Your customer database is one of your most precious possessions.
Engaging with your existing and potential customers should never be undervalued, and should take priority in company strategy. By keeping in touch with your existing customers and offering them services, you can maintain a trusting and secure relationship that will lead to future sales.
But having an excellent and detailed customer database is only the start of the story. One of the best ways to keep meaningful contact with existing customers and draw in new ones is to offer giveaways and customer gifts.
Let's take a look at how giveaways and gifts can make a difference with your customers.
Why should I have a giveaway and gift strategy?
Marketing is about gaining permission to talk to people, engaging with them, and encouraging them to buy your services. If customers or prospects don't want to talk to you, they won't. It people's relationship with your brand is what sways people in the direction of sales. What better way to build that relationship than to offer something free?
Whether it's a gift, a voucher, or some valuable content, people enjoy the experience of getting something for nothing. A giveaway or customer gift will appeal to customers' sense of a "bargain" and reinforce the impression that you're a giving and generous business—in other words, the type of company that they want to provide services for them.
What gift or giveaway should I offer my customers?
The key is to make sure that what you have on offer will entice the type of customers that you want. Here are 10 ways to ensure that your giveaway and gift strategy attracts customers.
- Give a free additional service.
- Listen to your customers and personalise their gifts.
- Make a thank-you video.
- Start a loyalty programme or VIP club.
- Turn your customer's experience into a video.
- Send a treat.
- Offer gift cards.
- Offer a discount.
- Teach your customers something new.
- Give away promotional items.
Now let's go into detail on each idea.
1. Give a free additional service.
A strategy that appeals to your customers' sense of "something extra" will always be a winner. Discounts (which we discuss below) are great, but if you don't want to offer one since it will eat into your bottom line, how about offering a small extra service for free instead?
For example, while you're servicing a boiler you could also offer to perform a quick energy efficiency survey.
2. Listen to your customers and personalise their gifts.
With the competition high and your rivals also offering giveaways and gifts, it pays to find gift options that really appeal to your specific customer demographic.
Customer surveys are a great way to find out what customers really want. Also be sure to listen to your field service engineers, as they're your face-to-face contact with your client base.
Other ways to provide personalisation might be to give away promotional products that are printed with the customer's name, or to offer a choice of gifts.
3. Make a thank-you video.
The use of video for inbound marketing is on the rise, and is no longer just for big businesses with huge marketing budgets. There are some great video tools out there that are simple to use and include options like animation.
Social media has made sharing short, snappy videos easy—and once customers see your thank-you video they'll share it and spread the word about how great your services are. Your thank-you video doesn't have to be complicated; in general, people appreciate simplicity and a short, simple message.
4. Start a loyalty programme or VIP club.
There's a good reason so many big retailers run loyalty programmes: They're one of the best ways to grow your customer base. Not only that, but loyalty programmes also give you access to customer information and preferences that you would not have had otherwise.
Loyalty programmes don't need to be expensive or complicated to set up. There are a lot of packages out there that will do the job for you; in fact, you can even find loyalty programme apps just for smaller businesses.
For your most loyal customers, it makes sense to create a VIP programme with long-term relationship rewards. Airlines do this particularly well.
Want more info on how to start your own loyalty programme? This article on HubSpot offers some good advice.
5. Turn your customer's experience into a video.
We all like to talk about ourselves. Giving a customer the opportunity to talk about their experience with your company can be a very rewarding experience for both parties.
Testimonials and case studies not only reward existing customers—they also attract new ones. DemoDuck has a great article for testimonial-givers about how to prepare to be on camera; send it to customers who agree to do a video and they'll thank you for it!
6. Send a treat.
There are few people who don't like getting a treat. And in the world of customer giveaways and gifts, a treat—in other words, a small gift, especially an unexpected one—could just be the thing that keeps your customers loyal when they're considering other options.
Treats could take many forms, from flowers to gift cards to a local café, and can be timed to either reward great customer behaviour (like reviews, referrals, or successful training) or to celebrate significant dates (such as birthdays or anniversaries with the company).
7. Offer gift cards.
Gift cards aren't just for local restaurants and cafés, Amazon, or big-box stores—you'll find that even "practical" businesses like petrol stations and grocery stores successfully offer gift cards, and often use them as giveaways.
Gift cards are a great option for giveaways even for field service businesses like yours. They offer customer flexibility, meaning the customer can choose whichever of your services they need most.
8. Offer a discount.
Getting a bargain is a very satisfying experience and customers are attracted by a discount—particularly if your competitors are not offering a similar one. Use discounts carefully, though, because overuse can lessen their impact.
9. Teach your customers something new.
Teaching your customers something new and important, like offering safety advice or explaining energy-saving measures, helps build customers' confidence in your expertise. That's why we offer dozens of free e-books, checklists, templates and more on our Resources page!
Try offering free content through blog posts, how-to videos, or even a free e-book. (Did you know that Commusoft has a free blog post on how to choose a boiler that you can offer to your customers?)
10. Give away promotional items.
Sending out company-branded goodies to customers is a good way to keep in touch, particularly if you have long gaps between services. Magnets, coasters, seat cushions for sporting events, stress balls, and mugs are always popular.
Even better, they're cheap! The more you buy, the less you pay per piece. For example, on EverythingBranded you can buy 125 branded ice scrapers £1.57 each, or 500 for only £0.83 each.
Traditionally, field service businesses have been less interested in using giveaways and customer gifts than other types of businesses. This is good news because if you try them out you won't have much competition!
It may be a long time between jobs, but that doesn't mean you have to lose touch with your customers in the meantime. Try these gift ideas and watch your customers' loyalty grow.