One of the biggest truisms in business is that there are only 3 ways to make more money: sell more things, more often, to more people.
Most people put all their effort on the getting new people part and neglect the most valuable asset in their business: their existing customers.
It’s well-known that it’s easier to sell more to existing customers than it is to get a new customer in the door.
The very first step to building deep customer relationships with your audience is to simply deliver what you say you’re going to deliver when you say you’re going to deliver it — and even go above and beyond what you promised.
Do just this and you’ll have raving fans for life.
So many business owners fall short in fulfilling the products and services they sell, that they never see the repeat business that they could.
Once you’ve got the basics down, it’s great to find additional ways to surprise and delight your clients, keeping them close and connected.
My friend, Bill Baren, has adopted a company-wide policy to “surprise and delight” their customers and just about anyone else who comes into their business.
Since we started partnering, I’ve received holiday cards, gift cards, a beautiful hard-cover Gratitude journal and a detailed analysis of our partner promotion and what we could do to improve the results of our webinar.
You better believe that I’m going to partner with Bill again!
Here is a list of the 10 best ways that we’ve seen to “surprise and delight” your customers through gifts and engagement strategies. Just remember, the sky is the limit when it comes to creative ways to create an extraordinary experience for your customers that inspire them to buy from you year after year. And, I encourage you to use this list to dream up your own strategies too…
- Welcome phone calls, cards, thank you notes, personal emails.My amazing program manager Deb (aka Wonder Woman) personally calls to welcome all new Message to Money students to the program and answer any questions they may have.That gives new students the experience that they matter. They’re not just another number. We care about them and are there to support them throughout their journey.
- Private Facebook groups or forums where customers can interact with you and each other. The online student communities we’ve created for Message to Money, Personal Brand Power, and Hidden Story Power, have been off-the-hook, giving our programs a level of depth and engagement that we never could have done if we relied on information alone.
- Insider access to other guest experts or gurus through bonus trainings, calls or events.My experience partnering with Bill Baren was so positive, that I gifted all my Message to Money students with a free ticket to his live Big Shift Experience event in San Francisco. Tickets normally go for $997, so this was a really awesome gift.I’m also planning a lunch meet-up while we’re there so I have an opportunity to meet and interact with my students face-to-face.Some businesses treat their customers like a burden as if every service phone call were a distraction from the bottom line, so they set up these overseas call centers to “deal with them”.I personally believe that customer satisfaction — in the form of testimonials, success stories, repeat buyers and referrals – is one of the most important metrics in our business. And I actually ask our customer support team to report on where they are in relation to these metrics every week in our team meetings.
- Educational gifts such as books, journals, webinars, live events, info products or even a jump drive or iPad loaded up with valuable trainings.What can you give your customers to enhance their experience, so they actually get the full benefit of your offerings?Sean D’Souza believes that there is a 3-step sequence all customers must go through to become repeat buyers: attraction, conversion and what he calls consumption.Most businesses stop at conversion (i.e. the sale). But if someone buys your offerings and doesn’t consume it, they won’t get the benefit of what they bought…. And they won’t buy from you again.
- Gift baskets, edible gifts such as chocolate and cookies.My friend and Traffic Superhero Ryan Levesque sends new clients a “shock and awe package”with a box of “Millionaires” chocolates (Get it? Millionaires?), a workbook, and a $5 Starbucks card with a note to “buy a cup of coffee on me and get started on your million-dollar sales funnel”.Needless to say, this gift takes care of their “cold feet” once and for all and instantly turns them into raving fans…
- 3-months free membership in a continuity program when you invest in another product.My client Alexis Neely of Law Business Mentors, gifts new customers with a 60-day trial subscription to their Live Law Business Coaching program (valued at $197/month). Customers can cancel anytime, so they don’t get billed beyond the 60-days, but this free teaser often gets them pumped for more.
- Coupon codes, discounts and holiday promotions.At the end of December, I gifted my entire customer community with my 30-Day Breakthrough Year Challenge ($97 value) and access to Module 1 of Message to Money, so they could enter 2014 with a solid action plan, as well as the support, community and accountability they needed to make this their breakthrough year.Subscribers who hadn’t become customers yet were asked to invest $97 to participate.
- Bonus private consultations or group coaching calls.I often do launches where I offer new students in my higher ticket programs (Message to Money) a complimentary 30-minute private strategy session with me (valued at $250).Not only does this incentivize customers to invest, it gives us the chance to get to know each other one-on-one.We also invited anyone who purchased a product during the Social Media Superhero Summit to a bonus group coaching call with me and Don Crowther. The call went almost 2-hours as we answered everyone’s questions and people were thrilled!Giving people the opportunity to get their top questions answered, really makes a huge difference in helping them “consume” your offering and get the full value you promise.
- Meet-ups, events and 30-day challengesWe grew our following from 3K to 20K+ in 2013 through our Superhero Summit events and our 30 Day Challenges.There is nothing more powerful then giving your prospects and customers the chance to interact with you over the course of 2 weeks or 30-days or beyond. This really gives you the opportunity to build that know, like, trust factor.This works even better if you use video or live Google Hangouts on Air, so they can actually see you. We also integrate Facebook groups and live chat into our events, so there’s even more opportunity for interaction.
- Incentivizing feedback, survey participation, testimonials and referrals.At the end of each of our signature programs, I give my students the opportunity to share their experience and give a testimonial in exchange for a 15-minute website audit.This incentive gives me another opportunity to deepen our relationship, as well as the testimonials we need to market our products in the future.
Feels good to think about all the ways you can surprise and delight your customers, doesn’t it?
I hope you can see that the sky really is the limit when it comes to creating an extraordinary experience for the most valuable asset in your business – your customers.
Leave a comment below letting us know how you plan on surprising and delighting your customers today.
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This is prophetic! This truly is! I have been following you since February 2013. When you began to talk about “your message” I began to listen. But my message was changing the image of customer service. I had no product! I had no website! I definitely had no money! But I do have a message! Up until this email it looked as if it had no voice! But today I now believe it will be heard thanks to you! God bless you!
Something you failed to mention was the quality of the interactions you provide. In your videos you have found a way to make us feel you are reacting directly with us. But you really shine on calls. You bring a level of positive energy and engagement to each conversation. You listen deeply and respond with positive, pointed feedback to questions. You show respect for each participant’s point of view. It is your genuine, passionate nature that drives our sense of engagement. Thanks Marisa.
Thanks so much for that Cathy! How you show up relates more to your personal brand, why you do what you do, and who you want to be for your tribe. It’s the spirit behind your work, rather than the tactic. But, yes it’s absolutely critical!
Marisa, since i found you a month ago; you have shown up as genuine and an inspiring person and I know some inspiring people.
I am always pleased to receive an email from you, both in message and content. Thank You for being the real you.
I have a little gift bag and note I put into every order… it has a cookie, teabag and 2 pieces of candy… the whole thing costs less than .99 per order. People rave about this little touch! Also I give them a proper experience opening their box. Sure I could cram it all into one of those prepaid little priority mail boxes that you have to practically hack open. It would save me trouble I wouldn’t need to order all my shipping supplies. But then they wouldn’t have the experience of opening the box and unfolding the golden tissue to find their purchase and special touches from me….taking the time and some money to think of your customer’s experience makes all the difference…