Which Companies Deserve a Holiday Gift from Their Customers?


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Last night I visited a local Lettuce Entertain You Lettuce Gift Cardsrestaurant here in the Chicago area to purchase some gift cards for some of the people who provide services to me and my family. I also ordered takeout from the restaurant at the same time. While I was waiting for my food to be brought out, I noticed a stream of people coming in to purchase gift cards. In the space of 15 minutes, the restaurant sold almost $1,000 worth of gift cards. I noted to the takeout attendant that it must be a busy time for gift cards and he said that they have been selling $27,000 worth of gift cards each day this week. Wow. That’s a lot of gift cards being purchased for friends, relatives, and like me, for people that provide services.

So why do I and others purchase gift cards for people that provide services to me? After all I am the customer right? Well, the gift card is clearly a symbol of appreciation for everything that the recipient has done for me and my family over the last year. There are plenty of other individuals and small companies I do business with that we are not giving gift cards to. It’s not that I don’t appreciate these service providers as well, but rather there is a difference in my relationship with the providers that are getting a gift from us.

There are two things that distinguish these people who are special to us:

  1. They have gotten to know me and my family as people and there is a real relationship there beyond just doing business.
  2. They customize what they do to who we are. They don’t just deliver services systematically. They are flexible when we have unexpected needs or need to change how or when services are provided.

There is little doubt that these are our most loyal customer relationships.

This really got me thinking about some of the larger companies that I do business with. There are definitely some companies where I feel like individuals who work there have taken the time to at least be friendly and personal, even if they haven’t gotten to truly know me. And others have personalized their services or communications so that I felt like I was treated as an individual. While I haven’t given any gifts to people who work for these larger companies this year, I have in the past. But that’s not the point.

The large companies who have made some effort to get to know me and have customized what they do for me are also the large companies I appreciate most and am most loyal to.

My holiday wish is for companies and their customers alike. Get to know your customers better and make your communication truly personalized. If they feel appreciated and valued as individuals, they will also appreciate you more and become more loyal. A win-win for companies and their customers.

Stay tuned. In the new year, Maritz is launching a new solution that will help companies achieve the customer intimacy that will help them much more effectively build personal relationships with their customers.

Happy Holidays!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Michael Allenson
Michael is Founder of CXDriven. Formerly he was Principal CX Transformation Consultant at MaritzCX where he led a global team that consulted with clients on how to better leverage their customer experience management programs to drive business success. A frequent writer and presenter, Michael is passionate about helping companies leverage customer intelligence to take action that creates lasting customer relationships and sustainable improvements in growth and profitability. Over a 20+ year career, he has consulted with numerous Fortune 500 companies and their leadership teams on how to uncover superior insights and turn them into action. Prior to his role at MaritzCX, Michael was a Senior Consultant for Maritz Research, Technomic, Diamond Management and Technology Consultants and Leo J. Shapiro and Associates.


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