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Old 28th April 2007, 09:48 AM   #11
SeattleCPA
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Default Chocolates at year-end...

I used to write a lot (magazine articles for Inc. and PC World and Lotus Magazine... and also computer and business books for basically all the computer book publishers).

Early on, in the late 1980s, I sent my editors at Lotus Magazine gifts. Boxes of Frangos chocolates. They basically called the next day and bought a bunch more articles. So I put two and two together... and started sending chocolates to pretty much all the editors at all the magazines and all the publishing houses that I worked with.

People definitely loved getting holiday gifts from me. But after a few years, as a small business, it really snowballed into a huge headache. I had, essentially, 6-8 customers (at most) and maybe 150 people on my holiday business gifts list.

Invariably, I would forget someone... and then have to scramble to get them their own box of Frangos...

Then there'd be the person who hadn't bought anything for years... or who had been openly antagonistic... yet dropping a person from the list seemed like adding fuel to any simmering fires.

And I knew I was sending Frangos to people who weren't even at the publisher anymore but I just didn't know it yet... Like Jamey in royalty accounting, or whatever...

Because of all these headache factors, when I started my next business, running a CPA firm again in the Seattle area, I very consciously decided not to use gifts.

I wanted to attract and keep customers because of my product quality and personal service... and if that's not enough, so be it.

BTW, business gifts are deductible as business tax expenses only if there are de minimis or clearly advertising materials. I think the ceiling is $25 per recipient. So you can't guy your best customer's daughter a $200 place setting for her bridal shower and then deduct it.

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Last edited by SeattleCPA; 28th April 2007 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 1st June 2007, 07:27 AM   #12
osp
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we sell perfume product $39.39 from the customer.customer satisfied for the product and make to regular customer . gift for perfume inyour wedding so happy.

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Old 10th June 2007, 11:20 PM   #13
jrobconsult
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Sending gifts is great. Also, I would send personalized greeting cards to your best customers to let them know how much you appreciate them.

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Old 11th June 2007, 06:20 AM   #14
jillybeans
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Gifts can be wonderful; however, you need to be careful to consider if the recipient is even allowed to accept gifts or what the ceiling value is for the gift being received. A thank you note, handwritten with business cards enclosed, is fabulous within 10 days of a phone call or appointment. Perhaps you could send a useful tool that is business related with your business inscribed on it (squeegees for windows?) along with the thank you card. Just don't go overboard.

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Old 13th June 2007, 06:37 PM   #15
woodman3
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Default Wowing customers with service is thanks enough!

There are a multitude of items that you can offer to a customer as a thank you and I personally feel that a note signed by a human being is the simplest and most direct form of a thank you only immediately preceded by a telephone call. That being said, I think it is even more important than simply thinking customers to exceed their expectations in the service they receive from you when they deal with you.

Consider taking the money that would fund a thank you program and invested into better CSR training and into quicker and more thorough product or issue resolutions. See that people get a live operator not voicemail hell. And sure that there is a tracking methodology so that problems are quickly resolved, and then a follow-up phone call is made to ensure that the customer is happy.

If you really want to exceed a customer's expectation make happy calls. If you're not familiar with that let me know and I will start a post on making happy calls and how their best conducted.

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Old 13th June 2007, 06:48 PM   #16
mktgbiz
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Definitiely interested in a post on "happy calls."

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Old 14th June 2007, 12:46 PM   #17
woodman3
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Default Happy Calls

Let me know what forum and I will be happy to post an article on happy calls

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Old 14th June 2007, 07:59 PM   #18
dreammars
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We sell from $25-$80,000 a customer, and we have about 1,000 customers. The product is window hardware.

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Old 30th June 2010, 10:28 PM   #19
ChrisJ
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here's a couple of suggestions...

planners
coffee mugs
thermos flasks
raincoats
desk clocks
USB flash drives
mousepads
pens

then for added value, you can brand these generic items, so that it will still be a promotional tool

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Old 19th July 2010, 04:01 PM   #20
iamjohns
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i think that last year customers that still keep in touch should be sent a gift to always stay in touch may be ask them 4 recommendations and actually put some into action .... as for the other last year customers they also could be sent gifts but simpler ones that could give them an idea of my promotions in order to market your new products and get the old customers attention

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