When ‘Happy Holidays’ Rings Hollow, Focus on Showing Gratitude


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In recent years, a growing number of companies have discovered the magic in sending holiday-themed cards and well wishes to customers and employees alike.

Of course, all the uncertainty over the past eight months has sparked even more interest in expressing appreciation and gratitude. Companies are compelled to send holiday cards to customers and employees to thank these very important people for keeping their businesses alive and thriving.

However, at the end of what might be a year filled with social isolation — one that’s been so very different from any others — you certainly shouldn’t rely on the same messaging as last year’s seasonal greetings. This year, your company’s holiday messaging should reflect the single most important thing you are likely feeling right now: an abundance of gratitude.

Most of 2020 has been a bumpy ride, but we’ve all had people support us, care for and about us, and be there for us. Customers have also remained devoted through the hard times, sometimes going out of their way to buy from our businesses. And on the front lines, employees were there for customers, remaining adaptable and dependable when work environments changed. If not for the employees who were patient and kind to our customers — supporting other employees in ways both big and small — some of us wouldn’t have made it through the year.

Gratitude Is Trending. Here’s How to Show It.

“Mindfulness is now a well-established cultural trend; we see it in products and services all around us,” notes Daryl Person, Hallmark creative director. “As part of that, the practice of gratitude — the act of doing something intentional to express thanks — is another trend we’re seeing take hold.” With this in mind, look to Christmas, executive holiday, thank-you, or Thanksgiving cards to express the gratitude your business feels toward your people and customers. These cards make it easy to show appreciation and care for the people most important to your business.

If you want to turn your 2020 holiday cards into meaningful messages that convey deep appreciation, we have three tips to guide you:

1. Lean into your company culture. Mindfulness and gratitude are trending for the best reason possible: They require putting people first, no matter the situation. A good company culture already does this, so you can lean into it to express appreciation more effectively.

Celebrate employees for their contributions and be specific in what you appreciate about them personally. Assure them that those contributions aren’t going unnoticed, especially at a time when they make such a significant impact on the business and its customers. Likewise, reach out to customers with your gratitude for their continued business during such a challenging year.

2. Choose your channel wisely. Telling people they are valued only works if they receive the message. And because that’s an especially important one, you need to break through the clutter by choosing the right channels. Businesses with strong omnichannel marketing will find it easier to use those channels most effectively. In fact, the ones with a stronger multichannel approach will also retain customers at an average rate of 89%. Compare that to only 33% of customers for those with weak omnichannel strategies. Take some time to find out where your audience’s attention is and send your gratitude using the best medium.

3. Add a personalized touch. Taking the time to write a personal message makes it one of the truest forms of gratitude and appreciation, especially from a business. Your customers and employees will appreciate that your leaders took the time to write them a “thank you.”

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary care, so remember that this year’s holiday cards are all about expressing appreciation for your customers and gratitude for your employees.

Rhonda Basler
With more than two decades of marketing and operations experience, Rhonda Basler is currently the Head of Operations & Agent Experience for Compass in St. Louis, Kansas City, and Nashville. Throughout her career, Rhonda has held the customer in the highest esteem and intimately understands the relationship between employee satisfaction and customer experience. Rhonda's career has spanned both B2B and B2C companies including Dot Foods, H & R Block, Hallmark, and Compass Realty Group.


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