Departure Thank You Gifts in the Service Drive


Of all the virtues in life, gratitude could probably be considered the mother of them all. Think about it.  Gratitude is the humility to recognize that we are not alone in this life and that we all depend on each other to get by. With that in mind, we should all show more gratitude because gratitude will foster more kindness, more honesty, more temperance, more humility and more of all other virtues that are important in life. This is true in life, but it is also true in business.

As a guest or customer of any business, we expect to hear “Thank You” as we pay our bill. These words would be conspicuous in their absence if left unsaid. But is saying “Thank You” enough? Some would argue that there is a significant difference between saying “Thank You” and showing gratitude through actions.

There is a huge opportunity for you to stand out and impress your service guests by showing gratitude through actions. There are many ways to show gratitude, but giving good gifts is a great place to start. Here are some ideas for departure gifts in your service drive:

Handwritten Note

This is a simple gesture, but it could go a long way for some service guests. Before handing them a copy of their paid invoice, take a second to write a handwritten thank you and reference something specific about them or their vehicle. Good restaurant waitresses have been doing this for years and it will sometimes have a positive effect on their tip, but it almost always will bring warm feelings to the recipient.

VIP Membership

Most people like to feel like they belong. As your first-time service guests are departing, consider giving them a free VIP membership package. Give them something official like a card and possibly a small complementing gift. Then explain to them the benefits (i.e. discounts, free oil changes, or whatever your program offers).

That’s not all, however. You need to go out of your way to help them feel like a VIP (remember this means: Very Important Person), or it will all be just lip service. Next time they come in, discount their bill as they leave, just because. It is a nice gift and will be remembered.

Gift Card for Movie, Dinner, or Popular Store

Select a random guest each day (or multiple random guests) and give them a nice gift card for dinner, movie tickets or a popular store in your area. You might be able to strike a discount on the gift cards if you approach businesses in your area and tell them what you are up to. It could create a fun atmosphere if word got around that the 10th or 20th service guest of the day gets a nice gift.

Give Swag

You could give every departing guest a free t-shirt, coffee mug, or whatever tchotchke your marketing team can mass produce. This gift idea serves a dual purpose. It can be a nice gift for your service guest, but it is also free advertising. Some guests will see through this, but if the gift is nice enough, they will still be thrilled to receive it.

Celebrate Significant Milestones

Many of your service guests are in a love affair with their vehicles. At the very least, they spend a lot of time in their vehicle and have developed a relationship with it. Celebrate this connection by recognizing significant milestones such as reaching 100k miles, or reaching a major service interval on their maintenance schedule. Give them balloons or a nice card or other gift as they depart. It will be remembered.