Have you ever worked with a company who went above and beyond to make you feel appreciated as a customer during the holiday season? I’m talking really appreciated here, to the point where you’re like, “Wow. I can’t believe how much they care about me! What a fantastic company. I’ll definitely work with them again and tell all my friends!”
Oh, you haven’t? Well, to tell you the truth, neither have I.
Yes, I’ve got a stash of ballpoint pens and stress balls covered in company logos, and yes, I’ve gotten holiday cards that have generic, typed out greetings and the scanned signatures of 75 employees on them, but I’ve never really gotten anything that made me feel like I was individually cared about as a customer.
Now that I’m a business owner, I have a hard time understanding why this is the case. The holidays seem like such an awesome opportunity to make people smile, show them how important they are and get them thinking about your business all in one fell swoop. Doesn’t it just seem like the obvious thing to do if you want to maintain a working relationship with them in the following year? After all, the foundation of any well-respected and long-lasting organization is excellent customer service.
HAPPY CUSTOMERS = HAPPIER NEW YEAR
So why not take advantage of this wonderful time of year by really thanking your customers individually for working with you? Make ‘em feel special! When they know you value them, they’ll like you. When they like you, they’ll want to work with you again (and tell all their friends). Trust me, you want all their friends to know.
Here’s a few little ideas you can use to get your customers feeling all warm and fuzzy this holiday season:
- Send them a personal, hand-written Christmas card. First of all, make sure they celebrate Christmas (the whole paying attention to them individually thing kinda goes out the window if you get the holiday wrong)! If you aren’t sure, just use “Happy Holidays”. Make the message personal! Thank them for their business. Tell them that if they need any of your services in the oncoming year, you’ll take care of them.
- Give them some logo swag that they can actually use. Okay yes, I use pens from my logo pen collection, but it’s so overdone that I don’t even think about the companies that gave them to me! Put your logo on something different and practical that they’ll use all the time. For example: A tote bag, a USB stick, a lanyard or a corkscrew. Everybody loves a corkscrew.
- Give them a small but awesome gift that doesn’t necessarily have to do with your business, but would just make them really happy. Put it in the envelope with the card that you personally hand-wrote just for them. Throw a piece of your practical logo swag in the envelope too, then sweeten the deal with one of these babies. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just thoughtful!
For example, a $5 gift card to Tim Horton’s or Starbucks with a note that says, “Hope you stay warm this holiday season! Use this gift card to enjoy a nice hot coffee, my treat.”
Or, if you want to spend a bit more, give them the gift of music on demand with a music service like Spotify! They have gift cards for $10, $30 and $60. Everyone loves music, right? It’d be a really cool gift for just about anyone–and no, I do not get paid to say that!
You know how after winning a music award, the artist will thank the fans? Well as a business owner, your customers are your fans. Without each of them, your business wouldn’t be where it is today–and your life probably wouldn’t be as rad.
Of course, however you choose to show your appreciation to your clients will depend on things like how much money they’ve spent with you over the past year, if you want to continue a working relationship with them, how many clients you have etc. Do it in a way that works for both of you! It’s not something to stress over or go into debt over. If you’re just starting out, a nice card can really do the trick. However, if you’ve got the funds available and you’re in the Christmas spirit, take advantage. You can likely write it off as a business expense anyways! ;)
Stay humble, feel grateful and show your appreciation. To an individual customer, the little things go a very long way.