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3 Ways to Retain Loyal Customers By Going Above and Beyond My son had an amazing experience with a company that helped him restring lacrosse heads for his team. Here's how you too can surprise and delight your customers.

By Karen Mishra

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My 18-year-old son, Jack, is a budding entrepreneur. As a captain of his high school lacrosse team, he also has a business stringing lacrosse heads for the team. He has taught himself how to string and is now the go-to guy on the team when strings break or someone has a new lacrosse head to string. He is very particular about the strings he uses and gives advice to his teammates about what works best.

Related: 3 Strategies to Create a Cult Following for Your Business

In his recent order from East Coast Dyes, he thought he was getting the red, white and blue "Hero" mesh that he ordered. Instead, they went above and beyond to make this young customer happy and loyal.

1. Include extra goodies.

When Jack opened the box, he was excited to see the Hero mesh, but was even more delighted to see that East Coast Dyes had included some extra goodies -- almost worth as much as his original order. They included an extra piece of mesh, shooting strings, a couple of wristbands and an East Coast Dyes sticker. He was amazed that they would add in extra items when he had only ordered one item. But, he has been a loyal customer all throughout high school, so I am betting that they have a great customer relationship management system that recognizes Jack when he orders and wanted to say thanks to ihim in this way.

Related: 10 Ways to Say 'Thank You'

2. Make the order personalized.

Jack was even more amazed to see that one set of shooting strings was in his high school colors -- bright green. He wondered how they might know that or if it was a coincidence. But, as a marketing professor, I knew that it was no happy accident. By keeping track of his previous purchases, it would be easy to figure out what Jack orders most and figure out what his team colors are. This is a great way to personalize an order and make the customer feel special.

3. Provide a great product.

As soon as Jack opened the Hero mesh, he showed me how superior the product is to other products he has purchased in the past. I don't pretend to understand everything he tells me about the size of the diamonds on the mesh and how important they are for his ease of stringing, but I listened intently to his enthusiasm, knowing that he was happy with his purchase. After all, he was spending his own money and wanted to be sure he had used it wisely.

Jack got his start stringing by watching the videos that East Coast Dyes put up on YouTube. In just four years, this company has grown to 83,000 YouTube subscribers and 195,000 Instagram followers. They must be doing something right: Surprise and delight is definitely something they do well.

Related: 4 Ways to Show Customers You Are Listening to Them

Karen Mishra

Marketing Consultant

Karen Mishra teaches marketing at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. She also runs a leadership and marketing consulting firm, Total Trust, in Durham, N.C.

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