Welcome to part three of a three-part series designed to help you brainstorm ways you can more effectively communicate with your customers over the holidays and transform those interactions into future sales. Part 2 went over some basic ideas you could use for holiday promotions, and how important it is to make your customer's holiday experience as simple as possible, which you can find here. This one will help you think of ways you can enhance your one-on-one relationship with any given customer or client. To start this series at the very beginning with our post on customer retention through social media, click here.
As we've covered before, this time of year is crazy for just about everyone. By now it should be obvious why you'd be thinking about your customers as we enter the last months of the year, but why should they be thinking about you?
People are unpredictable. They might ignore a social media contest, or decide not to interact with your seasonal promotion. If you always wait for them to come to you, there's a chance you'll get lucky, but you could also end up disappointed. If you want to increase your chances at forming a lasting connection with a customer or client, you might want to try reaching out to them directly.
It's The Thought That Counts
There seems to be a time-honored tradition among businesses that do business with each other to exchange gift baskets this time of year. It's a classic, easy gift that inevitably won't be remembered at all. I mean, it could be if the client or business you send it to is small enough, but think about it: if you have five gift baskets sitting on your desk, are you really going to remember which one came from whom? But as I said, it's easy and classic, so it might be the way you want to go.
However, you might want to give some thought to something more unique, like a piece of personalized merchandise. A set of earmuffs or a water bottle can be incredibly useful as the new year approaches for whoever receives it, and if your company logo is stamped on the side? Well, all the better. The only thing to keep in mind here is that whatever you decide to send, whether it’s a gift basket, shirt, gloves, hat, or a collection of gourmet candy canes, try to take a little extra time and include a handwritten note or card, thanking them for their business. If it would mean a lot for you to receive one, it's going to mean a lot to them to get one.
Although, not everyone will be working with clients and other businesses, and if you're looking for a more customer facing approach, there's an easier way to engage with them than figuring out a cost-effective way of sending a gift basket or water bottle to each one. Because when it comes to the holidays, I've found that it's actually less about the money you spend on a gift — because everyone's receiving gifts — and more about the personal touch you put on it. This could be as simple as replying to a customer's tweet when they mention your product or service, a general Happy Holidays post on social media, or an extra second of well wishing during a customer service call. There's a lot you can do to show your customers you're thinking of them this season. And there's one other classic idea we haven't even touched on yet.
If you need an option that sits right in the middle of the "thinking of you" spectrum, something that's still cost effective while not requiring as much effort as individual personalized messages, there's nothing better than sending a virtual (or actual) Holiday Greeting card. Email is obviously the easiest option, but however you send it out, it's important to remember that on this one occasion, you're not trying to get a sale from them. Everyone else is trying to get them to spend money on gifts, so what's different about your message? It's just a friendly holiday greeting, thanking them for their business, with hopes of seeing them in the future, and maybe throw in a company photo for an extra personal touch.
Remember, it can be as easy or difficult as you want to make it, but in the end it's the thought that counts.
Let's Put A Bow On This Thing
Alright, I think that about covers it. Hopefully these posts have given you enough information to brainstorm your own ideas that bring your company to the forefront of your customers' thoughts this season. Whether it's through social media interactions, some killer promotions for your products, or just wishing them the best this holiday season. Whatever you decide to do, just remember that you have a unique opportunity to engage with your customers this time of year, and if your messaging is effective, you could see a ripple effect that will give you a massive boost heading into the new year. So good luck, and happy holidays!