Remember when 25 cents was really worth something? Here are a few things you can’t buy for a quarter anymore:

• Loaf of bread
• Candy bar
• Deck of cards
• Shoe shine
• Can of soda
• Newspaper
• Ice cream cone
• Birthday card
• Comic book
• Cup of coffee
• Baseball cards

But 25 cents is still enough to buy a heaping helping of customer loyalty.
A recent example: I stopped at a downtown store to make a purchase, but didn’t have any coins for the parking meter.  When I mentioned this to the store owner and asked him for change for a dollar, he replied, “The enforcement on the meters ends in 20 minutes, so you only need a quarter.” He then opened the cash drawer, took out a quarter and handed it to me.

Was I surprised? You bet. Was I impressed? Absolutely. Did the gesture more than pay for itself? Well, I ended up buying more than I had planned to, and I definitely intend to return there. Oh yeah, and I’m obviously telling a whole bunch of people about the place, too.

You don’t need a lot of money to secure your customers’ loyalty. A little time, effort and generosity is all it takes. Just show your customers you care about them. When people feel cared about, they feel important. And when they feel important, they buy more.

Can you think of a better investment for a quarter?