December 1st. For many, this day marks the official start of the “Christmas Countdowns”. The countdown for the number of days you have left to buy Christmas gifts, until you are on holidays, or even until your in-laws come. In short, December can be a stressful time for many individuals.
However, it is also the perfect time of year to show others that you are thinking of them and appreciate their presence in your life. From a corporate standpoint, December is the great time to show customers you are thankful for their business and look forward to working with them in the New Year.
Below are a few ideas of simple, cost effective ways to connect with your customers during the holidays. If you are short on time or funds, all of the below methods can be in e-blast format if you keep customer email addresses on file.
- Christmas Cards. These can be made using web templates already created (ex. www.vistaprint.ca), or customized by your marketing department. To add an even more personal touch, incorporate a photo of your team or hand sign/address the cards.
- Company Holiday Letter. Do a write up on what the past year was like and how the customer's commitment to your company affected you. You do not need to give specifics on sales numbers, but let the customer know that their commitment was appreciated. Add details/photos about a job you were proud of, what your company learned, funny anecdotes etc.
- Catered Lunch. This is an idea you can use for key companies you deal with on a regular basis. Provide a local restaurant that provides catering services a list of these companies so that when they place their orders, the bill will be sent to you instead. If cost is an issue for you, you can always put a cap per company.
- Gift Certificates/Coupons. If your industry is one in which you have the potential for repeat customers, offer them an incentive to return the next year. This could be an offer for a specific product/service, or just an overall discount.
- Referral Offers. Turn #4 into a referral by leaving the gift certificate blank so it that the offer can be used as a stocking stuffer for someone they know. This not only lets your previous customers know you appreciate their business, but also allows you the opportunity to reach new customers too.
No matter which method you choose, the key is to ensure your customers know you appreciate their business. Without them you would not be where you are today, so be sure spread some holiday cheer with them this season!