It’s the holiday season, and that means gifting – for friends, family, and business associates. It’s the perfect time of year to say thanks to your customers – after all, they’re the reason you’re in business!
So, how do you stand out amongst the sea of popcorn tins and mass “Happy Holidays!” emails? Simple: get personal. Building solid business relationships is all about getting to know your customers. By adding a personal touch to any gift or message, you’ll be sure to create a memorable connection with your client.
Whether you simply stop by their office or jobsite with a small token of your appreciation or want to gift something more extravagant, here are some personalized ideas to thank your customers during the holidays and beyond.
Say it with a Video
Record a video message telling your client how much their business means to you. It’s a different take on a card, and it will be obvious you took the time to record it.
Even better, create a video featuring them and distribute it to their company. This could feature a key project they completed or something you worked on together.
For small companies with limited resources, this can go a long way if they post on their website and share on social media, helping them promote their business. What better way to show your customers you appreciate them than by making them shine?
Show You're Interested with a Magazine Subscription
Get to know your customer’s interests, and gift them a magazine subscription (print or digital) tailored to their favorite hobby. Whether your customer is a music lover, runner, woodworker, fisherman or woman, entertainment buff, foodie or hunter, there’s a publication for everyone. Every month during the coming year, the customer will remember the magazine is coming from you.
If you want to go even further, you can get yourself the same magazine so you can reach out throughout the year and reference interesting articles, showing you’re interested in learning more about their hobby.
Excite Them with Tickets
Get your customer tickets to see their team play, hear their favorite artist in concert, or attend a theater performance they’ve been dying to see. You'll be giving them an experience, a memory for a lifetime.
If you go the sports route, consider getting them customized jerseys or even recognition on the Jumbotron!
Lunch for Your Customer…and Their Customer
Most of us attend business meals throughout the year. Break away from the norm and consider taking a different approach for the holiday; offer to take your customer and one or two of their own customers out for lunch. It not only shows you’re thankful for their business, but goes one step further by helping them strengthen connections with their customers.
Give them a Date Night with a Restaurant Gift Card
Find out your customer’s favorite restaurant, and get them a gift card that they can use to take someone special out to dinner. This is especially meaningful if they’ve recently mentioned a place they’ve wanted to check out but haven’t had the time. Help them out, while showing you're paying attention.
You Can't Go Wrong with Food and Wine
Deliver a bottle of your customer’s favorite wine with a simple ribbon around it and include a thoughtful note. Or, deliver personalized cupcakes, cookies, or even candies imprinted with their company’s logo.
Buy Lunch for the Crew
When gifting food, don’t forget about your client’s office staff or jobsite crew! Bring in breakfast or lunch for the entire office, sponsor a pizza party, or deliver coffee or Gatorade to the work site.
We often connect with a key individual or two within a company, but there’s a whole team involved in the success of your client’s organization. Be sure to show your appreciation for them, too.
Pay it Forward with Charity Donations & Volunteering
Find out your client’s favorite charity or a cause they care deeply about, and make a donation in their name. If there’s a local organization your client is passionate about, such as the community food bank or Habitat for Humanity, offer to volunteer with them for a day.
If you're not sure what you get your client, and don't want to add to a pile of things they really don't need, charity is a great option that you both can feel great about.
Don't Underestimate the Value of a Hand Written Note
They’re becoming less and less common, but handwritten notes are always a nice touch. Send one for the holidays, and don't stop there. Throughout the year, send birthday and anniversary cards showing you remembered a special event in your customer’s life.
Don’t forget to write a message specific to your client; generic holiday cards signed by your company will get put on the front desk of the office with all the others, but a card with a personalized message is more likely to go on your client’s desk.
If you really want to stand out, send a card for a holiday where it’s not traditional to send cards or gifts, such as St. Patrick’s Day. It will be unexpected and memorable.
Take it Digital with Social Media
No matter what you're getting them, don't forget to thank your customers publicly on social media, and give them a shout out referencing a great project they completed this year. You can also help them build their professional credibility by endorsing their skills on LinkedIn or writing a recommendation.
Make them Shine with a Car Wash
If your client is a car lover or simply wants to keep their car spotless, give them a gift certificate to a car wash. If they’re short on time, you can even have a mobile car wash come to them.
Everyone Loves a Party
Host a holiday party for your clients. It’s a perfect way to connect in a relaxed setting, and it allows your customers to meet each other, too. It may just become a holiday tradition!
Whatever You Give, Give Thanks
Remember, not all gifts have to be over the top. Sometimes a simple, heartfelt gesture is the most meaningful. The most important thing is letting them know you're thinking about them, and that you value them.
From the Building Solutions team, we wish you happy holidays and deep gratitude for returning to buildingsolutions.com for construction, building material and professional advice. We'll have more tips about business relationships coming soon, so subscribe to our blog to be notified as soon as they post.