Today’s marketplace is rife with options…there’s always a company purporting to do it better, faster and cheaper, making fostering customer loyalty more important—and challenging—than ever. Given the high costs associated with finding new customers and distributors, it’s imperative to find effective ways to strengthen existing relationships. Popular methods include sending logoed corporate gifts, executing giveaways, and engaging with customers via social media.
Customer loyalty can be fickle, and business decisions are often based on emotion as it relates to a relationship that’s been pre-established and well nurtured. Of course, it’s easy and common to lure business your way or show gratitude with a logo laden gift. And with good reason…it works! However, corporate gifts are quite powerful in strengthening a relationship when a problem presents. In fact, problematic situations can actually create an opportunity for a marketing savvy company. Compensating for a customer’s poor experience, like recognizing and reversing the impact of a service error, can actually pay off in spades. Rather than losing a customer or risking poor word-of-mouth buzz, go above and beyond to convey your desire to apologize and otherwise “make good” on the situation with notable branded corporate gifts. These can take many forms, such as a gift basket, a clock or a watch, wine or wine glasses, or a golf gift set. You would be surprised how appreciative a formerly disgruntled customer can become with this simple gesture.
Another way to leverage logoed corporate gifts is to create giveaways that not only incentivize long-standing customers to keep doing business with you, but these giveaways can also be used to encourage customers to provide valuable marketing data. This can include taking a survey or providing feedback on their experiences with various facets of your business. They can also be used to motivate, incent and reward employees in various creative ways. The giveaways show that you have their interests at heart and seek to provide them with items of value, while concurrently achieving strategic marketing goals.
Social Media Engagement
Another effective way to engage with your customer base is in the social media arena through Facebook fan pages, Twitter exchanges, and Pinterest pins. Here you can elicit dialogue directly with your customers and find out what they are thinking about you…and the competition. By leveraging social media to tap into your customer’s needs and impressions, you can then address this key learning with your marketing engine. You can also utilize social media channels for branded corporate gifts giveaways or contests that keep your company top of mind.
A Word of Thanks
Even in today’s virtual world, there’s still room for tradition that seems simple but means so much to customers, and that is a ‘thank you’ in the form of a handwritten note. Send this along with a gift, even as simple as a branded pen, to up the appreciation ante.
Here is a summary of the ideas connected to corporate gifts and maintaining customer loyalty:
- Corporate gifts and giveaways are a way to keep customers interested in the company and also help to smooth over service mistakes when they occur.
- Social media engagement is a way to find out what is on the minds of your customers so you can address those things.
- Traditional tactics still work, especially when it comes to a genuine ‘thank you’ by phone, handwritten note, or in person.