It often doesn’t take much to show your customers you love them. Some of the most successful, customer-centric businesses in the world – Zappos, Nordstrom, Zingerman’s Deli – focus on and execute the little things to differentiate themselves, and show that they authentically care for and love their customers.

Here are 22 things to consider in your business. Some more specific than others, but all with differentiating potential and customer love in mind (all year round, not just on Valentine’s Day).

  1. Surprise them with free stuff
  2. Answer the phone with a live person
  3. Answer the phone on the first ring
  4. Over-deliver
  5. Teach them something they don’t already know
  6. Apologize (quickly) when you do something wrong
  7. Be human
  8. Badges
  9. Thank them often for their business
  10. Smile when you talk to them, even on the phone (they can hear it)
  11. Ask for their opinion about future products or ideas
  12. Retweet their tweets
  13. Like their Facebook updates
  14. Comment on their blog posts
  15. Recommend them on LinkedIn
  16. Don’t send them email with “do-not-reply” in the send address
  17. Obsess daily about delivering and increasing value
  18. No-hassle cancellation policies (you want them back, don’t you?)
  19. Treat past customers like current customers
  20. Treat prospective customers like current customers
  21. Easy-to-understand instructions
  22. Executives read and respond to customer emails