Customer appreciation gestures can go a long way toward increasing your company’s customer satisfaction and retention rates. Implementing ideas for customer appreciation during the holidays adds an extra bonus for your clients and your reputation.
Holiday time is typically a festive time. Sleigh bells are ringing, snow is falling, people are often more cheerful as they plan how to bring a smile to the faces of their loved ones.
It’s always nice to feel appreciated by the staff of companies you do business with. And the holidays are a perfect time to make your clients feel the appreciation you have for them.
Here are some of our favorite ideas for bringing joy to your clients at holiday time.
Our Favorite Customer Appreciation Gestures During The Holidays
Choose one of these ways to show customer appreciation during the holidays, or use a combination of two or more to ensure all of your clients know they’re appreciated.
1. Send Holiday Cards
A holiday card — especially one that’s handwritten — brings a personal touch to the business/client relationship. By reputation, holiday cards are sent to those closest to us.
When you send your business clients a holiday card, you’re telling them that they matter to you and that you’re thinking about them. You can send holiday-based cards that mention a specific holiday, or general cards that welcome autumn or winter.
There are several companies that sell holiday cards written especially for businesses. Hallmark Business Connections is one website you could search to find the perfect card for your business clients.
Another site to check out would be Zazzle. Zazzle features cards and other items made by smaller businesses. You’ll find a bit more originality on this site in terms of holiday cards.
For extra impact, add a handwritten note inside the card, thanking your clients for their business and wishing them well.
2. Send Gifts
If it fits into your company’s budget, you may want to consider sending (or dropping off) gifts to your clients during the holiday season. A now-retired realtor friend of mine who had been in the business many years gave clients annual gifts during the holidays.
Every winter he’d hand deliver wreaths to everyone on his client list. This welcoming gesture helped ensure clients would think of him when they needed a realtor or knew someone who did.
Since wreaths last for several weeks, clients got a reminder notice of their favorite realtor every time they walked up to their door.
Your gift to clients doesn’t have to be as cumbersome. You could ship them a box of chocolates or a basket of fruit. Or you could send a gift card to a local big box or specialty store. It’s the reminder and the gesture that count.
Shop around and purchase holiday gifts that fit into your budget and ensure your clients feel appreciated.
3. Host A Holiday Contest
Another idea is to host a holiday contest. The contest can take on any number of forms. You can hold coloring contests for kids, or even for adult clients.
Or you can hold social media contests. Ask clients to share pictures of themselves at your business or with one of your products, tagging the business as they share. Then give every participant a coupon for a discount on a product or service.
You can even put all entries into a drawing for a bigger prize. The prize can be a bigger discount on one of your products or services, a free product giveaway, or a holiday-based prize.
Some ideas for holiday-based prizes include gift cards to local stores or restaurants, or hot holiday gift items. People love to participate in contests. Give clients a chance to do so, rewarding them for joining in and getting free advertising at the same time.
Related Article: 25 Best Free Advertising Options For Small Business
4. Send An Email Blast With Deals And Discounts
How about giving away amazing deals and discounts you wouldn’t give away any other time of the year? You could send email blasts that say something like:
“Because we’re so thankful for you this holiday season, we’re giving never-before-seen discounts on a select group of products! However, these special deals are only available from (give date) to (give date) and are only available to current customers. This is our way of saying ‘thank you’ for your loyalty and support.”
Some ideas for your email blast promotions could include:
- Buy one, get one free
- Buy something, get an accompanying accessory for free
- Deep discounts on specific products or services
- Great deals on new products or services
- First dibs (a pre-sale) on coveted holiday sale items
And so on. The point is to give your clients something that only existing clients get. In other words, make them feel special. Reward them for staying loyal to your company.
5. Hold A Customer Appreciation Event
Customer appreciation events often go over big during the holidays too. There’s a tiny little town in my state (population just over 700) that has a local bank that holds a customer appreciation event every year at the beginning of December.
It’s a one-day thing from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. and I swear the entire town attends. The bank has coloring sheets for kids, reindeer-led sleigh rides for families, a guy dressed up as Santa Claus, and cookies and hot cocoa for refreshments.
It’s really a simple little gathering, however, it feels a lot like hanging out with a big extended family. I love going for the sole purpose of watching these townspeople laugh and converse with each other for hours on end. I don’t live in the town but I’m invited because two of my kids work for the people that run the sleigh ride business.
No matter. I’m accepted just like any other resident and I love watching the camaraderie between the citizens and customers of the local bank. The event is a popular hit every year, and I’m convinced the bank is doing so well business-wise in part because of this event.
The manager and staff persons at the bank attend the event, socialize with people, and answer any banking questions, which just “happen” to come up. After all, the people are there; they may as well ask their banking questions.
I will routinely see bank staff bringing a client or potential client back to a desk to help them with whatever financial questions they have. The combination of family-like fun and the willingness to answer business questions at the same time is what makes this event such a grand success.
A business that makes its clients and potential clients feel like family creates a great springboard for continued business growth.
Related Article: New Customer First 100 Days: How It Can Make Or Break Your Business
6. Support A Charity In Your Customers’ Honor
Another idea is to support a charity in honor of your clients. People are often in a giving mood during the holiday season. When you are too, you can encourage clients to join in the fun.
For instance, you could advertise that you’re donating a percentage of all profits to a local Toys for Tots campaign. Or you could collect Toys for Tots gifts or collect non-perishable goods to donate to a local food shelf.
Another idea is to partner with an organization that collects and distributes items to the local homeless community. There are enough causes out there that will ensure you can partner with your clients to make an impact for good in your community.
7. Give Out Client Gifts At The Store Or Office
Have you thought about working to give each of your clients a holiday gift when they stop into your store or office? The gift doesn’t have to be anything astronomical. You can have a holiday calendar printed up.
Or have branded swag to give away to those that stop in. Be creative and work with your staff to come up with gift ideas that will remind your clients that you really do appreciate them.
Clients really love getting a thoughtful gift during the holidays from the places they do business with. And it could encourage them to stop into the store or office as well.
Post on social media or an email blast that those who stop into the office can get their free gift.
8. Work To Instill A Sense Of Community
And finally, work to instill a sense of community within your company and client base. For instance, you could ask them to share their favorite holiday traditions or memories on your company’s social media page.
Or you could have them share pictures of how their homes are decorated or stories about how they celebrate their family’s holiday of choice. Encourage them to join you and your team members in rejoicing in the freedom we have to each celebrate the holidays in accordance with our own beliefs.
The point is to embrace our differences and share the ways in which our differences make the world a better place to live.
The holidays are, in a nutshell, all about gratitude. Gratitude for the good things we have in life and for the strength to overcome the struggles. Gratitude for each and every client and team member and person on this earth.
This truth makes the holiday season the perfect time to show your clients how very much you appreciate them and their support of your business.