How to retain clients

by Mhairi MacLeod 25. September 2013 18:23

Customer retention – also referred to as customer loyalty – is one of the pillars of any successful business.

What’s more, customer retention drives three of the most important ‘Rs’ in business:

- Recommendations
- Revenue
- Really happy bosses!

So, with industry experts – such as CRM Magazine – suggesting that an increase of just 2% in customer retention has the same effect on profit as 10% cost cutting, it really is worth honing your skills in the art of customer loyalty.

Here’s how:

· Treat your customer as a person

It may sound obvious but customers like to be treated as individuals, not numbers. Speaking to Entrepreneur.com, social media guru Lewis Howes shared his number one tip for improving customer loyalty as “Go above and beyond doing whatever it takes to show customers how much you love them. Care about each person as a human, not a number.”

Going the extra mile transforms your customer’s experience from average to incredible; the sort of service they’ll tell their friends and family about which - in turn - catapults them from being one happy customer, to one happy customer who drives lots of referral


· Acknowledge your mistakes

According to research and advisory experts Gartner, 80% of your company’s future revenue comes from 20% of your existing customers.

Therefore it pays to be smart and honest, particularly if you’ve made a mistake.

Customers appreciate that nobody’s perfect; just make sure you hit the ball out of the park on your second attempt if you accidentally dropped it on your first.


· Be a mind reader

In a recent article in Forbes Magazine, business expert Micah Solomon explained that one of the most important elements any company should work on fulfilling is “even the unexpressed wishes” of the customer.

By spending time working out what your customers want, but aren’t necessarily asking for, you can create understanding, trust and a unique synergy that ultimately builds powerful brand ambassadors.


· And remember to say thank you

Above all it’s important to say thanks!

A study by Customer Thermometer found that 68% of customers will move on because they perceive the business serving them to be indifferent to their custom.

There are lots of ways to say thank you – a hand written note, a gift or simply an invite to lunch.


Looking to reward customer loyalty with a gift? Visit our corporate hamper guide now.

Staff Motivation – ways to inspire your employees

by Stewart 24. September 2013 02:01

70% of staff feel “unappreciated” at work.

17% highlighted that long service milestones were not celebrated

7/10 feel undervalued in their current role and a further 6/10 are actively looking for a new job.

 

These are just some statistics from a survey conducted by The Voucher Shop on staff motivation within the NHS.

Staff motivation should always be at the forefront of a manager’s mind because if the workforce is demotivated then a company will never reach its full potential.

If high staff turnover and low work performance sounds all too familiar, here are our tips for inspiring employees:

 

1. Financial incentives

Most of us would agree that money is a highly motivating factor.

Financial incentives definitely work well within the sales, manufacturing and engineering industries as staff are paid extra when they exceed their quotas.

 

2. Non-financial incentives

Photo Credit: 401(K)


For many companies, financial incentives are not viable due to budgetary restrictions.

Martin Cooper, Head of Sales at Love2reward, says:

“If staff receive something tangible, the glory is reflected on the company that gave it to them; they will think positively about it for a long time as they admire the item they purchased with the gift card/voucher etc. Give someone cash and six months down the line they will struggle to remember what they used it for, more often than not it is used to pay a utility bill or credit card.”

“Non-cash rewards such as gifts or vouchers can result in 25 percent higher work performance than cash incentives. Even simple gestures such as a thank you, can increase a person’s willingness to help again by 100 percent.”- Kuijit Kaur, Head of Business Development, The Voucher Shop

Whether you motivate your staff through a small gift or praise them for their hard work, nonfinancial incentives could really benefit your organisation.

 

3. Job enlargement, Job enrichment, Empowerment

Photo Credit: Impact Hub


If employees are not motivated in their roles, then no amount of money or gifts will inspire them to work harder.

Frederick Herzberg (famous for his ‘hygiene’ and motivational factors theory) believed that employees are motivated when they have greater levels of responsibility.

Job enlargement – Where possible, give staff a greater variety of tasks. There is nothing more demotivating than doing the same thing day in, day out. Variety makes the job more interesting and rewarding.

Job enrichment – Give staff complex tasks to complete and employees will feel a greater sense of achievement.

Empowerment –Allow employees to take responsibility for their own working life.

 

For ideas on staff gifts that will motivate your workforce visit our staff rewards and incentives page on our website.

Highland Fayre Goes Gluten Free!

by Olivia Bugaj 24. September 2013 00:10

On the back of launching our three new gluten free hampers, we thought it would great to tell you about some of the suppliers that have made this range possible. In a three part series we will tell you about the tasty treats we have sourced from these companies, plus their motivations behind supplying products for Coeliac’s.

We decided to create 3 gluten free hampers in order to offer an alternative for those living with Coeliac disease. In the future we will also be going the extra mile to present recipes and tips in our blog to help you live a smooth gluten free life, so watch this space!

We are really happy to be working with House of Sarunds, supplier of the Belvas Fairtrade Assorted Belgian Chocolate Ballotin, the Belvas Flaked Belgian Chocolate Truffles, and both the quirky Moo Diary Free Organic Cranberry & Hazelnuts and the Organic Banana Dairy Free Milk Chocolate Alternatives.

House of Sarunds is a company focused on delivering the best products on the market, be it chocolate or confectionery. Recently, House of Sarunds realised that many people who had intolerance to dairy, gluten or who were diabetic, had no tasty alternatives for chocolate. This is why they were willing to cater to this specific group and provide chocolates that are just as delicious as any other currently on the market.

This is how they started to work with Belvas and Moo Free chocolate. Belvas chocolate not only provide gluten free chocolate but they are also organic, fair trade, dairy free, sugar free and alcohol free! They also have no conservatives, no GMOs, no hydrogenated fat, no food colourings, and no flavour enhancer!

As for Moo Free, their chocolate is made from tasty rice milk that is suitable if you have a dairy allergy, lactose intolerant, gluten intolerant or vegan. Moo Free rice milk chocolate is also organic and Fairtrade. The story goes that one of the founder’s children is dairy intolerant while the other is not. Because of this, it was difficult to find milk alternatives with no funny after taste and so Moo free was born!

We hope you’re already looking forward to next week’s blog on the second of our new suppliers, Forth Wines!

How to win new clients

by Mhairi MacLeod 17. September 2013 23:51

Winning new clients is at the top of the list for most businesses and quite rightly so; they are the lifeblood of business so securing them should be a priority.

Here are our top tips for getting them on board:

1. Keep it simple

Photo Credit: Wilderdom



Simplicity is the key.

There is a tendency to provide too much information but there is no need to pad out a pitch if the facts you provide are strong.

A few examples of work you have done for others is great but not your whole portfolio; companies are interested in themselves, not you.

 

 

2. Know your competition

Photo credit: RCL


If someone is doing the same thing as you then know exactly how they’re doing it and identify what you’re doing better so that you can mention this.

There’s no need to trash talk the competition but do show what you do that they don’t.

 

3. Make an impression

Show your appreciation by sending new clients a small gift after you’ve won their business and established a good working relationship; a hamper with company branded ribbon is a great idea and will remind the client of you whilst also reflecting the high quality of your company.

4. Care about your clients

Photo credit: Reynermedia



We can’t stress this one enough!

There is no point striving to sign new clients unless you look after them.

You won’t retain them if you don’t make an effort to know them and their foibles. Businesses are very personal entities so it’s good practise to understand the people behind the director’s desk.

 

5. Have a great website

We live in an online age; if it’s not on the web it’s not worth acknowledging. The same goes for your company and if you have a poor website then nobody will subscribe to your ethos.

Lead by example and build a website that your clients want to associate themselves with.

For a wide range of gifts for new clients pop over to our corporate hamper guide.

Leaving present disasters

by Mhairi MacLeod 13. September 2013 18:09

Getting leaving gifts right is tough. We spoke to friends and colleagues to find out some of the most disastrous, mistimed and misjudged leaving presents they’d ever been given which included ladies’ underwear and a Crème Egg. Ouch!

1. Underwear
One poor soul in our office left her last job with underwear two sizes too big and a strained grin on her face:

“Why they thought it was appropriate to buy me undies as a leaving present I’ll never know. What was more alarming was that they seemed to think this most awkward of presents was a fab choice…I spent my last day having to show them to everyone.” 


2. A Crème Egg

Photo credit: Magnus D



After two years of dedicated service one of our team received a Creme Egg for his troubles:

“My boss went out for lunch and on his return asked me to see him in his office. As it was my last day I expected a few parting words of thanks and maybe a gift. Which was sort of what I received – “Cheers for the work, here’s a Crème Egg.” Worst leaving present ever.”


3. Flowers from the garage

On a par with giving wilting flowers to your girlfriend is popping to the garage to buy a bunch as a leaving present; as one of our team experienced:

“I was delighted when my manager said “we’ve bought you a lovely bunch of flowers”, at which point I was presented with a half-wilted bouquet that still had the ‘1/2 price’ sticker and the name of the garage. I thought they were joking. Sadly not.”


4. A company product

A bottle of wine from the fridge was gifted to one of our girls after almost four years of service in a pub.

“The worst thing about it was that I knew the cost price of the bottle of wine – it had a cost price of £2. I haven’t spent money there since.”


5. Absolutely nothing

When we asked friends and colleagues for their leaving present disaster stories this was by far the most common answer.

We agreed that leaving a company with no parting gift from your co-workers and bosses is incredibly disheartening.


If you need help with choosing a leaving gift, our staff are on hand to help!

Personalised Corporate Gifts – hitting the recipient in the emotional centre!

by Stewart 9. September 2013 09:14

Whether you are shopping on Amazon, scrolling through Facebook or simply receiving your Tesco vouchers, personalisation has become more and more prominent in today’s society.

And why wouldn’t it be?! Personalisation means that products and services are more targeted to needs and wants, they are more meaningful and they create a lasting impression.

But it doesn’t just have to be products and services that reap the benefits of personalisation, corporate gifts can also be customised to match the interests of staff and customers.

Consider these three things the next time you are choosing a corporate gift that will have a real impact on the individual.

1. Personalised messages

© Vanessa Vancour


There are many services out there today that allow you to add a personalised message to a gift.

This can be anything from an engraved message on a trinket to customising the label of a personalised bottle of wine.

As well as messages, you can also add your companies branding to your gift of choice. This might not sound as meaningful as a personal message, but if the gift is meaningful in itself then your company will resonate in the recipients mind every time they see or receive a similar gift in the future.

2. Be vigilant of hobbies, interests and personal occasions


©Fevi In Pictures

In our last blog post “What is a corporate gift?” we advised to use social media to research your clients and to find out more about their hobbies and interests.

The more information you have about the recipient, the easier it is to find a present that really creates a long lasting impression.

Showing an interest in the person’s hobbies won’t go unnoticed either, and is likely to strengthen the business relationship you have with them.

3. Practical leaving gifts

© daily life of mojo

When a valued colleague leaves the organisation to pursue pastures new, it is nice to recognise their contribution to the business and wish them well.

Why not give them a leaving present that will be practical for their next role. Who knows this kind gesture may prove useful if your paths ever cross in the future.

What is a corporate gift?

by Stewart 2. September 2013 19:40


According to Corporate Product Blog, before buying a gift for your clients or employees, you should first be aware of what a corporate gift means.

Corporate gifts are generally perceived to be an act of expressing respect or valuing a working relationship.

With such fierce competition, strong working relationships can often be the deciding factor when securing repeat business.

Corporate gifts can also contribute to the well being of internal business relationships by helping employees feel valued and motivated.

In fact, within the corporate gifts category, there are three areas and techniques that businesses should familiarise themselves with:

  • Sales & Promotional Gifts - Don't be boring


Branded promotional gifts are a fantastic way to create awareness and work best when the gift is relevant to the recipient and accurately reflects what your brand has to offer.

In an age where it’s possible to brand practically anything, it’s important not to be boring (nobody needs another branded USB stick or pen!) and really make an impression by thinking outside the box.

  • Employee Rewards & Incentives - Do create one off & regular rewards

Staff motivation and incentives are two terms currently creating a buzz in HR; with employee wellbeing viewed as a crucial factor when forging a workforce that feels valued and driven.

Creating a culture of one-off rewards for outstanding performance coupled with regular incentives such as vouchers, day trips and even holidays can help staff work towards targets as well as encourage peak performance and recognition in the work place.

  • Loyalty Gifts - Don't forget to use social media to research your client

Squeezed budgets coupled with a growing culture of savvy clients who ‘shop around’ for the best deal, means it’s more important than ever for businesses to reward loyalty in a meaningful way.

By using social media platforms like Twitter, businesses can now explore the likes and dislikes of their clients - look out for posts on favourite sports teams, preferred foods as well as things that grind their gears!

In this way, it's possible to reward loyalty in confidence and really make an impact with a personal gift that doesn't feel 'off the shelf'.