1. Because you can!
It literally takes less than 2 minutes to order a pizza through the Dominos mobile app. All you need to order a pizza for someone is their address. You obviously have this because you’ve (hopefully) fulfilled the customer’s order. It might be good if you do this on a weekend and give your customer a few hours notice so they don’t make other dinner plans. This also gives them a chance to invite their friends, resulting in a word-of-mouth situation. However, if you want to keep it a surprise it would be smart to order on a weeknight when people are home. If they already had dinner plans that’s perfectly fine, they can save it for leftovers the next day (we all know cold pizza is just as enjoyable as hot pizza anyway).
To make this even easier, Scout alerts you about your best customers after they make a purchase. When Scout identifies a great customer, you can see their address with in the chat, just visit the Dominos website to find their closest location (luckily they are everywhere), place an order for a large cheese pizza (can’t go wrong with plain cheese), after you do this, you can even email the customer directly through the app letting them know to expect a free pizza your treat! Note: It doesn’t need to be pizza, you could send any brand-friendly gift really.
2. Because it shows appreciation
Think about how you would feel if Shopify sent you a free pizza as a thank you for being a continuing customer. How would Shopify’s brand improve in your eyes? Do you think you’d ever consider another ecommerce of website platform after that? As a subscriber to their service I’m sure you would appreciate the acknowledgement of your commitment to their services.
Now imagine the same for your customer. John Ruhlin, author of Giftology says, “Gifts are symbols of the value you place on the relationship.” By giving a gift you’re directly signalling to your customer that you’re thinking about them, and appreciate their business enough to go out of your way and send them a gift. Your customers know you have a choice whether or not to send them a gift. Just like you should know that your customers have a choice whether they buy from you or not. So by making the choice to send the pizza, your customers will know that you appreciate them.
John Ruhlin continues his analysis on gift giving with, “when you act generously, people take notice. They’ll begin to feel appreciated, and in turn, they’ll want to pay it forward. It’s a natural inclination for us to want givers to succeed because we can appreciate the generosity that was shown to us.
3. Because it builds customer loyalty
Another important point is that it won’t feel like marketing. Even though it’s technically a re-marketing tactic to encourage repurchases and referrals, your customers won’t feel they are being marketed to. It’s going to feel like a genuine gesture of gratitude. This will go a long way in creating a bulletproof impression of your brand. After this, even if you make a mistake on their next order, you’ve developed enough goodwill they won’t even care.
I came up with the idea to send a pizza when I was on the phone providing after-sale support to a customer who spent over $100 on my store. While they were on the phone getting installation support (my product is something that requires a bit of self-assembly) I overheard his daughter say to him that she was hungry. I saw this as an opportunity to build a lasting brand impression so I quickly ordered them an extra large cheese pizza and continued with the call. 10 minutes after our phone call this customer called me back to thank me and let me know they got the pizza. He said he has never gotten customer support like that in his life!
What’s more, over the next few weeks he told his close circle of friends about what happened and they all ended up buying products from me as well which turned into almost $500 in referral sales. In addition to the awesome ROI on $15 spent on the right person at the right time, it felt really good doing something without expecting anything in return.
4. And because you can write it off as a business expense
In the United States, the IRS lets you write off $25 per year per customer as a tax deductible gift expense. There is no limit to how many customers you can do this for. Luckily for us, pretty much any extra-large cheese pizza, including delivery, falls well under this $25 limit.
If you are a Canadian business, the CRA lets you deduct 50% of the cost incurred for food or entertainment gifts. So for a $20 pizza, as a Canadian business, you’re able to deduct $10. Although this number is less compared to the IRS policy, there is no limit on how much you can deduct. So if you decide to gift a pizza to your best customer four times per year, you might pay $80, but would be able to deduct $40 of that.
Important note: We do not intend to give tax advice. If you are interested in writing off client gifts as tax deductions please consult a tax professional. You will need to show evidence of incurring the cost of the gift so save your receipts and file accordingly.
Also published on Medium.