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Smart marketers know that the more you know your customers, the better you can appeal to them. But when companies go the extra mile to pay close attention to detail, they find opportunities to turn regular customers into loyal fans — sometimes without even seeing them face-to-face.

Here are three lessons we can learn from companies doing it right:

1. Make the most of the mundane
2. Keep detailed records
3. Give them a chance to tell you

1. Make the most of the mundane

Sometimes even the most ordinary information about your customers can present a great opportunity to surprise and delight. For example, when one customer moved and changed the address for her credit card, Discover took notice. They sent her a handwritten note and a gift card so she could take herself out to lunch to de-stress after moving. That small piece of information helped the company give her a personal and meaningful “thank you” gift. Imagine the conversation she’ll have over lunch about how well Discover treats her as a customer.

2. Keep detailed records

According to one customer, it’s not QVC’s great return policy or their unique stuff that makes her a raving fan — it’s their ordering process. Why? For the simple fact that she can say, “Just ship it to my daughter.” She doesn’t have to give them a new address, say who her daughter is, or work out other logistics. And while obviously she had to give QVC this information once before, they listened, kept a detailed record, used it to make her feel special, and they earned a loyal customer in return. QVC’s culture of taking time to talk to each customer is what helps them foster great relationships, even without a physical location.

3. Give them a chance to tell you

We’ve all heard stories about customers making weird requests like asking pizza delivery stores to draw on the box or telling hotels to leave red M&Ms on the counter. People love sharing when these companies follow through on unusual requests because it’s unexpected and shows they have a good sense of humor. But the reason these word of mouth stories happen in the first place is because these companies give their customers a chance to make these weird requests. Are you asking your customers to tell you what would truly wow them?

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