Category Archives: Employee Incentives

5 Tips to Choosing the Right Employee Recruitment Gifts

How Much Thought Are You Putting into Your Selection of Employee Recruitment Gifts?

choosing the right gifts fro employee recruitmentAustin, Texas: We get dozens of calls each week asking about employee recruitment gifts so I thought it would be a good idea to offer 5 tips on choosing the right gifts for these recruitment campaigns or events.

1) Make it Functional

The best employee recruitment gifts are ones that will be used over and over again. We have seen tremendous usage in padfolio cases, headphones, selfie sticks (yes–these are still hugely popular for millennials) Bluetooth speakers, messenger bags and backpacks— all with the firm’s name emblazoned on them.

You want repetition of your company’s logo to sink in and increase usage of the employee recruitment gift will increase top of mind exposure to your company.

Simple as that.

2) Be Sure it is Branded

Some firms go all out to come up with employee recruitment gifts that are esoteric at best – or that will be used once and then forgotten.

Others give out non-branded (gasp!) gifts, such as iTunes or Starbucks or Amazon gift cards that have zero branding and will be forgotten once the tunes have been downloaded, gifts have been ordered or coffee has been consumed.

Instead, be sure your company logo and brand stays with these potential recruits at all times by branding all your employee recruitment gifts.

The logo can be subtle or large, depending on the type of gift you choose, but is should always be branded.

3) Quality over Quantity

If your employee recruitment gift ever comes down to quality vs. quantity–always choose quality.

A gift of poor quality negatively portrays your company to possible recruits. This is not the area for being tight-fisted.

Your employee recruitment gift should be used by this recruit for months or years, casting a positive light on your organization.

Poor quality can be a deal breaker. Avoid it by always choosing quality over quantity.

4) Choose a Gift That Is Visible

Branding takes time and visibility through multiple exposures.

Your logo should be on products that will be worn (hoodies, caps), used (backpacks, water bottles and headphones) and seen by others.

After all, these potential recruits can be promoting your company’s brand both to their peers while at the same time reinforcing your message to them on a daily basis.

5) Don’t Forget About Your Current Employees

Your goal in employee recruitment is to show your company in the best light and one of your greatest tools is your current employees.

Do not take them lightly.

Current employees should also be receiving your branded and logo merchandise as employee retention is at least as important, if not more important, than employee recruitment.

Plus your current employees can act as brand ambassadors for your company with visible logoed items that they wear and use with pride.

Following these five simple tips for employee recruitment gifts can help position your organization is a very favorable light and help you stay ahead of the recruiting battles.

Happy Recruiting!

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Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in high tech promotional products for all occasions and events.–including custom packaging and custom promotional products.

Geek Tech Branding is a third-generation company that began in 1956 selling imprinted calendars and writing instruments and has grown to become one of the largest suppliers of imprinted technology and promotional electronic gifts in the country.

Robert Piller has been working with companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, law firms, non-profit organizations, financial institutions, startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses  and improve their branding.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing and technology topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. Feel free to reach him through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest high-tech promotional products –including imprinted power chargers and power sticks, imprinted Bluetooth speakers and promotional ear buds, custom printed tablet sleeves,  branded iPhone cases, imprinted USB car chargerspromotional stylus pens, promotional USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Is Poor Customer Service Costing You Sales?

Tips to Improve Your Company’s Customer Service

ideas to improve customer serviceAustin, Texas: How hard is it to get customer service right?

I mean “really” right.

Too many companies judge the performance of their customer service team by the number of complaints they get on a survey form.

Some of the more progressive companies even gauge their level of customer service by the chatter in social media forums.

Others do mystery shopper reports to either catch employees doing things wrong or rewarding those that are “caught” doing things right.

But are you getting to the real root of customer service issues and concerns?

Are your employees asking insightful questions to gauge sentiment?

Not stupid questions like: “How was the food?” or ” I hope everything was fine with your stay” type of throw-away lines after the service was performed.

I am talking about customer service-oriented questions that uncover facts, such as:

“What could we have done to make your stay better?”

“Are there any dishes that you’d like to see added to our menu?”

“How long did you have to wait to speak to a customer service agent?”

“Did we resolve this issue to your liking?”   Then, depending on the answer, follow it up with: “I’m sorry to hear that. What could we have done differently?”

“Any suggestions that you’d like to suggest for improving your visit?”

Ask questions– then stop and wait for an answer.

Do not defend your turf.

Do not engage in an argument.

Just ask and listen.

Really listen.

Pay attention and nod. But, most importantly, really listen.

If you start to see a pattern — then make changes.

If not, then fine tune your answers more until you get to the heart of what type of customer service issues are in the minds of your customers.

After all, what is the point of asking questions if you already know the answers?

That does not improve customer service at all.  That just makes you feel smug.

One bad experience with customer service can give your company a black eye – and ruin your good reputation permanently – and cost you a great deal in lost sales. Here are some ideas to help improve customer service.

Homework assignment: Write down 5 or 6 thought-provoking questions that you can ask of your customers to gauge their level of happiness – then start asking.

Then fine tune.

Then ask again.

Your customer service should always be a work in progress.

There is always ways to improve it.

Start asking questions.

Here’s to improved customer service–and happier customers.

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Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in promotional products aimed at a tech audience. Since 1981, Robert Piller has worked with Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. He can be reached through LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest hi-tech promotional products –including imprinted speakers and ear buds, tablet and cell phone cases and bags, promotional stylus pens, imprinted chargers, USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

3 Steps to Improving Customer Service at Restaurants

3 Steps to Improve Customer Service at restaurantsAt most restaurants, the term “customer service” is often talked about at management meetings—but never clearly defined.

As customers continue to eat out less often, while also more closely monitoring their budgets when they do go out to eat, the difference in winning the business often comes down to stellar customer service.

According to a recent Gallup study, the most powerful driver of engagement in fast food is “being treated as a valued customer,” followed by “the warmth of the greeting” and “the taste of the food.”

That’s right—the top two drivers of a dining experience are both in the customer service realm: “being treated as a valued customer” and “the warmth of the greeting”.  These come before “taste”.

That same 2011 Gallup study shows that a “engaged fast-food customer spend 16% more than a customer who is not engaged”.  On average, a fully engaged consumer will spend $33.90 on fast food per month 16% more than the $29.24 a “non-engaged consumer will spend.

Seems simple enough, right?.  How can you improve these “customer engagements”?

1)    Clearly Define “Customer Engagements”

Your definition must include clear cut meanings—with very little ambiguity.

  • State exactly what you expect.
  • What behaviors are not acceptable.
  • How much leeway your employees have, etc.

Role play with your employees, get feedback, test concepts and keep fine tuning for best results.

2)    Set Clear Metrics

Once you have defined what it is that you expect, set up metrics for your incentive program.  Without metrics, you cannot run an effective employee motivation or incentive program.

It is not enough to say “we want our employees to ensure exceptional customer service.” This is vague and will get you nowhere.

When we work with our clients on employee incentive programs , we often suggest such metrics as:

Eye Contact: Making eye contact with person within the first 6 seconds.

Greeting: Greeting the customer with a standard greeting within the first 15 seconds of them coming through the doors.

Dress code: Depending on the type of restaurant you run, this dress code needs to conform with the type of clientele you wish to attract.  Whatever you choose, it must be clean and to a certain standard—which needs to be enforced.  Same goes for piercings and tattoos, though that is a whole other story.

Checking Up: How many times and how often do you check on the customer, if it is full or partial service restaurant?  This should be defined.

Restroom Cleanliness: How often will the restrooms be checked?  Are you going to wait until customers report paper towel shortages and plugged up toilets or be pro-active in checking the restrooms?

Suggestive Selling: Very few wait people/servers like to sell.  If they did, they’d be selling computers, cars real estate or something else for a living. Give them points every time they suggest the soup of the day—or ask if they’d like to “Super-size” their meal, etc.  Extra points should be awarded when the customer opts for the up-sell – for greater encouragement and success.

3)    Watch, Monitor, Repeat

  • Fine tune your program on a regular basis.
  • Listen to feedback.
  • Are customers getting turned off by the up-sell?
  • Are they feeling pressured?
  • Are employees reacting positively to these new changes?

Changing your restaurant’s customer service to have meaning will help you to better engage with your customers.

And better engagement means more sales and profits.

Please let me know what steps you are taking to improve customer engagements at your restaurants.


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Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in promotional products aimed at a tech audience. Since 1981, Robert Piller has worked with Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. He can be reached through LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest hi-tech promotional products –including imprinted speakers and ear buds, tablet and cell phone cases and bags, promotional stylus pens, imprinted chargers, USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Proven Ideas to Increase Car Wash Sales and Improve Loyalty

Proven ways to increase car wash salesMost c-store car wash programs are similar … Buy 5 Car Washes and Get the 6th One Free.

Or…. Save $1 on a Car Wash With a Fill-up.

These programs are plentiful because they are simple to implement and don’t take a great deal of thought to put together.

That is all well and good—but I would argue that, unless there is a steady line of cars at your car wash during the week, there are much better ways to increase car wash sales.

With gas hovering around $3.50 – $4.00 per gallon, it is costing $60-$100 to fill up a tank—leaving little extra room for add-on sales like car washes.

I don’t think many people are “feeling the love” by saving a dollar after they have just spent $100 on fuel.  To shell out $6 or $7 after getting sticker shock is a tough sell- so the incentive must be sufficient to encourage them to make these high profit sales.

Here are a few ideas to boost your car wash sales, which I would encourage you to test:

1. Free Gift With Purchase—Immediate Sale:

Instead of a dollar off their car wash–give them a free imprinted gift card for a Free Music Download Card. This will cost approximately the same $1 that the $1 savings has cost you, but it will give the customer a tangible gift that they will remember.   In addition, it forces the customer to come into your store to get their download card, which can increase in-store sales.

Sure, we can provide you with a spreadsheet of unique ID numbers (like you have for your car wash already) but the tangible card gives you an additional chance to get a customer into your store.

Should you give a free Snicker’s bar or bottle of water instead with a purchase?  Better than nothing, but the perceived value just isn’t there—and there is no brag factor associated with the program.  It seems an afterthought, at best.

And though you are getting those items at wholesale, a free Snicker’s bar will probably not be enough to motivate a new car wash customer.

I would recommend testing various strategies and rotating your offer on a regular basis—two months maximum per offer.

2. Free Gift With Purchase—Bundled Prepaid Sales:

Encouraging customers to pre-pay for 5 car washes at a time can help with cash flow, reduce Continue reading