20 Ideas to WOW Your Customers, Improve Loyalty, and Get People Talking About Your Business

If you’ve visited our blog or received our Hints & Tips newsletter recently, you may have noticed that we’ve been talking a lot about the different ways small businesses can WOW! their customers.

A WOW! moment is an experience that leaves a lasting impression on your customers.

In some cases, a WOW moment will involve a well thought out marketing campaign designed to increase loyalty and boost repeat business. But many of these moments will also happen during the smaller interactions you have with customers — whether through a positive interaction with your staff, or a helpful tip they receive in your latest email newsletter.

All of these WOW moments — no matter how big or how small — will play a critical role in building customer relationships, which can lead to repeat business and valuable word-of-mouth referrals for your business.

We wanted to find out how small businesses were providing unique and memorable experiences for their customers — so we asked “How do you WOW! your customers?”

We heard some great stories and received tons of helpful tips. To give you inspiration for creating your own WOW moment, we compiled a list of our favorite ideas:

“We offer a complete Administrative and Concierge service — whatever needs organizing, our answer’s YES!”

Christina Moore, Complete Organisation

Blowing them away with creative designs that bring their vision to life and take their brand to an entirely new level.”

Shannon Beth, {sb}Cre8tive

“Pictures, pictures, and pictures…We try to make our customers take a BITE out of their cell phones or computers. Making them laugh helps too!”

Stan’s Northfield Bakery

“Some things I do to WOW my customers are providing beautiful gift wrap free of charge (my gifts are works of art!), I allow them to pay their paintings over time, I will help them hang their artwork and allow them to take them home and see how they look — out on approval. I do everything I can to make it possible for them to have original paintings and pottery in their homes. When it comes down to it — it’s the service you provide that can make the difference in you and another artist.

Marsha Owens Clements, Marsha Clements Artist

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“On days like Small Business Saturday we extend our hours — we open early and stay late — and give out promotional tote bags with incentives for people to come back into the store to do more shopping. It’s really fun for our customers, and us as well.”

Dawn Noble, La Provence

“Offer small tokens of appreciation for brand evangelists. For the fans that consistently engage on your social networks, reward them with special discounts and giveaways. For those regular customers, support charities that are near and dear to their hearts by donating event proceeds or a portion of sales from products or services. Feature customer stories on your digital content and with media. Often businesses lose sight of the fact that the personal stories of their customers can bring awareness to the culture of their business. Your product or service may have helped to bring joy to a customer’s life.”

Jennifer Smiga, inBLOOM Communications

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“Never accepting that what we do now is good enough; always trying to bring the next big idea for our customer.”

Cura Energy

“Honesty.”

Liam MacDonald, Gastropub No 29

“I use my Constant Contact newsletter to announce my monthly giveaways — prizes include free painting workshops, original paintings, instructional DVDs, and prints. After I announce the winners, I pick runners up to receive “extra” prizes, the response has been great!”

Nancy Medina, Nancy Medina Fine Art

“I celebrate my online customers in my Vintage Housewares & Home Decor Shop. For every 100th sale I reach in My Vintage Alcove on Etsy, I sell that item at 50% off. It is an exciting milestone for me and an exciting moment for that shopper. The experience creates a WOW moment for them, especially the new customer to my shop. I use Constant Contact to notify my current customers of that upcoming moment as an additional way to keep my business noticed. I also use Facebook to keep the numbers up-to-date. This exciting WOW moment is about to happen again in my shop!”

Michelle Nicholson, My Vintage Alcove

“The most important WOW is listening to the subtle comments people make in dealing with them. They will tell you what they are concerned about. Anything you can do and sometimes it is very small to make them feel like a VIP is important. My industry has a trade show that I can bring my clients to twice a year… Look for the opportunity to create a WOW moment each day and you will be on the right track to creating a legacy business. Business is hard enough that if you are not creating something to last beyond you, you are wasting your time.”

Matt Davidson, Logo Dynamics

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“Sharing useful content.”

Another Hand Advantage

“We all know that first impressions are extremely important and you only get one shot at it. However, over the years I have found that the last impression is sometimes more meaningful and perhaps is longer lasting. When I collect or quiz a first time customer about the experience they’ve had, I’ve found that this statement, “Let me know if I can ever help you!” as they walk out leaves a forever impression and creates my WOW moment for my new customers…and old.”

Rick Mitchell, Art Academy Live

“What works for me, as a religious nonprofit, are stories. Stories capture attention especially if told in the first person. One needs to hear and see what you see and feel some of what you’re feeling in a given situation. Just news and facts are not attractive to readers. A picture and a story capture immediately people’s attention.”

Rick Evans, Maebenvio

“We do two things to differentiate MURCON from everyone else and provide a WOW! moment for prospects and customers. When presenting seminars we give everyone at the beginning of the presentation a bag of gourmet microwave extra butter popcorn with a printed label attached to it that says “Give your marketing a “POP” with Constant Contact Engagement Marketing Services”. Second, when a company becomes a customer, we add them to the MURCON VIP CLUB. The VIP CLUB gets a special newsletter each month with high value content that the other messages we send out do not contain. That’s WOW value!”

Tom Murphy, Murcon Internet Marketing

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“I have a marketing firm and when I take on a new client, I’m given multiple logins for their website, social media, etc. I look to see when that client’s birthdays are and send them a birthday gift! I love it because they never expect it! :)”

Lindsay Higgins, Leave it to Lindsay

“We use the WOW the customer concept in customer service, how can we be different and better not cheaper. We receive email alerts from UPS when our products are delivered to our customers. Then we call each customer to alert them that their product is in the building and who signed for it, so if it is needed for production or a repair to production equipment they can handle it quickly. Sometimes items are signed for and they just sit on someone’s desk or on the delivery dock and the person or department that needs the item/s does not even know they are in the building. So WOW the customer and alert them that their item has arrived and where it is in the building, WOW.”

Rocco Panetta, Plastic Machinery & Parts

“Besides Constant Contact and other existing (and new) methods of social media connection with our customers (and potential customers), I like to also include a bit of old-fashioned customer service in our mix. I read trade magazines to keep up with what is happening in our industry and I will often see articles about our customers in these magazines. When I am done with the magazine I will tear out the articles, write a quick handwritten note, and drop the article into an envelope, hand-address it, and mail it to our customer. On more than one occasion, I have gotten a positive comment back from our customers about how much they enjoyed getting an extra copy of the article in the mail. This is something small, only takes a few minutes, but stands out to our customers. After all, a little fun “snail-mail” stands out in our tech-filled world. Besides, I view our customers as friends and love doing something nice for my friends!”

Shannon M. Kuhrt, M&M Wintergreens Inc.

“I go above and beyond to help my customers and put 100 percent into everything I do big or small. I love my work which shows through.”

Nicky Ratcliff, Virtually u

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“We developed a business model and culture that supports and promotes product quality.  It’s very common to hit the streets with a high quality product and before long, end up in a price war that leads to slashing prices followed by a necessary drop in quality to offset the decrease in revenue.  Lesson here is to not underestimate a client’s capacity to pay a higher price for a quality product.  If it is established that the competition produces marginal quality, why follow suit?”

Fabian Luna, The Lead Republic

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How do you WOW your customers? Let us know in the comments below!

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