What Do You Give To Your Loyal Customer?

Business By sugarcheryl Updated 30 Jan 2010 , 3:11am by prterrell

sugarcheryl Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 7:02pm
post #1 of 28

I was just wondering what did you give your loyal customers who support your business by placing orders with you. I was thinking giving them sample products that you like to introduce or ones that you really like to bake yourself. Sending them thank you notes through email or handwritten. My goal is to make my business personal. Any ideas or suggestion?

27 replies
Mabma80 Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 7:09pm
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I like the sample idea. Say something like, "I appreciate you as a loyal customer and as such, would like your opinion on a new flavor!" Or something like that. They would really like that you value not only their business, but input as well. And a hand written note along with the small sample is a nice personal touch! I would add a pre-stamped card to write their comments about the sample too!

sugarcheryl Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 7:21pm
post #3 of 28

Well that's a neat idea about pre- stamped card.

Mabma80 Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 7:29pm
post #4 of 28

thumbs_up.gif

Mike1394 Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 7:35pm
post #5 of 28

Why would you advertise to people that already know your product?

Mike

Chasey Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 7:50pm
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

Why would you advertise to people that already know your product?

Mike




To thank them for their past business in hopes of keeping their future business? icon_smile.gif

joy5678 Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 7:54pm
post #7 of 28

Appreciation goes along way and so does the word of mouth advertising that they will spread because of it!
It never hurts to go the extra mile. Ever heard of the "Bakers Dozen"? IMHO....icon_smile.gif

Mike1394 Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 7:56pm
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chasey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

Why would you advertise to people that already know your product?

Mike



To thank them for their past business in hopes of keeping their future business? icon_smile.gif




Here's my thoughts. Mc'Ds markets to BK customers. Coke to Pepsi customers. I understand the theory behind thanking your customers. That slice of cake that your giving away to say thank you is worth 3-5 dollars. You give away enough of them it would pay for a mailer, small radio, or TV spot.

Mike

Mike1394 Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 7:57pm
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by joy5678

Appreciation goes along way and so does the word of mouth advertising that they will spread because of it!
It never hurts to go the extra mile. Ever heard of the "Bakers Dozen"? IMHO....icon_smile.gif




What happens when they EXPECT that bakers dozen?

Mike

LNW Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 8:07pm
post #10 of 28

Good point Mike. I'd try not to get too personal. Some of my worst customers are the ones who think we are "buddies" and because we are "buddies" I'll work for peanuts. Or they can call me up at the last minute to order a cake and you know because we are just so close and all it's not a problem. Sigh...

I think a nice hand written card thanking them for their recent purchase would be plenty. It's personal without a handout. You show your appreciation and they don't get any crazy ideas or expectations.

sugarandslice Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 8:17pm
post #11 of 28

I sent Christmas cards to my customers last year (freebies, personalised from Vistaprint)
I also keep a record of the date I did a cake for a customer if it was for a birthday, wedding, anniversary, and send them a card on the same date the next year (or a bit before so that they think to order from me again! icon_wink.gif )

I think of it as a way to thank past customers while also reminding them of my services, hopefully getting another order.

I've also found that a number of my customers have been thrilled when I've put their comments on my Testimonials page on my website.

My best customer is an old family friend and I give her a discount on every order. She orders quite a bit from me and gets my name out as much as she can.

Peridot Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 8:29pm
post #12 of 28

I also think that appreciating your customer goes a long way. And word of mouth can be just as powerful as a radio or TV commercial. Mailers go in the garbage and most people don't even look at them, when I hear a radio commercial I tune it out because that's all you hear on the radio, and a TV spot - who can afford that - I don't see any advertising cakes on the channels. Maybe stickin a business card or two so that they can give it to a someone else.

I think that the your idea is great sugarsheryl and with a hand written note and a prepaid return card you have a winner. A few bucks spent on a repeat customer is a worthwhile investment and you will get more business because of it. Kindness and appreciation in today's world is often over looked and when a small or large business takes the initative to appreciate their customer's there will be a payoff to your benefit. This customer knows that their business is appreciated and they will also tell their friends and co-workers about what you gave them and that you asked their opinion. This is a win-win idea!

You could select a few potential customer's also as I would be more apt to give someone my business that made an effort and I was able to taste their product then sending me a mailer or hearing a radio commercial. Just my opinion - nothing more - not trying of offend anyone.

And you can write this off as advestising expense on your taxes just like the radio ad, mailer, etc.

Mensch Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 8:46pm
post #13 of 28

I have lots of corporate clients from my area. Most are small businesses who keep running tabs at my bakery. They stop in and pick up what they want and I write everything up. Once a month I add everything up and send an invoice. In October I found a good deal on large, 4 liter decorative glass jars. I bought one for each corporate client and filled it with my home made biscotti, put my sticker on in and delivered them all myself with a note of thanks. And, of course, they all now feel obligated to keep those jars full, and guess where they buy their biscotti? (NOTE: my biscotti are not big and vulgar, like the kinds you see at coffee shops. Mine are about 2-2½ inches long).

I have Coffee Cards. Every time someone buys a coffee, they get a stamp. When they've purchased 10 they get a free coffee.

We sell lots of coffee drinks, many to folks who work around the area. I sent a note to all the businesses in my area saying that if they (and employees) bring in their own coffee cup they get a discount on coffee and coffee drinks, PLUS a stamp on their card. Guess if my coffee sales didn't double in a week!

The guys who work at the small appliance store across the street get a discount on their purchases. They buy often. They always give me a great discount when I buy batteries and things there.

I also barter for cakes. My electrician did about $350 worth of work in the new store, so when he gets cakes and baked goods I write everything up and let him know when his tab reaches $350. My massage therapist has two kids, so we barter there, too. I've been making her kids' cakes for eight years!

sugarcheryl Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 9:02pm
post #14 of 28

Thanks everyone for your input. I know my business is not for everyone but I don't mind giving away free cake or product. I look at as an investment and I want to build long and loving relationship with my customers. I know some will come and some will go. I just really appreciate all the support there would be no biz if it wasn't for them and I want again to make it PERSONAL. I'm ever grateful to use my gift and someone what's to pay for it and invest in me giving away cakes, cookies whatever to me is well worth it. icon_smile.gif

loriemoms Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 9:05pm
post #15 of 28

I had one bride who sent her entire soriety my way as they got engaged one by one. then THEY sent me brides! One christmas, I wrote to the first bride and offered her a free cake for the holidays. She was thrilled.

As far as giving free samples of new flavors...that is a good idea, except I do that with friends and neighbors. Don't want someone who is paying for my product to think Oh GROSS! hahaha! I kinda of agree with Mike, why give away free samples to people who already love you?

Anyway, we are growing and growing and our prices are going up and up... I have a few customers who stayed with me while I was learning the business and I keep thier prices down. They know it, as they send their friends my way and their freinds don't get the lower price. So its kind of our wink wink to each other.

rosiecast Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 9:05pm
post #16 of 28

Mensch- your style is a win-win.

Mensch Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 9:07pm
post #17 of 28

Thanks!

Peridot Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 9:16pm
post #18 of 28

Mensch....

You are exactly the kind of business person that I would keep coming back to and I would refer my friends, relatives, co-wrokers and neighbors to your place. You know how to appreciate your customer's and make them want to keep coming back!

jescapades Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 9:28pm
post #19 of 28

with every wedding cake, i give the couple a free 4" replica for their first anniversary (so they don't have to eat year-old frozen cake) and for every baby shower cake, i give the baby a free 4" smash cake on his/her first birthday.

i also do an open house and cake tasting every year with a raffle to win coupons for free products or discounts. and i do trivia on facebook, where the winner gets a free product. this way, not only will i get the loyal customers to come back and stay loyal, but they will tell their friends. and i can get new customers with the raffles and trivia.

misserica Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 9:30pm
post #20 of 28

Mensch, you are the type of business I would keep coming back to as well. I do not have a business and doubt I will ever get into a cake business but with regard to everything else, kindness goes a long way. I would go to your coffee shop before I went to a big chain knowing I get a stamp card and that someone in your shop, or you, will remember my name. As a consumer, I appreciate exactly this kind of thing. To the OP, than handwritten thank you is a win, I would continue to frequent your services if you sent me one!

rosiecast Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 9:35pm
post #21 of 28

The starbucks around the corner from my job gives us a discount on refills on coffee. That sucks since I don't drink coffee. I keep harassing them (nicely, lol) to give me a discount on their shaken ice tea lemonades.

joy5678 Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 9:37pm
post #22 of 28

Whatever you want to call it....bakers dozen, going the extra mile....just means giving alittle extra....a little more than is expected. Great ideas from previous posters are all creative, inexpensive gestures that can set them apart from the rest of the pack and hopefully leave a lasting impression on a customer. One that will hopefully bring them back as well as others that they spread the word to. May be "old school" but it works in my neck of the woods! icon_smile.gif

loriemoms Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 10:18pm
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jescapades

with every wedding cake, i give the couple a free 4" replica for their first anniversary (so they don't have to eat year-old frozen cake) and for every baby shower cake, i give the baby a free 4" smash cake on his/her first birthday.

i also do an open house and cake tasting every year with a raffle to win coupons for free products or discounts. and i do trivia on facebook, where the winner gets a free product. this way, not only will i get the loyal customers to come back and stay loyal, but they will tell their friends. and i can get new customers with the raffles and trivia.




I also give out a free anniversary cake (it isnt a replica, but a buttercream covered cake of any flavor...) I never thought of the free smash cake for a baby shower! What a great idea! \\Since most of the baby shower cakes aren't purchased by the parents do you give a coupon?

snarkybaker Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 10:45pm
post #24 of 28

My loyal customers get their cakes made by ME, not staff. My loyal customers can get cakes on short notice. My loyal customers can use my double super secret parking spot behind my bakery to pick up their cake. The don't get discounts. They don't get free stuff...Okay, I'll but them a cupc of coffee from time to time.

globalgatherings Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 10:55pm
post #25 of 28

I like to pick out up coming holidays to give cookie baskets to my great customers. Like this Valentines Day they're getting Valentine cookies with assorted candies and assorted kitchen gadgets. Sometimes I throw in a gift certificate to be used for an item from my catering menu. This winter I made" Thanx a Latte" cookies, put them in a basket that was shaped like a coffee cup and included my logo coffee mugs, with international coffees, hot chocolate etc... and of course any logo stuff I have; posty notes, pens etc.. It's sooo fun and my customers LOVE it!!!! And I'm not afraid to always include a thank you note and ask them for more business and to tell their friends about me.

Love those repeat customers thumbs_up.gif

Kelly

globalgatherings Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 11:05pm
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peridot

Mensch....

You are exactly the kind of business person that I would keep coming back to and I would refer my friends, relatives, co-wrokers and neighbors to your place. You know how to appreciate your customer's and make them want to keep coming back!




I would give Mensch all my business too, but I think she's too far away" "The Diogenes Club" Anybody know where that is????

icon_biggrin.gificon_confused.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

sugarcheryl Posted 30 Jan 2010 , 2:51am
post #27 of 28

These are really great ideas. Again thanks for sharing. Mensch and globalgatherings I really like those ideas. thumbs_up.gif

prterrell Posted 30 Jan 2010 , 3:11am
post #28 of 28

Mensch, your business acumen is excellent!

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