In her book, Engagement Marketing, How Small Business Wins in a Socially Connected World, Constant Contact CEO Gail Goodman talks about how to create special ways of “WOWing” your customers. For example, one WOW! that Constant Contact provides is that it answers its customer support calls in under a minute AND the people who answer the phone are super polite, knowledgeable and helpful.

I’m always on the lookout for how companies can WOW! customers and am happy to provide a few examples.Two of them cost very little money and one is absolutely free!

Calphalon Cookware

I recently purchased an omelet pan at Williams-Sonoma and inside the box was collateral explaining how to care for my new pan. Nice! But even better, Calphalon has this pretty cool service where you recycle your old cookware. Not only will they take your old cookware off your hands, they’ll also send you a gift in exchange. WOW!

Granted, developing a recycling program like this took some work, but for Calphalon, it made sense as they’re committed to natural sustainability. Check out CalphalonReNew.com for details.

Ginger Burr — Total Image Consultants

If you’re a woman and need some help with your wardrobe or image, Ginger is the person to call. I’ve been working with her for a few years now and while Ginger has always provided exceptional service and her undivided attention, in the last year or so she’s upped the ante so to speak by sending out these neat cards with her invoices and other mailings.

Such a beautiful sentiment that provides an instant lift and adds a bit of beauty and delight to a business transaction. WOW! Think about how you can add delight, beauty, wisdom or cheer to your clients’ day with little touches like this card.

You can learn more about Ginger by visiting her site: Total Image Consultants. You can also join her fabulous Fashion Friday chats on Facebook every other Friday afternoon at 4:00 Eastern.

Lord & Taylor department store

We purchase things online all the time. Our items arrive, we remove the box or shipping envelope and put the item in its place — and then go about our business. While online shopping is easy and convenient, you do lose one thing: human interaction.

When I received a shipment from Lord & Taylor recently, I was rather delighted to see this card, which reads, “Your order was handled with care by Kaitlyn P.”

Very nice! Sure, it’s a small thing, but it made me feel as if someone at a large department store really cared about my purchase. What are some ways you can show your customers you care about them?

B & J Auto Body

Toward the end of December, it was time to get my car registered. I normally run into B & J Auto Body and the wife of the owner usually takes care of things for me. This year, however, a young man — who couldn’t have been older than 18 — took over the testing of my car.

I had just come from Town Hall with my stickers, which were sitting on the passenger seat. He picked them up and said, “Here, I’ll put these on your plates for you.” Wow! Thanks! (My plates, I might add, were covered in slush and dirt.)

He then proceeded to chat me up while putting my car through its paces. “Where do you take you car for service?” he asked. “Why?” I wanted to know. “Because your rotors are really clean. It’s obvious you take good care of this car.” Wow! Thanks! We talked about this and that and then the testing was done and my car passed, no problem. As I got into my car, he said, “Thanks for the nice chat!”

I left the garage thinking, “Wow, I wish all companies had employees as nice as this young man. What a pleasant way to spend fifteen minutes.”

We spend so much time trying to figure out how to add fans and followers to our social media profiles and then how to gain their undivided attention — when really, the secret to building lasting relationships is to pay attention to the “little” things. Treating people politely, adding a little bit of sunshine and delight to every day transactions, or giving people something they didn’t know they needed — the way Calphalon did — are the real ways to help keep customers coming back.

What do you think? Do you have an example of a “little touch” that added up to a big “WOW!”?