Online transactions can be the epitome of impersonal experiences. But Katie Kiyo is changing that one customer at a time – and one hug at a time.
She is the founder of Big Hug, an online store where customers can purchase and send remembrance gifts for special occasions. In doing so, they are sending a big hug to someone at a momentous time in their life. It could be a memorial for someone grieving the loss of a loved one. Or it could be a memory gift to commemorate a birthday, anniversary or other special event.
Big Hug gifts offer a much more personal touch than sending flowers or a card. Some of its most popular gifts are wind chimes, garden stones and tree markers that are customized with personal messages. The memory and sentiment of the gift lives on for years.
The impact of each gift can be summed up in two words:
“The power of those two words, ‘Big Hug,’ honors the person who is the gift giver and delivers an emotional connection to the person receiving the gift,” says Kiyo.
But the hugs don’t stop there.
Not only does Big Hug help customers make emotional connections with others by sending thoughtful remembrance gifts, it delivers world class customer experiences. If you think you can’t make personal, human connections in eCommerce, you should hear what customers say about Big Hug.
“What I assumed would be a typical ‘no human connection’ internet purchase turned into the sort of wonderful customer-focused experience that seems almost extinct in today’s marketplace,” wrote a customer named Annette in an email. She’s one of many who have sung the praises of Big Hug’s customer service since it opened for business in 2010.
Katie Kiyo has cracked the code on how to create loyalty and repeat business by delighting online customers. That’s why we are pleased to feature her on the very first Go for Heart program. Listen in to find out how she does it.
The Big Hug Customer Experience
More about Katie Kiyo
Katie Kiyo is the founder of Big Hug Remembrance Gifts, an online business serving individuals and fundraising organizations with custom, personalized remembrance gifts. These are gifts that memorialize special events, people and even pets. Customers can send personalized gifts for memorials, births, anniversaries, birthdays and other special events.
Before founding Big Hug in 2010, Katie worked for several years in the advertising and publishing industries. In the ad agency world, she handled major auto accounts for J. Walter Thompson, DDB Needham and Campbell Ewald. She was also the Detroit Sales Manager for Time magazine, and Corporate Sales Director for Meredith publishing corporation. Katie lives in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan with her husband Dwight.
More about Go for Heart
We launched Go for Heart as an ongoing program to celebrate the first full year of The Heart of Marketing podcast. It is a monthly special edition episode that focuses on companies that embody the pillars of HEART marketing to build customer relationships that grow business. We invite you to become part of the Go for Heart community by sending us your ideas for businesses with great Heart Stories that we can feature in future programs.