Eggnog is not the only spirit we sip on at Christmas time. The archetypal “Spirit of Christmas” takes hold of just about everyone, except perhaps the “Grinch who stole Christmas”. It becomes a valuable opportunity for customer services teams to play it right, and capitalise on a time where customers can be encouraged to become closer than ever before.
Admittedly for people in sales and customer service, the Christmas rush can be pretty frightening. While the mood might be festive, a lot of us – especially in retail positions – go home at the end of the day feeling as though we have spent it being trampled by Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph. The truth of the matter is that it is highly unlikely we will get a chance to breathe before the 5th January 2015. So, why not just accept this fact, and make snowmen while the snow falls?!
Playing it right with customer service and saturating customers with Christmas Spirit, means we get to benefit form a generous seasonal opportunity. We are not always handed opportunities like this on a plate – this is silver platter time. Small and thoughtful acts of kindness often create a lasting impression, which means we might be remembered a little better, long after the world returns to normality. It does not matter what product you sell, or what service you offer, a lasting impression counts.
Christmas is a time of giving, not receiving. As cliché as this sounds, there are few people who do not believe this to be true. So, making a lasting impression can be as simple as giving something away. It has long been good marketing practice to give something small away to existing clients to celebrate Christmas. While these give-aways might have the effect of appeasing an existing customer, it does not really help to bring new customers into the fold. Every business needs new customers to grow and survive.
Trivial gifts are fun to receive at this frivolous time of year – even a Christmas candy cane or chocolate stuck to a hand-made card will do the job. Basically what you are doing is taking the time, and spending a little, to say thank you to a customer who has taken the time to consider, and spend their money on your products. If these small gifts must be branded then so be it, but the more personally useful it is, the better your businesses products will be remembers. It is not much use giving a box of branded golf tees to a person who only plays tennis. Also remember that branded goods offer a conspicuous advertisement opportunity, so, the point is they need to be something of use.
Personalised Christmas cards are so easy to make and have made these days. Anyone heard of “Microsoft Publisher”? If you haven’t, go take a look if you have MS software on your laptop. Cards do not have to be personalised, and can be given away when each sale is made, but make the card such that the customer doesn’t just throw it away. Like we mentioned earlier, glue a chocolate or little glass Christmas-tree decoration inside, or on the cover! When an envelope feels slightly fatter than it should, it is not likely to be immediately thrown away.
There are many small things that can be done in customer service departments to celebrate the silly season, and make customers feel special. These include but are not limited to – free gift wrapping, limited time promotional discounts or activities, daily deals, voucher codes, and especially not forcing customers to listen to Alvin and the Chipmunks, Christmas carolling their little lungs out ad-infinitum. The point at the end of the day, is to show excellent customer service, which is liberally saturated in cosy Christmas spirit.