Customer Service Goes Social with Isom IGA's Happy Birthday Wishes

Jan 22, 2019


Store: Isom IGA | Isom, Kentucky
Owner: Gwendolyn Christon
Department: Customer Service
Difficulty: Easy
Store Specs: 16,000 square feet


Every morning, I send a message to anyone having a birthday who likes our Facebook page.

"Happy Birthday from the crew at your Hometown Proud Isom IGA!"

We have 2,400 likes and it takes me about 10-15 minutes each day. I am a one-store owner and my competition is Walmart, Food City, Save a Lot, and Priceless Foods. They are chains with multiple stores and have a much bigger advertising budget than I do, so I want to remind my customers of the personal touch at Isom IGA! Once I send the happy birthday messages, I make sure to post an image of a sale item so that the birthday person, their friends, and anyone who visits our Facebook page sees the sale item and is enticed to come into the store.


For Our Shoppers

Shows we care. These messages show our shoppers that we are involved in the local community and we care about our customers.

Builds relationships and customer service. Service is a lost art and we try to perfect it. Building relationships with people in this fast-paced world makes them feel like someone cares. 

We greet our customers. Since we are a small community store, we know when a birthday customer comes in. We always acknowledge them by asking, "Is it your birthday today? Happy birthday!"

For Our Store

Boosts sales. Since I started this practice, we have seen an increase in spending per customer.

Increases Facebook followers. Usually after wishing someone "Happy Birthday," they respond with a "Thank you" and a like, which prompts their friends to see my post and sometimes results in more page likes.

Assigns value to independents. Independent stores are still needed in the community, so we try to be present at the local schools and festivals. Acknowledging people makes them feel like part of the store's family unit.


  1. Spend 10 to 15 minutes each morning going through the Facebook notifications for followers' birthdays.
  2. Share the same message, "Happy Birthday from the Crew at Your Hometown Proud Isom IGA!" You can create an image of this message on a red background and share the image instead if you prefer.
  3. Take advantage of having more eyes on your Facebook page by posting sales or other important in-store news after you send your birthday messages.
  4. Encourage your employees to note the birthdays so they can greet birthday visitors with a "Happy birthday!"
  5. Ramp up your customer service to keep the Hometown Proud feeling in-store. We live by the two-foot rule: if the customer is within two feet, we always have a greeting, "Can I help you?"

There is no cost to wishing our followers a happy birthday.

Pro Tips

  • Delegate the job. Determine your best customer service employee and assign them the job of wishing your followers a happy birthday.
  • Use your warehouse resources. Contact your warehouse for a professional Facebook posting of your sale plans and weekly feature items.
  • Reward shoppers online. Set a daily reminder to post your sale plan and Facebook feature items every day at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., which are break times for working people. This way, you can target your posts to shoppers online viewing your birthday posts.
  • Demonstrate great customer service principles. Ask yourself these questions: Do we want to be part of the community? Do we want our customers to take ownership in our success? Do we feel that customer service is a lost art people still desire? If you and your employees say "yes," do whatever you can to bring happiness to your customers. In this case, give someone a happy birthday!


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