Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Business & Finance
  3. Industry

Giving Back Creates Customer Connections

See also

While this may not fall under the category of customer service, which is what most of my writings are about, this is one of the strongest strategies or tactics you can use to connect with your customers.

As I was interviewing owners of some successful Ace Hardware stores for my newest book, Amaze Every Customer Every Time, I was pleasantly surprised to learn about their charitable efforts. This is a way for them to connect with their community on a deeper and more personal level.

One of the keys to delivering great customer service and to creating loyalty is to build the relationship with the customer. I have written about building rapport, communication techniques, managing first impressions, and many other topics. There are dozens of these, and all are good and very important. The idea of being charitable and giving back to the community as a relationship building technique is another layer. This connects with the customer at a deeper level, sometimes even an emotional level.

Some of the Ace retailers will have food drives, put out charitable collection receptacles, contribute to the local sports clubs and more. One of my favorite examples is how some retailers will allow kids’ teams and clubs to sell cookies and candy, or have a bake sale, in front of their stores on Saturday mornings. By giving back to the community, at many different levels, the customers feel a connection and reciprocate with their business.

Now you might think that one of the reasons a business like Ace Hardware is charitable is to get recognition and get more business from their customers. And, you’re right. There is no doubt that recognition and goodwill are benefits to giving back to the community. However, that’s not so bad.

Rick Alspaugh from Kingwood, Texas, one of the Ace retailers I interviewed uses most of his marketing budget for local charities and his community. Everyone knows him. He says there isn’t a Little League team, a bake sale or school or charitable event that he doesn’t contribute to. His business is deeply interwoven into the community. As much recognition as he may get, there is just as much appreciation from his customers.

Your business might not have a storefront that can handle a bake-sale. You may not be a “local business.” You may not even be in retail. But that does not mean that the concept of giving back and building a relationship with your customers on a charitable level can’t work. Many companies take their “giving back” strategy very seriously. Just Google the phrase “charitable companies” and you will be amazed at the number of great companies, like Ace Hardware, that are committed to giving back. It builds a relationship with the community, helps with employee fulfillment and can create an emotional bond with customers. And when the customer feels good about who they do business with, well that can only lead to a better customer experience, which can then lead to more business.



  • Mt. Everest avalanche
    Disaster strikes Mt. Everest as at least 12 people were killed in an avalanche
    Watch Video
  • Most Earthlike planet discovered
    The Kepler telescope has discovered the most Earthlike, possibly habitable planet yet
    Space News
  • Easter crosses create debate
    Easter crosses spark a debate of separation of church and state in Ohio
  • Chelsea Clinton is preggers
    Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child
  • Stanley Cup playoffs
    The battle for Lord Stanley's Cup is on, don't miss a minute of playoff action
  • Ukraine discussed amongst U.S., E.U., Russia
    The U.S., E.U. and Russia agree on ways to diffuse the tension in Ukraine
    Watch Video

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!