Crossword Puzzle Promotion Awakens Curiosity For Your Office Coffee Business

by Len Rashkin
Posted On: 4/13/2017

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TAGS: Vending Times columnist, OCS salespeople, office coffee service, office coffee sales, OCS education, OCS customer service, coffee business, office refreshments, OCS sales training, Len Rashkin, crossword puzzle promotion, coffee service promotion

My past two articles discussed two promotions that worked well for my company by attracting buyers' attention and offering them a bit of fun, plus the opportunity to win something.

The first was a lottery ticket designed to inform our customers about new products and services we were offering, while providing the opportunity for them to win one or several of them. The second was our Bloomingdale's Frequent Buyer program, again conducted in order to increase sales volume by inviting our clients to reach different sales plateaus in order to win gift certificates to the popular department stores; values increased with each plateau attained. Participating customers also might choose to receive free products.

We wanted our contacts at each location to become engaged with our representatives on a very positive level, and these programs accomplished that mission.

The next successful promotion we launched was a custom-designed crossword puzzle. We wanted to inform our customer base about our products, services and equipment by offering them yet another opportunity to win prizes by successfully solving the puzzle. Those who completed it correctly were given a choice of several products to select as the prize.

We prepared for the introduction of each of these campaigns by putting our customer service personnel into the big picture by explaining how the promotion would run and what was involved in it. The memorandum they received about the crossword puzzle premium offer summarized its purpose and the way it would be administered:

The "Dell Products Crossword Puzzle" was developed to do the following:

For Our Customers:

1. Create awareness of the many diverse products and services we offer;

2. Introduce some of our less-familiar newer products;

3. Reward our customers for entering the contest;

4. Create goodwill and excitement between our customers and our telephone representatives;

5. All those who fill out and send the puzzle to Dell will be entered into a drawing to receive secondary prizes.

For Our Company and You

1. The more products and services our customers purchase, the more profitable the company becomes.

2. The more our customer purchases, the more valuable we become. This keeps our clients out of supermarkets and wholesale clubs. We reinforce one-stop shopping!

3. We reduce the chance of our competition taking our accounts.

4. You, our customer service reps, will get a bonus for any new products and services sold through this promotion.

Final Results Expected

1. WIN for our customers!

2. WIN for you and our other employees!

3. WIN for Dell!


The actual crossword puzzle we used is shown above.

It is important to monitor all the promotions that you conduct. Your customer participation rate can range from approximately 15% to as high as 70%, depending on the value of the prizes offered, ease of the instructions and involvement of your employees to make it work -- which should include monetary incentives.

Please let me know which promotions you have used and how they did and I will share your success with my readers. I can be reached at (516) 241-4883 or

LEN RASHKIN is a pioneer in office coffee service. He founded Coffee Sip in 1968 and later merged it with Dell Coffee, of which he became president in 1991. Sales at Dell topped $7 million. He also founded the Eastern Coffee Service Association and National Beverage & Products Association. He is a speaker at national and local trade conferences, consults on OCS sales and marketing, and is the author of two OCS training programs.