Thanking Customers during the Holidays

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”–John F. Kennedy

Customers need and want to feel important and appreciated. This is especially true during times of high stress such as the holiday season, which makes this time the perfect occasion for thanking customers. This is also a great opportunity to build on and nurture existing relationships, while forging and strengthening new ones. A great way to start is by sending out holiday greetings to your database of customers – however, refrain from sending a generic email to all. Most will ignore it, or even unsubscribe permanently – your company would have wasted time and effort, lost credibility, and gained nothing. If thanking customers during holidays is what you are aiming at, ensure that the messages your company sends out are personalized, thoughtful, engaging, and useful – the recipients must be able to view them as a gift.

We know that thanking customers is essential, especially during the holidays. The best way to get your messages noticed and appreciated is by differentiating yourself from others. Gift hampers, cards, and other such ‘ordinary’ things are sure to get lost in the deluge that most customers would already be receiving. It would be better to think of something creative and unique to gift your customers such that your company is not one in the masses, and is noticed easily among all the other things. The idea is to create an impact – a lasting impression, during a time that is already overflowing with the ‘regular and mundane’ options and gifts. Remember gifting because everyone else is doing so, will not cut it for you – be creative when showing appreciation for your customers. Give them something they would want and yearn for – not something they need (everyone will do that). Let customers see that you have put thought and care into the gift, and that your thanks and appreciation is sincere and unfeigned.

Some top leaders of companies send handwritten notes, with an ink pen – very classy, very standout. It is a great way to show appreciation, and has a great impact yet strangely not as many put it to good use. Check with your customers – not many will remember when was the last time they received a handwritten note, and which is why they would appreciate it. The note must be specific and personalized – thanking customers is all about showing each individual customer how well appreciated they are. The time and effort are sure worth it, and customers will certainly reciprocate in several ways.

Send handcrafted and name embossed gifts. These are not available everywhere, and customers will love your way of thanking them – exclusivity and panache. While everyone may get to thanking customers during the holidays, you could segment your customers and send gifts to different ones each month. This way, your company gets noticed, and you would only need to send gifts to few chosen customers during the holidays. Honestly, most customers do not even expect a gift – hence spreading out your gifting will be much easier on your company coffers. Remember that promotional products make for great gifts – it shows customers that they are special enough to be sent items that are yet to launch, and your company has thought of them first.

Organising a focused event, with a holiday theme, is a great way of thanking customers, while gaining publicity for your company. Customers need a break from the stress and anxiety that starts building before the holiday season, and a fun event will help them de-stress and rejuvenate to take on the challenges of the holidays. Your company too, would gain immensely – people are certain to remember you when they need to buy, and long after the holiday season. In this time of stiff competition, any publicity and appreciation from customers can prove to be immensely beneficial and profitable.

Holidays are a time of expenses. It would be a good idea to offer great deals, special discounts, freebies, and other such things not just as a way of thanking customers, but also to engage and encourage more purchases. Customers who receive these offers are sure to spread the word to their friends and associates and share information about your company online, which would create awareness before a much larger audience. So much promotion, with the minimum amount of effort – thanking customers was never so profitable!

Everyone wants to cash in on the holiday rush – your customers are no different. They have businesses too. A novel way of thanking customers would be by referring their business and products to your circle of friends and associates. Put their company information on your social media sites, thereby increasing reach and awareness for your company and that of your customer. Gaining more business through your referrals will certainly put your customers in a good mood, and they are bound to feel more warmly and affable towards your company. In addition, to referring your customer’s business, your company could also highlight their achievements, wish them for special occasions, and feature your customers on your company’s website and other online sites. This is sure to show customers that you value them, and are proud to have them as your customers.

It may not be possible to delight all your customers. However, when thanking customers is what you are after, it would be great to select a few of your most profitable customers, and give them a reason to be delighted. Wowing your customers – even a few has many significant benefits. Delighted customers are sure to spread news about your company in every manner possible. They will share stories about your company on their social media sites, which in turn would be further passed on to a much larger group of people. Delighted customers are a company’s best brand ambassadors, and enthusiastic raving fans. They have the power to influence a much larger section of prospective customers, and others who might not have even heard about your company.

Thanking customers does not have to be a costly affair. Show them that you care by spending some time with them by scheduling a meal, or a drink. Allow your customers to invite who they want to the meeting, sit back and listen to their views, opinions, and needs. Such meetings can be crucial learning experiences for your company and its business – understanding directly from the customer will help your company improve every aspect of business, including providing better customer service. Enhancing product quality and service levels, while personalizing everything your company does for customers, shows more than just thanks and appreciation for them. They are sure to reciprocate.

As mentioned, thanking customers during holidays and or any time of the year will get your company the attention it deserves. Ensure that this is part of your overall customer service and business strategy – it will take time and relentless effort to get it right, but will be worth your while in the end. In addition, remember to learn from the current years’ successes and lapses – such that your company does a better job of showing appreciation and thanking customers, the following year, and years to come. Holidays are a great time of the year, but they can also prove to be very stressful. Make genuine efforts to reduce stress, and make this time truly enjoyable and relaxed for your customers by offering sincere gratitude and genuine thanks.

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