When Customers Give You an Idea

It’s easy to become jaded and begin to dislike your customers for asking you the same questions over and over again. In a way, who can blame you: 99% of the interactions with customers that most businesses have are repetitive and don’t do much to make you a better business owner. Then – every once in a while – someone comes along and gives you a simple idea that’s so obvious you kick yourself and say “duh, why wasn’t that already on our to-do list?”

The other day in the comments field of a Tastefully Driven order someone said: “please include a card saying ‘Happy Birthday – Love Patty and John'”. My first thought was we don’t do that. Then we had a conversation and realized that not only should we do it, we should make it a policy to allow our customers to do it for free with any order.

See, Detailed Image’s holiday season is the summer, when people obsessively care for their cars. In the past it hasn’t really been a traditional holiday-driven e-commerce site like most. As volume has picked up we’ve become increasingly aware of holiday-specific marketing. We also quickly realized that many of the products on Tastefully Driven are great gifts and that TD needs to capitalize on holiday orders to be successful. We were planning on starting with Father’s Day next month but hadn’t really talked strategy yet.

This order sparked that discussion, and it became pretty obvious that allowing people to include a custom card at no charge was a no-brainer decision. We figure that as long as we do a good job making our customers aware of this service they will take advantage of it on holidays/birthdays. I think we’ll also probably give them the option of having it shipped without the receipt in case they don’t want the recipient to know the price.

Yesterday morning I ran to CVS and picked up 10 blank cards for ~$6. We decided that was too expensive to pay for a card if we were going to offer this for free. After looking around online at blank cards, we decided it would be far cheaper to use our wholesale printing account where we can get 1,000 custom tent cards (3.5″ X 4″ with a fold in the middle) for $54.99, or ~5 cents a card. Below are the designs that we’re having printed up. We will then hand-write the message on the inside of the card…check that, Mike will hand-write the message because the rest of us write like a five year old.

Tastefully Driven Gift Card

Detailed Image Gift Card

2 comments on When Customers Give You an Idea

  1. Rob says:

    Excellent idea.

    How about using your printer and and a hand-writing font instead handwriting the message.

    Good luck

  2. Adam McFarland says:

    Thanks Rob, the thought of printing the message did cross my mind, I’m just not sure if our printer(s) can handle it correctly. I’ll probably give it a shot when they arrive and see if we can get it set up.

    Our printers are pretty old right now – we need to pick up a new color laser one sometime in the next year that has multiple trays to make stuff like this more feasible.

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