The following excerpt is from an article written by Kimberly Crossland, The Savvy Copywriter. Crossland offers great ways that businesses can connect with their customers and express their appreciation for their continued patronage. Plus, we've added in specific ways you can translate these ideas to your store to benefit your students. Read her full article for even more suggestions!
Send a Public Shout-Out
EnMast is great about doing this! They regularly take the time to spotlight a member of the EnMast community as a way of saying thank you for spending some time with them. If you're an avid reader of the site, you’ve undoubtedly seen this monthly feature and clicked to learn more about some of the other small business owners here. What better way to give back to certain members of your community than by highlighting what they do? This is an easy, meaningful, and highly effective method for saying thanks for sticking around.
College Stores Can: Feature a Fan of the Week on Facebook or Twitter.
Send a Personalized Thank You Gift
I was recently swept off my feet by a kind gesture made by General Electric. They saw an article I wrote and sent me a terrific book to say thank you for my insights. What was especially surprising about this was General Electric was not referenced in the article at all. Still they took the time to reach out to me via Twitter, get my address, and write a handwritten thank you note along with sending me a hardcover book about the topic of my article and some delightful stickers. Pretty amazing gesture of gratitude that certainly did go a long way in my household – and you can bet I’ve told anyone and everyone I can about their kind deed (how’s that for word of mouth marketing?)
College Stores Can: Keep an eye on what your students are saying. See a student that's tweeting about a particularly hard week? Send them a small gift, or even just a thoughtful response, to cheer them up. Notice a customer posting about their birthday? Respond with an e-gift card or some other small momento. It's those personal interactions that truly build brand loyalty.
Give a Charitable Gift
'Tis the season for gift giving not only to your customers but also to those in need. As a business, social responsibility should be a priority. Many non-profit organizations sell goods that you can buy where the proceeds go toward a good cause. Find a charity that hits close to your industry or community and make a donation or invest in a good amount of these goods to give away to your customers. You’ll spread the joy of the season not only to your customers but also to those in need.
College Stores Can: Get students involved in selecting a cause that's close to their hearts. You can ask the masses via Facebook or let one student decide like The University Book Store at University of Wisconsin-Madison does with their Model of the Month promotion.