12 Most Impactful Ways You Can Give Little Extras To Enhance Customer Experience

A dozen ways to go the ‘extra mile’

Roger Staubach once said, “There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.”. Are you doing the little things for your customers?

Giving Little Unexpected Extras or GLUE shows you care. Today we’ll focus on the ‘12 Most’ impactful ways you can provide ‘little extras’.

There are a dozen different types of lagniappe. Half are based on ‘value’ and half are based on ‘maintenance’ according to the value / maintenance matrix:

vm matrix

Here are main elements of both:

Value (the what and when of marketing lagniappe)

  • What are tangible and intangible benefits that your service or product provides?
  • Does your product or service go ‘above and beyond’ to exceed customer expectations?
  • Are you giving that little unexpected extra to ’surprise and delight’ your customer?

Maintenance (the who and how of marketing lagniappe)

  • What is the buying experience like for your customer?
  • Do you make things turnkey or simple for your customer?
  • Are you responsive to problems / issues for your customer?


1. Throw-ins (value)

Little extras that are included with your product or service. They help you stand out in a ‘sea of sameness’:

Southwest Airlines – ‘Bags Fly Free’ and no change fees on Southwest.southwest change fees

2. In the Bag / Out of the Box (value)

Little unexpected things that are added as a surprise.

Maggiano’s – order a pasta dish and Maggiano’s will pack an additional one up for you to take home on the house.maggiano's pasta

3. Sampling (value)

Give your customer an ‘additional’ taste by offering a free ‘something extra’ on the house.

Bigelow Tea – order a box of tea from Bigelow and you’ll be treated to a sample of another flavor on the house. Bigelow Tea

4. First & Last Impressions (value)

You have two chances to make an impression. When your customer comes through the door and right before they walk out, hang up or log off. These little extras make you memorable and more importantly ‘talkable’.

Hard Rock – When you check in the Hard Rock will let you sample a Gibson guitar. Check in, plug-in and rock out.hard rock check in and rock out

5. Guarantees (value)

Giving your customers that ‘little extra’ pledge that you’ll stand behind your product or service.

LL Bean – Leon Leonwood stands behind his product . . . for a lifetime.ll bean guarantee

6. Pay it Forward (value)

Give a ‘little extra’ back to the community.

Plaza Cleaners – if you are out of work and need a suit cleaned for an interview, Plaza will clean it for free.plaza cleaners

7. Follow-up call (maintenance)

Make the ‘little extra’ follow up with your customer.

Rite Aid follows up with a call to check on a patient.rite aid

8. Added Service

The ‘little extra’ that’s an added unexpected service.

Safelite repair or replaces your glass, but they also vacuum your car and clean your windows.safelite repair

9. Convenience (maintenance)

What ‘little extra’ can you add to make things easier for your customers.

Amazon – Frustration free packaging that’s hassle free and good for the environment.amazon frustration free packagin

10. Waiting (maintenance)

All customers hate to wait. If its inevitable, how can you do a ‘little extra’ to make it more bearable.

Pacific Cafe – while you wait for your table, enjoy a glass of wine on the house. pacific cafe san francisco

11. Special Needs (maintenance)

Acknowledging that some customers have needs that require special attention.

Rainforest Cafe – the restaurant caters to the needs of customer by doing a ‘little extra’ for those with food allergies. rainforest cafe

12. Handling Mistakes (maintenance)

Admitting that your wrong and doing the ‘little extra’ above & beyond to make it more than right.

Nurse Next Door – this nursing agency in Canada takes the idea of ‘humble pie’ literally. nurse next door

Stan Phelps


Stan Phelps is Chief Solutions Officer at Synergy Events. Synergy is an award winning experiential marketing agency specializing in the creation of signature brand experiences. He believes the longest and hardest nine inches in marketing is the journey from the brain to the heart of your customer. He blogs at Marketing Lagniappe and is currently writing his first book, 'What's Your Purple Goldfish?'.

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Stan, Could I love this post more? No! Love it. It's amazing how something "small" can be so powerful. Nice job!


Great collection, Stan. Some very simple yet creative ideas to capture and enhance the customer experience. In today's economy, gaining a loyal customer vs a one timer as @danielnewmanUV

so aptly stated, is really a game changer. I'm going to use the humble pie idea...being in the service business, mistakes do happen and I just love this as a peace (or piece) offering!


The paying it forward idea is a really great concept that can really give you some long term loyal customers. If you can offer them something that will make your company stand out in their brain with some great customer service tide into it then you're going to excel.


Well done Stan @9inchmarketing ! We forget this sometimes. Its the little things that count and give that extra ooomph to the experience making it memorable. At the end of the day we want memorable as memorable results in WOM marketing as it turns customers into advocates. .


I love the concept of "little extra" - that little extra is often the difference between a loyal customer and a one time transaction.

Nice post!


@jeanniecw Thanks Jeannie. Little things can make a big difference. The extras are a beacon. A small sign that demonstrates you care.


@Natasha_D_G Thanks Natasha. I totally agree. You need to do things to be 'remark'able. Give your customers something to talk, tweet, blog and post to Facebook about.


@danielnewmanUV Thanks Daniel. Good point. Marketing doesn't end once your customer walks through the door or lands on your webpage. That little extra can bridge the hardest nine inches in marketing ... the distance between the head and the heart of your customer.


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