Everyone loves a handout – that’s why giving a thoughtful token of appreciation to your customers can turn out to be the gift that keeps on giving for both them and yours. Adams Hudson, ACCA’s national marketing partner, shares a few of his favorite customer gifts that boost the “staying power” for field service firms. One theme that pays off but might be hard to accomplish on a tight budget: spending the time and money to develop a quality gift. Here are a few suggestions:

Calendars: This year-round reminder can be incredibly effective so long as it’s worth displaying and not just putting in a drawer. Add in handwritten service reminders, maintenance tips and new product launches to keep your customer checking in regularly.

Refrigerator magnet: A classic in any business’s arsenal of advertising, this give-away occupies one of the mostly highly trafficked rooms in any home: the kitchen. Make sure this give-away is sturdy enough to be useful. Otherwise, don’t bother.

Stickers: Whether stuck to a Thermostat, AC unit or in the corner of a customer’s window, a company’s logo can stick around long after the original customers move. “Not having or offering these is remarkably short-sighted,” says Hudson.

Any combination of these items, paired with a company newsletter as an introduction or a thank you note follow up should do the trick. “If you don’t help (your customers) remember you, you’re asking them to forget you,” Hudson says.

Everyone loves to get gifts, and today’s customers have been conditioned to expect a reward when conducting business. View give-aways as a way of putting kindness and friendliness back into business dealings – and in staying number one in your customer’s minds.

ABOUT Sara Suddes

San Francisco-based contributor Sara Suddes writes frequently about small business, the economy and technology.