With the holiday season in full swing, your focus should be on offering clients the same great, reliable service you give them year-round, to help reduce the stress of this time of year. For most small businesses, the last two months of the year can be very busy. However, they’re also one of the best times to show your clients how invaluable you are to them, and how much you appreciate their business. By taking a bit of extra time to ensure that your seasonal client care is top notch, you’ll be sure to avoid ending up on any “naughty lists” (Santa’s or otherwise!). You’ll also stay at the forefront of your clients’ minds going into the new year, when many will be deciding which business services they’ll want to keep. One of the most sure-fire ways to accomplish that is to provide a small client appreciation gift, which is a tangible reminder of how much you love working with them.
The importance of thanking your clients
Showing your gratitude to regular, loyal clients in the form of a small token of appreciation can really strengthen your business relationship. This positive reinforcement of the mutual benefits you provide each other will help keep your services at the top of their list. People like to know when they’re appreciated! A gift (however small), if thoughtfully given, is a wonderful way to demonstrate to your clients that you think about them and enjoy working with them.
I personally love the chance to express my gratitude at this time of year, and look forward to writing heartfelt notes inside each card I send to clients and team members. It’s a good exercise for you as a business owner, too, because it makes you sit down and really reflect on the importance of others in your work and life. Having gratitude for the people who help you succeed each year is a wonderful thing.
Your referral businesses need appreciation, too!
Beyond your clients, I’m sure your small business has other partners to thank at this time of year. Most small business owners have some kind of referral system set up, and those advertising partners or frequently-referring colleagues deserve some thanks, as well! An often-overlooked side of small business, they can be essential to your success, and you should make sure to thank them for their assistance. A thank you card with a personal note inside is sufficient, but if you include a coupon code or special offer for your services they can use, it clearly communicates how important you think they are.
Of course, you can’t forget your team…
Few small businesses are solo ventures, and you probably have a few team members to thank, even if they’re only part-time workers. Because you work closer with your team members than anyone else, you probably know them a little better and can personalize your show of gratitude even more. If your team members are local, consider having a little get-together and holiday celebration, or taking them all out to lunch. You can hand out small tokens of your appreciation after toasting the success of your business and all the great accomplishments they’ve made in the past year!
If you employ a virtual team, there are still plenty of ways to demonstrate just how much you appreciate all their hard work. At minimum, you should send them a nice note or card, separate from any end-of-year review. This should be a chance to thank them in a personal way. The gift that every employee appreciates is, of course, a holiday bonus! If you’re planning to offer a small bonus as an additional thank you, you can add it to the final invoice payments of the year. You could also consider something like a digital gift card, to avoid the expense and inconvenience of trying to mail small physical gifts a long distance.
If you’re looking for other ideas on providing great seasonal client care, I have a few suggestions for how to put clients first that are great no matter what time of year it is. Or, if you need some more gift ideas, here are some to get you inspired. Have I missed any great ways of showing your appreciation? How do you approach seasonal client care? I’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions in the comments!