Lets move beyond the boring business card. Repeat business is a necessity for computer consultants and lets face it, after a while people either toss your business card in the trash or it gets lost under a pile of other cards. There are only so many computer users in your geographic area, and in order to sustain your business, you’ll need to count on some of those people coming back to you for their future technology needs. Sometimes it’s not enough to do an excellent job, leave a card, and hope they remember to call you next time. You need to make sure your contact info is always visible and available to your clients when they need you.
To provide the necessary memory-nudge, leave behind little reminders about your company with your customers. Make sure it’s something practical that they’ll see the next time they are having computer problems. It’s a fact that people love free stuff. By giving something of perceived value away with your contact information on it, you create a win-win situation for you and your customer. The key here is to make sure these items are cheap to produce in large quantities so you can give them out to every new customer without a huge hit to your bottom line.
One of the most obvious choices, as it ties in perfectly with computer repair. You can guarantee that if this item is used by your customer, it will be right next to the computer, in prime view when the system has an issue. Your logo, phone number, and website is all you really need on the pad, but the more attractive you make it, the more likely it will be used. Although mouse pads are less necessary in the age of optical mice and touch-screens, they are still widely used.
Most people’s computer desk doubles as a work desk where they keep a pen and paper handy. Pens are prone to getting lost, so most folks are always happy to get a couple new writing utensils to add to their collection. The advertising real estate on a pen is kind of small though, so you may want to pair this with another item like the mouse pad mentioned above.
I’ve heard many consultants talk about putting a sticker on the bottom of their customer’s laptops. When the client flips the computer looking for a possible cause for the dysfunction of the device, they’ll see the sticker reminding them who they should call. You can also do this on desktop computers, though they’ll be less likely to see it. You can also simply give the sticker to them as a business card. They can choose to stick it wherever they please, or simply keep it as it is.
Popular with food delivery folks, magnets made for the refrigerator are sure to be seen. Although they aren’t necessarily near a computer, they will be in front of your customer a few times a day as they dive into their fridge for food. Warn your customers of the danger that magnets pose if stuck to their computer. I had a customer once who kept reporting hard drive errors after multiple new drive replacements. We eventually traced the root cause of these errors to a fridge magnet stuck to the side of the computer box!
One free tactic to consider implementing on small business computers is a custom desktop wallpaper. I used to work at a company that had the number to the help desk plastered on the wallpaper of all company computers. I would not recommend doing this for residential customers, as most prefer a picture of the family or a vacation photo as a background. Businesses, however, are less concerned with aesthetics over productivity and therefore may welcome the convenience of a desktop wallpaper with the your contact info displayed.
Along the same lines as the wallpaper idea above, you can include a shortcut icon on your customer’s desktop that leads directly to your website. Call the icon “Click Here If You Need Computer Help” or something similarly simple and straightforward along with an image of your company logo or a sick computer. Most folks will be grateful for the convenience this icon provides, but if they feel it’s too intrusive, they can simply delete it.
A customized coffee mug is not quite as inexpensive as the other options, but it can pack a bigger punch. Consider creating a “customer of the month” or “frequent customer” program and use the mug as a prize.
Along the same lines as the mug as far as cost, t-shirts offer a better advertisement opportunity for your business because people will wear the shirt out in public where it is more likely to be seen by others.
I use Vistaprint to produce my business cards and they offer customization for all the items listed in this post. They’re fast, affordable and the quality is good. These are just some of the possible knick knacks you can leave with your customers to keep you in the front of their mind when they need you. What others can you think of?