by Joe Callon

Customers are easily tempted away, whether that’s through a competitor pushing a sale, or just through word of mouth. Here are just a few unique, marvellous ways you can surprise your customers, by going the extra mile to prove that you’re a brand worth buying from time and time again.

Once you have received an order from a customer, it can be hard to retain that level of engagement and trust in your brand, even if everything goes smoothly throughout their experience. Customers are easily tempted away, whether that’s through a competitor pushing a sale, or just through word of mouth. Here are just a few unique, marvellous ways you can surprise your customers, by going the extra mile to prove that you’re a brand worth buying from time and time again.

Go Further with the Freebie

Everyone loves a freebie, and if you’re not already including an added extra with every order you send out, you should be. But maybe it’s time to start thinking about taking it to the next level. Personalising the freebie you include - and making sure it doesn’t feel like something that’s been tacked on to the end of the customer experience without too much thought - goes a long way to making the customer feel special, and therefore brings them closer to you as a brand.

Thankfully, this added extra doesn’t need to be extravagant - even a handwritten note will instantly say that ‘this company clearly cares about their customers’. Handwritten notes are a heavily used tactic on smaller stores, with a focus on selling a small range of products, especially on marketplaces such as Etsy. If you’re a larger retailer and find it to be unrealistic that every order includes a personal hand-written note, perhaps create a quota for every fifth order to include a note, easing the workload and upping the novelty value.

If you’d prefer to keep a more basic option, including an exclusive offer or discount to repeat customers (utilising a packaging insert), it’s a good idea to take some extra steps to add a level of personalisation to the insert. Even just including the customer’s name - handwritten or not - somewhere on the insert tells the customer that you’ve given them the time of day.

Be on top of abandoned cart opportunities

There’s nothing more disheartening as a business owner to see that you were so close to a sale, but the customer didn’t quite pull the trigger. When it does happen, how you can capitalise on this and see it as a chance to close the sale, rather than a failure?

Mobile Cart

Being proactive and reaching out to customers personally via email, phone or surveys is a great way of helping to understand why they left you high and dry. More often than not, customers are shocked or confused by something fixable in the checkout process, such as shipping costs. Working with them to come to a solution is a great way to delight your now-customer.

Giving your customer this extra level of personal service also goes a long way to building a connection with each individual customer, as well as your audience overall. It could take just ten minutes out of your day to rectify a problem that will garner you infinitely more sales in the longrun.

Rewards for loyalty to your brand

It can be nice to reward a customer for simply sticking with you. If you notice that someone has ordered with you several times over the course of several months, but they haven’t ordered for quite a while, maybe it’s time to drop them a line with a 10% off code, or just an offer for support incase they've had any qualms or queries about your products.

At the same time, make sure you’re not too overbearing with your customers, as this can make them feel spammed and as though perhaps their data isn’t being used appropriately. Research by Verint found that 89% of customers agree that good service makes customers feel more positive about your brand; however, 48% of people said that they are suspicious about how their data is used.

It only takes one bad experience for your customers to write you off for good, as an investigation from SDL has found that 90% of customers who experience a failure spend the same or less with the brand during the following year (as opposed to spending more and more). The remaining 10% who spend more claim to have no choice, either because they are locked into a contract, or have no other alternative.

Another opportunity also exists in rewarding customers who are particularly vocal about your brand on social media. Giving them a little something extra can only add more fuel to their loyalty fire. This also works well from the reverse angle, as customers who see that they may be rewarded for being a brand advocate on social media are more likely to dish out positive comments on every social media channel they have.

Surprises don’t have to be planned

Customers are bound to be even more surprised by an added-extra if you are surprised yourself. By constantly being on the lookout for different ways you can surprise your customers, you’re making sure that you keep your engagement fresh and exciting, and therefore even more valuable to the customer.

Surprise Gift

For example, someone comments on one of your Facebook posts about your new line of t-shirts, asking if you ship to Guatemala. You do, but it’s at quite a hefty additional cost. Why not send them a personal 20% discount code, to offset the shipping cost and make yourself both a sale, and a very happy customer. After all, 80% of people who switch away from a brand feel that the company had an opportunity to retain them but failed to capitalise on it. Take that opportunity!

Give exceptional customer service, everyday

The key takeaway from this blog post should be that you, as a representative of your brand, should be taking advantage of every chance that comes your way to make your customer, or potential customer’s day that little bit better. Whether that’s through a discount code, or just a simple 'thank you' note. If you have any other great customer service tips you’d love to share with other retailers, tweet us @Statement and we’ll be sure to spread the word.

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