To Retain Your Customers, Do The Little Things Well

by Barry Moltz on January 9, 2010

Cubs Hats 001By Mary Jane Grinstead

My husband is a lifelong Cubs fan and a Cubs season ticket holder for about thirty years. Now that we have made it into January, the money for the season tickets—these days a wheelbarrow full of gold—is due in just a few days. They’ve raised the prices and we are none too happy about that or about the way they played last year, but what choice do you have if you’re a die hard fan but to pay for the tickets and hope for the best.

Last week, a UPS box from the Cubs showed up at our front door. Instead of another calendar or refrigerator magnet, the box contained a baseball cap.

Now before I talk about this particular baseball cap, let me say that we have an antique hall tree positively dripping with dozens of Cubs baseball caps. As you can tell from the picture, Phil’s collection includes multiple versions of  the official red and blue National League Cubs baseball cap—with a choice of red or Cubs blue brims.

But his collection doesn’t stop there. He also has a navy blue cap with Wrigley Field EST. 1914 written across the front, and a far less traditional hot pink one sporting the word CHICAGO with the word Cubs tucked inside the O. There are blue ones and grey ones with cute little  bears, from a white fuzzy critter holding a bat to a bright blue bear face with a golden snout rings around his eyes that make him look like he’s wearing spectacles. Sitting bears, crouching bears, cartoon bears and realistic bears, Phil has caps featuring them all.

He also has three Division Champions caps from 2007, the heartbreaking 2008, and his favorite from 2003 that Antonio Alfonseca gave him off his head when the Division Champions caps sold out before Phil could buy one.

And now, I figured the Cubs had sent one more. Then I heard a “Wow, this is pretty cool.” Phil was standing in his office, turning yet another Cubs blue baseball cap over in his hands with this goofy grin on his face. “Check this out,” he said.

Stitched on the back of the baseball cap that those lovable losers sent was the following:

Cubs Hats 002

SEASON TICKET HOLDER
20+ YEARS

It was a little thing, and yet it was huge.

In our book, Barry and I write about taking care of the customers who have been with you a long time. A lot of times, it doesn’t take much. As the new owners of the Cubs seem to know, a little appreciation goes a long way.

How do you show your appreciation to those customers who have been with you a long time? Write and tell us. We’d like to share your ideas on our blog.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Derek January 9, 2010 at 11:53 am

Shouldn’t that read: “Sucker – 20+ Years”

Ok, now I had to do that being a White Sox fan, but I do know what you mean about a little touch like this being an example of great customer service. I’ve written a few times on my blog about small things that people/companies can do to improve their service. Hopefully, for Cubs fans anyways, the new ownership extends this appreciation of the fans to the field.

Cheri January 9, 2010 at 11:57 am

Wow! How can you not renew your season tickets with an incentive like that? My customer loyalty program offers levels of discounts up to 15% off based on purchases within 365 days. The store is fairly new but we already have customers who have reached the 9% level (spending over $1000 in less than 365 days.) I think I should send those customers a hat!

Chill January 9, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Go Cards!

Barry Moltz January 9, 2010 at 1:03 pm

I would trade that cap for a WS ring!

Bettye Hoffman January 10, 2010 at 8:27 pm

I’m looking for the correct website to report gross mismanagement by one particular manager in a store where I’ve been going and buying books since the store opened several years ago. Seems I’ve located a site for managers; I’m a customer. A very good customer. I want the Books A Million Customer Service site, please. Thanks.

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