Last week, I received a nice surprise in my email inbox. To help celebrate its 50th anniversary, Mountain Creek, a ski resort in Northwest New Jersey, notified customers that it was offering $7.50 lift tickets after 3 p.m. that day (equivalent to the cost of a lift ticket there in 1965). As an avid skier who lives a short distance from the resort, I took advantage of the deal and skied for a few hours Friday night. It was a great way to start the weekend and a nice treat from a resort I've done a lot of skiing at over the years.Such surprises are a great way to reward customers and thank them for their loyal patronage. As I thought about it, I was hard-pressed to recall the last time a company I support offered me a meaningful gift. Fortunately, there are brands that regularly reward its customers.
Here are a few examples:
- Sephora is known for providing its customers with free samples, birthday gifts, and other goodies for their loyal patronage.
- Disney World employees occasionally hand out giant family sundaes to lucky kinfolk visiting the park (my family and I were fortunate to be on the receiving end one time).
- IHOP offers a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes on National Pancake Day. In return, guests are asked to consider leaving a donation for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals or other designated local charities.
- Banana Republic periodically sends out gift cards to customers.
Offering customers free products or steep discounts for their patronage is a great way of demonstrating how valued they are. Rewarding customers with a gift when they don't expect it is a terrific way to thank them for their loyalty while creating a memorable experience.