5 best practices for sending gifts to customers
Sending gifts to customers is a great way to keep customers engaged with companies, thank them for their patience as a problem is resolved and around the holidays. Taking that extra step to show them that they’re appreciated can leave a favorable impression in their mind and can help build brand affinity and ultimately — customer loyalty.
Regardless of the gifting occasion, there are five foolproof tactics you should use to ensure your gift meets its desired impact. Keep these best practices in mind when sending gifts to your customers.
1. Understand gifting compliance, bribery laws and company policies
Just like employee gifting, client gifting activities need to be done in a way that is compliant with any regulations and policies relevant to your industry and job. If you’re working with individuals who are elected or serve in an official capacity, you’ll need to consider the bribery law that applies. Essentially, you cannot give or offer anything to a government employee with the intent to influence any official act or encourage them to act unlawfully, such as committing fraud. Different industries have different regulations to follow, and of course, the IRS has their policy around tax deductible client gifting so we recommend consulting with your legal teams to ensure you’re not inadvertently violating policies.
Here are some additional resources:
2. Align the gifts you send to customers with your company values
Customers are quick to hold businesses accountable for not just talking the talk, but also walking the walk. Therefore, it’s important to make sure the vendors you do business with are supporting or in alignment with your values and initiatives. For example, if your company promotes holidays and days of recognition such as Black History Month, International Women’s Day, Earth Day, and Pride, your gifting practices can include sourcing gifts from BIPOC business owners, women-owned businesses, LGBTQ+-owned businesses, and/or be carbon neutral/regenerative.
3. Give the gift of choice
Giving the gift of choice allows you to avoid:
❌ Sending a gift that doesn’t align with your recipients lifestyle, interests or values.
❌ Your gifts not reaching intended the recipient.
❌ Getting lost among other generic items such as gift baskets and swag sent by other vendors.
Each client is different, so allow your gifts to celebrate their differences by allowing them to choose something they will use. By giving a gift of choice, you’ll ensure that a meaningful gift is delivered or donated to the individual you’re trying to connect with. It’ll also help you stand out among other vendors that may be sending stereotypical gift baskets.
Bonus: By giving them the gift of choice, you can also learn a bit about their personal interests! If your customer accepts a leash and a collar, ask them if they have a furry friend in their family.
4. Consider whether your client is home, at the office, or traveling
In a world where people have hybrid schedules and more flexibility to work from anywhere, knowing your client’s location is key when trying to send them a gift. The idea of spraying and praying gifts can be financially and environmentally wasteful if it sits in a mailroom or worse, receives the dreaded “return to sender”. There’s also a greater chance that if your gift is sent to an office, that others outside of the intended recipient will take or use the gift. If you use Loop & Tie to send the gift of choice, gifts are sent via email allowing the recipient to confirm where their gift is sent so you don’t have to worry about where your client is located. Plus, it’s eco-friendly with our carbon regenerative practices!
5. Timing is key
Timing is key, especially around service recovery issues and the holidays. Mistakes are going to happen, so when it comes to service recovery, the sooner you send a gift to express your appreciation for their patience and understanding, the more likely you’ll gain more trust and loyalty from that customer. When it comes to the holidays, you will likely be competing with the other gifts being delivered to your client's home or office in December. When thinking about the timing of your gift send, consider sending them a thoughtful gift earlier in the holiday season or after the new year. Also consider when your client will likely be out of the office and plan your gift drop around that time frame.
Regardless of when or how you send gifts to your customers, the important thing is to showcase your appreciation for them. Remember: a little bit goes a long way. As long as you’re willing to put a little thought into the experience you want to create, the resulting impact of your gift will last a while.
If you’re ready to show a little gratitude with the gift of choice, send a gift today!