The holiday season quickly approaches. What are you doing to make customers happy?
It’s a given that your customer service should always be great. But a little extra ‘holly-jolly’ is never a bad thing as you interact with customers this season.
After all, happy customers stick around. Plus, it’s easier—and more profitable—to keep a current customer than find a new one.
“A 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%.” – Bain and Company
In this post, we’ll share some timely tips for sharing holiday happiness with your customers—in person and online.
Simple CX Hacks That Make Customers Happy
The holidays can be a hectic time for businesses and customers alike.
Some businesses are so busy that they hire extra staff or offer extended holiday hours. Others host a holiday giveaway or organize a charitable event.
Meanwhile, most customers just want to get through their to-do list and busy holiday schedule. Can you help them?
It’s the Little Things
During the holiday hoopla, consumers appreciate anything that improves their customer experience.
With that in mind, try a simple approach to make customers happy:
- Always greet customers by name when they visit. Then, share a holiday greeting along with a fist bump or high five.
- Ask sincerely how your customer’s day is going. Look them in the eyes and listen more than you talk.
- Let customers recommend holiday music for your business playlist. Share on social media and tag music recommenders.
- Stock up on holiday-themed, branded swag to give customers when they visit, purchase a product/service or refer a friend.
- Send hand-signed holiday cards containing special offers, incentives, or coupons. Thank your customers for their loyalty.
- Hold an impromptu customer–employee dance-off to a holiday tune. Video the fun and offer prizes to the winners.
- Provide a massage chair and aromatherapy station where customers can retreat for a few minutes to relax and rejuvenate.
- Place Vitamin-C drops, travel-size bottles of anti-bacterial gel, or similar items around the building to promote a healthy holiday.
- Are you a product-based business or retailer? Set up a festive gift-wrapping station where customers can wrap gifts for free.
- Offer surprise gifts to the 25th, 50th (etc.) customer each day. Video customers’ reactions to share on social media.
Happy Holiday Reminder: Note the simple (but successful) holiday strategies of other businesses. Adapt these to your style and customer personas.
Seasonal Events That Make Customers Happy
We all know businesses that go above and beyond to put customers in the holiday spirit.
Some companies hold a holiday-themed event complete with a hot cider station, doughnuts, face painting for the kids, and gifts. A dentist might offer discounts to patients who bring in canned goods for the food bank.
Depending on your customer base, a holiday event can be a great way to make customers happy and build community connections.
Back in 2014, traffic officers in Lowell, Michigan stopped a few citizens for minor traffic violations. As part of each stop, an officer asked each driver what gifts they wanted for Christmas.
Out of sight, a few helpers purchased gifts mentioned by drivers (courtesy of UPlift Someone) and dropped them off at each stop. Amazing!
Grinches would call this a publicity stunt. However, we’d call it a great way to spread holiday cheer.
Rx for Holiday Cheer
Yes, holiday events require extra work. But they can pay big dividends for you and your customers.
- Invite a local celebrity to hand out small gifts and take photos with customers. If Santa is busy, invite another popular guest.
- Host a tree-decorating contest and give the decorated trees to needy families in your area. Offer prizes and coupons.
- Volunteer with customers at a soup kitchen or at your local Habitat for Humanity. Offer significant discounts to participants.
- Co-sponsor a holiday health fair at a local school. Hand out free product samples, coupons, and healthy snacks.
- Kick off the season with a big holiday raffle. To enter, each customer must bring a friend and a food bank donation.
- Sponsor a popular athletic event and shoot branded t-shirts from a cannon into the stands. Include freebies and coupons.
- Serve eggnog and gingerbread cookies at your business—along with a service or product sample while customers are with you.
- Partner with a bigger company to attract a larger crowd to your holiday fair, concert, or party. It’s a win-win.
- Have a pajama party after hours at your location or rented space. Usher in the season with a holiday movie and popcorn.
- Create a photo booth event where families can get a free holiday portrait and discounted products/services.
Holiday High Note: Don’t have time or budget for a big event? Start small. Choose one customer-pleasing element (free cocoa and a discount) and advertise it on social media.
Social Posts That Make Customers Happy
What do successful events and customer experiences depend on? Word of mouth, of course. Which means spilling the beans on social media.
If you’re planning an event, you need publicity. Email messages are a start, but social media is where the real action is.
Some Social Media Merriment
But you don’t need a special event to spread holiday joy on social media. Try these ideas:
- Create a feel-good video that will inspire shares. For fun, tell a heartwarming story or film a staff member sharing a recipe.
- Conduct an informal holiday poll (eggnog or cider?) on Facebook or Instagram. Add GIFs or colorful photos.
- Use a Boomerang image or video in a sponsored post, tempting viewers to enter your holiday event/giveaway.
- Share a mystery photo every few days to create buzz about an upcoming Facebook Live event.
- If you’re in healthcare, create a “use it, don’t lose it” social campaign around end-of-year flex savings benefits.
- Video customers sharing a favorite holiday tradition, song, or food. Share on social and via text to your customer.
- Ask for customers’ best “ugly holiday sweater” photo (including your branded, thematic hashtag). Award prizes.
- Create a digital holiday card, complete with thematic music, to share on all your social channels.
- Conduct an Instagram Takeover. On a given day, a partner business posts content to your account and vice versa.
- Post an advent-style countdown to Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanza, and/or New Years. Offer a fun fact each day.
Seasonal Social Tip: Add your company name and hashtag(s) to Google Alerts so you know exactly when customers are mentioning your business. Afterward, respond quickly with a holiday greeting, emoji, and discount.
People Who Make Customers Happy
Who is it that greets customers at your business? Who serves them and solves problems for them? You guessed it.
Think about your team members who serve customers every day. If the team is happy, then it’s easy to help spread holiday cheer to all who come through your door.
First and last, it’s you and your team who help make customers happy—and not just during the holiday season.
In a Holiday Mood
Here are a few ways to help your business colleagues feel the holiday spirit (so they can pass it on):
- Whenever possible, be flexible when co-workers have to run to a child’s school program or a last-minute appointment.
- Will you be overbooked and overstretched at your business? Hire temporary help to deal with calls or other tasks.
- Be sensitive to financial stresses among your staff. Reimburse them for any business-related holiday purchases.
- Write a quick thank-you note. Include spa-day coupons or movie tickets for each hard-working team member.
- When a team member completes a team goal, give them a balloon bouquet and a gift card.
- Organize the holiday schedule to eliminate most last-minute stresses. Include a little downtime in the schedule.
- If someone is struggling with family issues or illness, offer encouraging words, texted emojis, and a helping hand.
- Build team relationships with an Ugly Sweater contest (separately or in tandem with a UGC contest on social media).
- Treat co-workers to a round of holiday steamers or lattes first thing in the morning.
- See which team member can find the funniest holiday GIF. Share with each other, and—if appropriate—on social media.
A No-Grinch Approach: Recognize that the holidays can be stressful for many. Some days, all you can do is smile at the chaos. A little kindness goes a long way to melting Grinchy hearts.
But no worries. With a dash of nostalgia, feel-good content, discounts, and happy co-workers—you’re sure to make customers happy this season.
What’s your favorite way to show customers some extra holiday TLC? Share your ideas online and tag us @banyansocial.