Personalized Gifts for Customers
Customers are the lifeblood of your business, so naturally, you want to take care of them. But customer care goes far beyond providing a service they find useful or being there to solve a problem when it arises. To truly connect with a customer and create the kind of brand loyalty that makes them allies, you need to go the extra mile in making them feel valued. While there are many ways to accomplish this (providing discounts for repeat business or creating special tiered offers) one of the simplest yet most powerful ways of achieving this is to send them a gift.
The Statistics of Sending
The stats on sending gifts are well established. Eight out of ten people enjoy receiving packages, and nine out of 10 say that they like getting letters and cards. Customers in particular report positive reactions to a direct mail gift or card: 57% of consumers say that receiving something makes them feel more valued.
These positive reactions don’t just make customers more willing to buy from you or continue a service; they can forge the kind of brand loyalty that creates brand evangelists. This translates into sales numbers: customers with this emotional connection have a 306% higher lifetime value. It creates a virtuous cycle of retention, evangelism, and acquisition that can boost your pipeline without increasing your cold prospecting efforts.
Gifting through the Customer Journey
While corporate gifts for customers usually bring to mind a 4th quarter rush of holiday remembrances, the truth is that there’s never a bad time to send a gift. One way to personalize gifts is to tie them to events or milestones within their customer journey.
Event Registrations: Say thank you for their attendance, sponsorship, or speaking role at an event.
Welcome, Upgrade, or Renewal: Show your appreciation for new or continued service agreement.
Milestones: For personal or professional milestones, or years of continued patronage.
Team Success: To celebrate goals or milestones your customer has achieved with their colleagues.
Referral Thank You: To show appreciation when a customer entrusts your brand or service to a friend or family member.
Support Follow-up: To show you value their input or patience when issues arise.
“Just Because”: The ultimate show of value is when you send a gift that isn’t tied to an event or action.
Psychology of Gifting
There are powerful influences behind gift-giving, which explains its prevalence both in world culture and specifically for business deals and relationships.
For the Recipient
If you’ve ever received a gift, you know the positive associations you feel with the giver. Whether for a birthday, holiday, or out of the blue, getting a gift (especially as a surprise) has a great impact that’s experienced long-term. When used as a means to show you value and appreciate a customer, this effect can have profound results.
There are some concrete psychological actors at work behind this phenomenon. Firstly, giving a gift (especially a physical gift) creates the so-called “Endowment Effect,” in which the recipient forges an emotional connection with the giver through the physical act of receiving. In addition, those who receive are psychologically inclined to respond in kind, a phenomenon that sociologist Marcel Mauss described as the “Theory of Reciprocity.”
For the Sender
The power of gifting isn’t just about the recipient. Studies suggest that the act of giving a gift can have an equally positive impact to receiving one. Defying the adage “what’s seldom is wonderful,” the positive effects of giving are sustained even through repeated action (unlike other experiences, whose effect is lessened with repetition). For this reason, empowering your sales, marketing, HR and recruiting departments with gifting technology can improve both their work experience and the outcomes of that work.
Types of Gifts
When selecting a gift, start by analyzing the value of the connection (such as the length of service or the value of their accounts and/or referrals) and arrive at a budget that will allow you to show your appreciation. Once settled on a range for your item(s) and packaging, you have a world of choices at your disposal. Some perennial favorites include:
- A practical, branded item that will get regular use, which will provide a reminder of you every time they use it.
- A comfort item such as a blanket or a personalized piece of clothing.
- An indulgence, such as baked treats, wine or spirits. This is an especially nice option when you want to treat an entire team or department versus an individual customer.
- An experience item, such as a gift card, concert or event tickets, airfare, or other non-tangible item. These make excellent “splurge” gifts for your very best customers and accounts.
- Mindful gifts such as charity donations or wellness-focused gifts and experiences.
- Personalized gifts for life milestones, such as an item off a registry for newlyweds, a baby blanket for the newest addition, a beautiful live plant to celebrate buying a new home, or a congratulatory bottle of bubbly to acknowledge the hard work of earning a degree.
Ideas for Personalizing Customer Appreciation Gifts
Personalization doesn’t have to be hard; simply finding something unique about a recipient and tailoring your gift to that quality or interest is sufficient. It works on the same principle as noticing a detail of dress and paying the wearer a compliment. (How many times has a mention of a favorite accessory brightened your day?)
In terms of gifts, you can personalize the experience by tailoring it to the industry or alma mater of your recipient or giving a gift emblazoned with their favorite team’s logo. You can recognize the important loved ones in their lives (such as giving a gift for a new baby or a treasured pet). You can celebrate their hobbies, a love of travel, a local affiliation or a favorite charity. You can even celebrate the milestones in their life: birth, new house, marriage, or a personal or professional achievement.
The importance isn’t solely in the quality you choose to highlight. The real power of the gift is in the expression of their value that comes from researching and selecting a gift specifically with them in mind.
Show Your Appreciation More Easily
Are you interested in ways to improve your customer appreciation programs while reducing costs and manual efforts? Automation through a Sending Platform can help you achieve better customer relationships without increasing your workload. Request a demo to see how it works.