Do you have turkey on the brain today? That’s OK, but as you’re giving thanks today, just be sure to pend some of your post-feast relaxing time deciding which ideas you’re going to implement to thank your customers before year’s end. Here are 5 ideas:
- Send them a special offer. Email is a quick way to catch their attention—but in the onslaught of holiday sales messaging, you need to stand out. Use a catchy subject line, personalize your offer or wait until after the holidays to send your missive.
- Pick up the phone. For B2B customers, nothing beats a personal connection. Talking on the phone reminds loyal customers that you care about them and their businesses. And this time of year, people are more apt to actually take a call from a vendor, even if they haven’t worked with you for a while. Ask about personal issues (they’ll be thrilled you remember their kids’ names or spouse’s work challenges). If the time seems right, see if you can set up a meeting for the new year to discuss how you can help their business grow even more.
- Throw a party. You’re probably planning a holiday party for your staff, so why not add your customers to the mix? The more the merrier, especially when it comes to celebrating. Including your clients in your company’s celebration helps build bonds and lets them get to know employees they may not work with normally. It also shows them your company is thriving and successful, boosting their confidence in your work.
- Wine and dine. If you aren’t planning a holiday party for your employees, consider taking your best customers to a special lunch or dinner. This can be a group event, if you think your customers will enjoy and benefit from networking with each other, or a one-on-one deal if you’d like to keep the focus on each individual client. No time for a fancy get-together? Even meeting for a pumpkin spice latte or a quick breakfast before the workday starts can help keep your business top-of-mind.
- Give a gift. Send holiday gifts to your current customers (if you’re a B2B business) or give away little gifts to loyal shoppers (for a B2C business). For B2B companies, make an impression by matching the gifts to the person’s interests and hobbies. They’ll feel warm and fuzzy that you took the time to select such a personalized present. For B2C companies, make the gifts special by awarding them only to those who have spent a lot with you through the year. (Picking up the gift is a great excuse to get them to come into your business.)
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Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.