The Self-Defeating Holiday Greeting and Four Steps To Strengthen Your Relationship with Customers

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With the holiday season fast approaching, you and your team are probably asking yourselves: How are we going to surprise & delight customers this holiday season? With a digital gift? A special promotion? An event?

Avoiding Last Year’s Mistakes

Last year, you may have proposed and tossed out a few great ideas due to excessive cost, complex logistics, or uncertain results. Eventually, you arrived on the safe & simple e-newsletter with an animated gif that read, Seasons Greetings. Without knowing it, you fell into the trap of spending precious time (your own and your customers’) on a self-defeating holiday greeting! That is a Holiday Greeting that customers archive & ignore at best. Or that goes as far as irritating customers because it took time to open, wasn’t personal, and contained nothing of substance.

Joy. Gratitude. Appreciation. Satisfaction.

The Holiday Season is a unique time of year to strengthen your company’s relationships with customers. During the holidays, you have an opportunity to connect with customers outside of the regular course of your customer-company interactions.

The right holiday greeting can spark the four emotions that matter most in relationship-building: Joy, Gratitude, Appreciation, and Satisfaction. Before you hit send on any holiday communication this year, check it against these four touchstone emotions to ensure it does what it’s meant to do: strengthen your most important relationships.

The recipient on the other end of your holiday communication should be left with at least two but ideally four of the following speech bubbles:

  • I feel joy because this company just did something beautiful for me or someone else.
  • I feel gratitude for the work this company is doing on my behalf and others
  • I feel appreciated by this company as a customer and friend
  • I feel satisfied with the purchases I have made from this company

Four Steps To Strengthen Your Relationship with Customers

Below are a few steps that I would recommend to ensure your holiday greeting gets noticed.

1. Show your appreciation with words and video. Words matter immensely. A single sentence or paragraph personalized to the recipient can convey your appreciation and remind the recipient that you appreciate them individually. Writing personalized sentences for a large number of customers can be time consuming and at a certain scale becomes impossible. Nevertheless, you can personalize the notes to your top 100 or 20% of customers and then use genuine but repeatable sentences for everyone else. A recorded video conveying your company’s appreciation, even if it’s not personalized, can also go a long way to showing customers that you appreciate them.

2. Make a donation. Donations create real impact outside of your business and demonstrate that your company cares about others and the planet as much as your own bottomline. The holiday season is a perfect time to announce a donation your company has made to another organization. The donation can be concrete, 5,000 trees planted, or general, support for the local humane society, food bank, or children’s hospital. A charitable donation communicated in the right way can achieve all four touchstone emotions: joy, gratitude, appreciation, and satisfaction.

3. Include a gift. Customer gifts come in many forms. Embedding a meaningful gift in your holiday communication may not be as expensive or logistically complicated as you think. Today, a Spotify playlist or curated photo album from the past year can form the basis for a zero-waste gift that your recipients nevertheless find touching. Other gifts that can scale well include special awards, promotions and discounts, or an invitation to a virtual event. As with any gift, it’s the experience of the gift that matters most!

4. Be creative. The fear of uncertain results can be a real creativity stopper. And yet, the less conventional your holiday season gesture, the more likely it is to stand out and spark joy. Record a video of your team giving out Free Hugs. Or make your own animated gif with real people your customers will recognize. Or make a time lapse video of your team forming a body sculpture expressing gratitude. These creative acts can strengthen your customers’ bonds to your business in ways you cannot predict.

Conclusion

The best holiday greetings spark joy, gratitude, appreciation, and satisfaction in customers. Although it sounds harsh, anything short of this is dead weight and self-defeating. If your company needs help creating a compelling holiday greeting that’s personalized to any number of recipients, please get in touch. The UnWrapIt team would be happy to help you strengthen your most important relationships this holiday season.

As always, good luck! Appreciation matters.

Peter Deitz
Peter Deitz is an entrepreneur committed to creating enduring companies that have a deeply-rooted social and environmental purpose. He is active on LinkedIn and regularly posts about customer experience, employee appreciation, digital transformation, corporate gifting, and philanthropy. Peter is the founder of UnWrapIt, a digital corporate gifting company that’s reimagining corporate gifting as a zero-waste, scalable, and critical element of any customer or employee appreciation strategy.

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