When you own a business, of course you want your customers to be happy with the products or services you provide. But it’s the things you do beyond your basic offerings ““those fun things designed to surprise and delight your customers”“that make a lasting impression and help you stand out from the pack. I’ve got some tips and tricks that will take you beyond the basics of marketing and customer service and help you create truly happy customers.

Share Fun Content

Your customers want to feel like they’re connecting with the people behind your brand. A great way to do that is by sharing fun content on your social media channels.

Of course, what constitutes “fun” will vary depending on the industry that you’re in, but even the most serious of professions can introduce a more lighthearted approach to their online presence. Consider someone like Trinette Lindsay (a.k.a. the Rapping Realtor), who went viral after putting out a rap video about buying a home. Home ownership is certainly a major step in someone’s life, but in her video, she manages to introduce some meaningful content in a fun, lighthearted way that got her a lot of media attention.

We’re not saying you have to create your own viral video ““ but you can take a few lessons from Trinette like using video to engage with your audience, sharing content that’s a bit different than what your competitors are sharing, and not being afraid to have a little fun.

Make Personal Connections

Once you’ve gotten someone’s attention online, it’s important to create an equally great impression one-on-one. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that make the biggest difference to a customer, and establishing a meaningful connection is really about paying attention to the details.

Think about your coffee routine. Doesn’t it feel great, after you’ve visited a new café for a few days in a row, that first time the barista recognizes you and asks if you’d like your regular small latte with a double shot of espresso? My husband and I regularly visit a sandwich shop near us, and we get so excited when they remember our usual order and start getting it ready as soon as they see us. It’s a small thing to them, but it makes our day.

This comes down to how you train your team. Empower them to make thoughtful gestures that lead to great customer service.

Glossier embodies this philosophy. One of their team members went so far as to send a care package to a customer who had been forced to evacuate their home during one of the California wildfires.

It also comes down to how you treat your team. Kindness is contagious, and when you’re kind to your team, they’ll be kind to your customers.

Create a Loyalty Program

A loyalty program can benefit just about any business. Customers like to be rewarded for sticking by their favorite company, and when you create an effective program, you can even use it as a marketing tool.

Provide incentives to returning customers. Whether you’re a plumbing business that offers a punch card where every fifth visit is free or a pet supply store that provides points for purchases that can be redeemed for coupons and free shipping, there is a way for just about any business to build a rewards program.

When you make your loyalty program feel like a club, you can even get members to do some of your marketing work for you. Consider Sephora’s membership program. It has three tiers, and those who reach VIB Rouge level (the highest, which requires an annual spend of $1,000 or more) boast about their status on social media and blogs. This happens on smaller scales, too. My vet offers rewards for each visit or for referrals, and the rewards can be used toward your next visit, so who do you think I refer when a friend adopts a new puppy? And where do you think I purchase food for my dogs even though it’s further than the other pet supply stores? Obviously the place that’s rewarding me for doing so!

To keep your customers happy, you have to do more than just offer a great product or service. Going above and beyond to surprise and delight with meaningful, personalized offers and attention is the way to keep customers truly happy and returning to you for years to come.