Build Loyalty by Giving Customers a Little Entertainment

Don’t forget your existing clients while chasing new business. Check out the various fun and unique ways one company maintains a relationship with customers.

Build Loyalty by Giving Customers a Little Entertainment

Dallas Cairns of OSY Rentals shows off the type of prize the company awards weekly to winners of its hockey draft pool, one of several things the company does for customers that is purely for fun but also has the benefit of building loyalty. 

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When it comes to marketing, the emphasis is often placed on acquiring new customers. But keeping existing customers invested in your business should never be overlooked.

OSY Rentals and Rival Hydrovac, a jointly owned oil field rental company and startup hydrovac manufacturer based in western Canada, do everything they can to make longtime customers feel like they are part of the family.

“It costs so much to get a new client,” says Dallas Cairns, CEO. When it comes to providing added value for current customers, “Our model almost every time is that it’d be cheaper for us to eat this cost than find a new customer.”

OSY Rentals has a wide-reaching — and eccentric — marketing model, headlined by a web video series produced in the vein of a reality TV show. It allows the employees’ offbeat personalities to shine through, which helps build a relationship with the customers who watch. (Check out this previous article about how the web series came to be.)

It has been an unexpected success, but it’s not the only out-of-the-norm marketing OSY Rentals does. The company is fluent in merchandising, with a wide variety of unusual swag. The pride and joy of that collection is a group of cooking spices and dips that play off of the company’s full name (Oh Sh!t Yeah Rentals).

What began as a fun giveaway for customers expanded into an online store where OSY Rentals sells the full line of spices and dips, in addition to traditional hats and T-shirts. 

“Our business is very niche, we don’t even have that many clients,” Cairns says. “You’re in the circle of contractors, so they’re sharing, and before you know it, it’s getting spread around.”

Keeping the OSY Rentals name top of mind isn’t all the company is focused on with these efforts. The employees take great pains to ensure customers don’t see them as just another company trying to sell a product.

“All of these things put together made people remember our name and I believe made us seem like approachable, regular people,” says Tim Dell, head salesman and organizer for Rival Hydrovac.

Yet another thing OSY Rentals does is host an annual hockey draft competition, encouraging clients new and old to participate for the chance to earn prizes — both for winners and losers. Participants select NHL players, then accumulate points based on their players’ goals and assists. Goalies earn points for wins and shutouts. A series of weekly prizes are given out throughout the season. Winners receive items like restaurant gift certificates, signed hockey gear, or OSY Rentals swag. Weekly losers receive items not as coveted, usually gag gifts designed to entertain OSY Rentals' followers. Oftentimes the losing prize is related to the winning prize (i.e., a VCR for the loser and a Blu-ray player for the winner). There is also a grand prize for the overall points leader at season’s end of two tickets, flights, and hotel stay for any NHL playoff game.

Add the entertainment value of these various outreach efforts onto a policy of always putting the customer first — even when that means comping services or eating costs regardless of fault — and OSY Rentals has found a winning combination. All these things maintain a connection between the company and the customer. 

“We’re always chasing new business, but it is about continued loyalty, without a doubt,” Cairns says.


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