Give something that clients can share with co-workers, friends or family members and you’ve just built in an automatic way for them to spread the word about you.

What’s your best customer service story? What are you doing to make your customers feel the love?

P. S. Need help coming up with some creative ways to reward your customers? Sign up for an hour consult with me and I’ll help you find ways to make your most loyal customers feel appreciated.

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Laura Click

Laura Click is brand strategist, speaker, podcaster and the founder of Blue Kite. Learn more about Laura and her work at Blue Kite.

11 replies on “Why it Pays to Reward Loyal Customers”

I love this story!

My case is a little different since I’m a service-based company. I still do a lot of listening, though, in order to provide value to my customers. I try to remember the small details, such as what’s happening with a customer’s family or new initiatives, because those make the customer feel important.

The small details are oh-so-very important. That separates good companies from great ones.

And, I don’t think the fact that you’re a service-based company changes things. Sure, you don’t have a product to give away, but I think there are plenty of great things you can do to wow your clients.

No, I don’t think the fact that I’m a service-based company changes anything, either. I’m just trying to think of creative ways to reward loyal customers. I want the rewards to be “unique.” Heehee.

I really like how you reminded us not to end with a sales push, Laura. If you do
 something nice for someone, you can tell from the look in their eyes that if they can’t get back themselves, they’re definitely sending their friends and family. There’s absolutely no pitch that will do anything positive here.

I love this story too Laura! I think it’s great that they rewarded you this way; it is has that element of surprise that is so important in customer service — doing the unexpected as you put it.

Your point about going over the top is excellent. Sometimes this is cost prohibitive, but if a comapny can get creative in this area it can go a long way.

Thanks, Adam. You’re right – the surprise element is so important. And it’s even better if the surprise is really special. If businesses just did those two things, it would be amazing what would happen.

Loved this post Laura, thanks for sharing your experience with us.
  Ti’s the perfect example of what to do for clients and customers. We appreciate being appreciated and will share with others as you said.

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