The holiday season. What is it about the holidays that effectively hits all of our emotions? Dealing with happiness, joy, anger, sadness, love, and feeling it all in a few jam packed weeks can be a lot to take on. With these ups and downs of the holidays are you setting aside time with your business to focus on building strong client relationships?
The holidays can be a great way to create a lasting experience and relationship with your clients to help alleviate some of the stress they might be experiencing over the holiday season. Here are a few ways to help create a strong client relationship.
In the last ten years of business I would say that this has been our biggest year of "giving back" not only to our clients but to the community that has helped us get to where we are today. Giving can come in many different forms. A few great options could be donating to local charities, hosting a mixer with optional donations to support a local organization or sponsoring and/or volunteering at your local food bank.
At ICS, we are currently giving back to the SPCA with our branded dog bandanas. We recently created some great looking bandanas with our pals from Pristine and are giving them away for free with an optional (and highly encouraged) donation. All of the donations will be going directly to the Saint John SPCA .
When a company puts an emphasis on giving back people take notice. It allows your customers to see that when they are choosing you, they are choosing a company that supports their community and the people in it. With businesses being more educated than ever on where they spend their funds, you can believe that people take notice of company culture.
Make Your Customers Feel Loved!
Face it, without your customers you aren't in business; so going the extra mile and letting them know that you truly appreciate them is important for every business. There's no wrong way to do this but here a few examples of things you can do.
- Call them. You might feel like you're inconveniencing them but its always nice to talk to your clients, see how they are doing and wish them a happy holiday.
- Give them a gift. Small gifts can be appreciated in big ways, we have had clients tell us all year that they loved a gift we have given them. Client gifts can add up fast so keep a budget in mind and try your best to stick with it. If you can come up with an idea that incorporates your logo and is something that people will hold on to for a long time, great!
- Personalized Email Campaigns. Using email campaigns to send your customers a quick note saying happy holidays is an easy way to get your message out but it might appear basic. Try including personalization tokens to make the email personal to your customer and include some promotion codes or a coupon to show your appreciation.
- Send them a card. Sending a card is something everyone can appreciate. Hand written or signed cards show that you are taking them time from your day to say thank you and that you value the client and your relationship.
Be Transparent WIth Your Holiday Time Off
It can be hard to reach out to every customer or client you have over the holiday season. Your schedules might not line up with theirs and with that on top of the regular hustle and bustle of the season, unfortunately you can't reach out to everyone. With this in mind, its important to be open and transparent with your time off by creating an out of office message when necessary and updating your social media platforms and website to let people know if you have limited hours.
Here are a few examples of out of office email auto responder's you can use:
Subject: I'm out!
Hey there, I just wanted to let you know that I am taking a much needed time out while I enjoy the holiday season. This means I might have longer than usual response times. In case of an emergency please contact me at (xxx) xxx-xxxx.
Thanks and have a great day!
Subject: It's time for a time out.
You read it right, It's time for a much needed time out. You can expect me to be taking time watching Netflix in my pajama's, having drinks with family and friends and taking in late evenings and even later sleep-ins. Don't worry though, although I might be slower to respond if you have an emergency please call us at (xxx) xxx-xxxx. and a member of our team will assist you right away.
Thanks and happy holidays!
The holidays are going to be busy, that's just how it is but how you handle it is what will make your business stand out from your competitors. Take time to show you appreciate your customers either through a simple phone call, gift or promotion but most importantly take time for yourself to enjoy the holiday season.