December 1st has come and gone. Festive lights are up, holiday parties are in full swing, and if you’re in Account Management or Customer Success, you’re working around the clock to end Q4 on a high note.
Engaging with accounts through the holidays is make or break. And as the days dwindle towards the end of December and client conversations become longer while prepping for 2020, the importance of showing customer appreciation is also intensifying.
Searching for some simple ways to appreciate your customers this holiday season? Here are three thoughtful, appreciation-infused tips that will help you stand out and set you up for success in Q1.
The Power of Personalization
According to a study conducted by McKinsey, today’s consumers don’t just purchase universal products or services — increasingly, their spending habits revolve around buying into unique ideas and experiences.
This shift from generic to customized shopping can be applied to client appreciation.
With customer experience and engagement becoming increasingly more relevant to businesses, every time you interact with a customer or client and don’t offer them something personalized or relevant to their individualized interests, you miss an opportunity to earn their loyalty or make a sale.
The holiday season is the perfect time to pause and take a moment to reflect on your client interactions to ensure that you execute thoughtful appreciation while approaching the new year.
It’s As Simple As Saying “Thank You”
“Exclusive” acts of client appreciation don’t have to be expensive. Although gifts or scheduled dinners are great options for achieving customer delight, a cost-effective solution that clients always value is simply being thanked for their business.
In fact, research has shown that when customers are singled out and shown that they’re special, the likelihood that they’ll respond more favorably to you and your business increases dramatically.
What’s more, Harvard Medical School endorses expressions of gratitude by discussing how appreciation positively affects emotions, experiences, health, and relationships.
When appreciation is displayed and communicated, people rise in three areas:
- Feeling valued.
- Strengthening emotional connections.
- Personal loyalty.
Provided with a prime chance to spread appreciation and deepen client relationships, it’s no wonder the holidays are one of the busiest times for CS and Account Management reps!
Top 3 Appreciation-Infused Customer Engagement Tips
Getting appreciation right can be tricky. Everyone likes to feel valued, and customers and clients are no different. However, sincerity exceeds gimmicks when it comes to customer appreciation.
Here at Thnks, we sat down with our CS team and discussed sincerity and thoughtfulness in order to share their top 3 appreciation-infused customer engagement tips for this holiday season and beyond!
Tip #1: Put on your consulting hat.
CS reps and account managers know that every touchpoint is an opportunity to deliver value. Rather than just going into your holiday touch points with questions or asking for feedback, consider adding value by thinking from the lens of a consultant with the best interest of the client in mind. How are other accounts partnering with your business or platform that your client might want to consider? Are there best practices for their use case that you can bring up? Here at Thnks, our CS reps don’t just show clients how to send gifts on our platform, but they also spend time brainstorming with them to help them find thoughtful gifts to send to their clients. How can you go the extra mile to bring value?
Tip #2: Send a relevant gift or card.
Sending a relevant gift or card starts by playing the long game with client relationships. When there’s nothing to update for status, utilize a touchpoint to get to know the client on a personal level and build the relationship for the future. People tend to like people who are like them, so identify something you both have in common by asking questions and being a good listener. Some conversation starting ideas can include questions regarding family, pets, hobbies, passions, where they grew up, or who they know.
Jotting down small details about personal interests or important events that your client mentions will pay off in the long run when you’re able to surprise them with a personalized gift or note referencing something you talked about – and what’s more, it will show off your listening skills while letting them know you really value them.
In reality, this works any time of year as 61% of people agree, the best ways to engage consumers are surprise offers or gifts for their customer loyalty. For example, remembering a client’s favorite bourbon, sports team, or upcoming birthday are all examples we’ve seen of small details that make big impacts on relationships!
Most importantly though, read the room. If they are strictly about business, stick to the agenda and try delivering value in another way.
Tip #3: Get face-to-face time.
While definitely the biggest investment of time and money, there’s no substitute for face-to-face time with a client – take them to dinner, get to know them as a person and see how you can help make their lives easier. This is by far the strategy that has caused the biggest increase in activation in the experience of our CS reps!
Client Appreciation Goes Beyond The Holidays
So a quick review: appreciate your clients this holiday season – whether it be by sending a personalized gift, adding value during your touch points, or getting some time to thank them face-to-face.
But infusing appreciation into your engagement strategy with tips like these doesn’t have to stop once the holidays are over – and it shouldn’t.
These are tips we at Thnks implement year-round because acts of appreciation outside of the holidays often reveal to your customers how much you truly value them.
Searching for a simple solution to enact client appreciation this holiday season and beyond? Thnks can help you curate, schedule, and fulfill all of your holiday and business gifting needs — allowing you to save time and strengthen your relationships. Request a demo to learn more!