Recently, my family went to a neighborhood pizza place, and rather than bring the usual cup of crayons and a coloring sheet to the table for our little boys, they plopped down a small toy box full of new goodies to explore: crayons, yes, but also a slinky, an interlocking bead puzzle, and some silly putty. We were impressed!
We are currently having a grand old time planning a fun, beautiful, and useful “welcome kit” for Aeolidia clients (more on that later!), as well as a thank you card and gift for when the project is over. It is a joy to be able to do something special for our clients, and it’s going to be such a wonderful way to set the perfect Aeolidia tone on each project we do.
We know that the small businesses we work for consistently try to do that “something special” for their customers. Please read below to see how some of our favorite small businesses go the extra mile to put a smile on their customers’ faces. From hand-written notes to customer gifts, there are many ways to improve your customers’ experience with you.
Below are some great stories that people shared with me via our newsletter and on Facebook:
How to exceed your customers’ expectations
I love that you got such great service and activities for your kids. I have stickers with ‘smile’, ‘sparkle’ and ‘shine’ that I use to secure tissue paper wrapping. I have started to include a heart shaped lolly in with orders (I have a heart in my logo so it’s part of my branding). I’ve long included a handwritten thank you note and try to address the package with something like, ‘the Lovely Mrs xyz,’ all little things that make my clients smile.
-Viv Smith, PoppySparkles
Packaging is big with me, too. I try to include a pencil or two that I have had made up with quotes, everything from Harry Potter lines to a favorite song lyric, also a pencil with my website on it.
– Caroline Smalley, Push the Envelope
Ditto on the packaging … I also include another letterpress goodie for the purchaser to use to give to someone else (spreading more letterpress love!). I also send out a thank you card to each customer or workshop participant within a few days.
– Denise Newberry, CabinPress Studio
When we set a customer’s wedding stationery we often send them a couple of versions to choose from, which people appreciate so much. They know we are really paying attention to their stationery. For example, they may not realize that their super-long venue name (The Green Room Lounge in the Clinton Hill Explorer’s Club of North Hampshire, or something like that) might look better on two lines. Or that their favorite peach pink might clash with avocado green. It may take us a little longer, but we want our customers involved in the process!
-Kimi Weart, A Printable Press
Yes, I wrap my orders like little gifts, too. I use washi tape and colored tissue papers. I also include a handwritten note with each order, a business card, stickers and flyers.
– Missy Kulik, illustrator
I love reading how generous people are with their orders… packaging, special treats etc. Customer care is alive and well! I too love packaging orders like lovely gifts. I am frequently tagged on Instagram when customers post photos of their Easton Place lovelies and it really thrills me to no end. I also like including mini sets of stationery or petite cards with each order. Little surprises let the customer know how much their orders are appreciated.
– Patti Wunder, Easton Place Designs
At Frock Shop we wrap all purchases in our signature black and white polka dot paper (which everyone loves). We also have a candy dish at the counter with seasonal goodies and free old issues of magazines to take. We do fun monthly giveaways and I’ve also hand delivered orders in the neighborhood.
– Suzy Fairchild, Frock Shop
Well, Arianne, I am all about calligraphy, letterpress, and beautiful mail, so whenever I get an inquiry through my web site, if it seems like a good fit, I send them a tiny present in the mail (My form requests their address). It’s usually one of my letterpress cards for them to use, tucked inside a nice note. And of course, I make sure I do write their name / address in my cool calligraphy on the outside envelope. It’s not only an unexpected extra for them, but it’s sneaky – it’s also an example of my work that they can hold and use. Sometimes that extra step makes the difference
– Tara Bliven, Ephemera Press
What about you?
How do you exceed expectations with your business? A lot of these are packaging-related, and I’m interested to hear ideas for other areas of customer interaction. I’d love to hear more!