When it comes to customer rewards, it pays to know your beans.

The impact a small surprise has on a relationship can be significant and far-reaching. We all love a surprise as recognition for our value or something good we have done. That warm, fuzzy feeling from heartfelt appreciation has a strong emotional effect and strengthens bonds immensely.

Delight customers by being personal and heartfelt

The more personal the surprise, the stronger the impact, especially at key moments in a relationship. Business is no different from personal relationships essentially – who remembers when the boss bought ice-creams on an unexpectedly hot day? Most of us, I suspect. Surprise and delight customers and they will feel warmer towards the brand. Stronger customer bonds, in turn, deliver huge benefits and dividends for a brand, especially in this digital age where word-of-mouth can spread like wildfire.

A recent example of ours is the use of a ‘coffee club’ with one of the world’s leading online media brands. By offering a free coffee at a UK wide network of brands not normally noted for coffee, loyal readers received a sincere ‘thank-you’ and new readers a reason to subscribe. The brands experienced increased footfall and incremental spend.

The right customer reward doesn’t have to cost a fortune

A low cost, surprise and delight promotional reward reaps dividends. The use of small rewards that mean something by offering something to savour or experience is a highly effective way of improving customer loyalty, raising retention rates and even influencing customer acquisition. However, like personal surprises, it’s all in the nature of the reward and the timing. Deliver at appropriate moments in a customer relationship and the positive impact is amplified. Get it wrong, and no amount of grovelling will recover the goodwill.

We know our beans when it comes to the right reward at the right moment in a relationship. Talk to us about how we can help strengthen your customer loyalty and retention or attract valuable new customers - at the very least, we’ll bring the coffee.

Richard Gibbs