The holiday season is prime time to show gratitude to your loyal customers—and technology can help you make it more engaging, fun and personalized. So, how do you thank customers and clients for the holidays?
Here are six ideas from business owners across industries that are using tech tools to express appreciation to their customers this holiday season:
Give the gift of cool tech
Place your business logo on tech items your customers can really use, such as phone chargers, power banks and phone wallets. “Include information on holiday deals and new products” in the gift packet, says Shelley Grieshop, a public relations strategist for Totally Promotional, a personalized products supplier in Coldwater, Ohio. “It’s a smart way to promote your brand and give customers a positive image of your business.”
Shower your VIP customers with special offers
iHeartRaves, a festival apparel online retailer based in Anaheim, California, uses its Shopify Plus platform to segment loyal customers based on their “lifetime spend” on the site, says CEO Brian Lim. SMS text-message marketing software is then used to send promotional texts with messaging that includes offers like early access to products.
“In the e-commerce space, it can sometimes be hard to connect with customers,” Lim says. “They don’t get to see or hear us expressing our gratitude. This is a great way to automatically detect those VIP customers and provide them with larger discounts or free gifts that only they receive.”
Use QR codes on cards and gifts
“Pretty much everyone has a general idea of how to use a QR code,” says Jerry Han, chief marketing officer of PrizeRebel, a marketing survey and awards business in Las Vegas. “And considering all of the worthless email we all receive, getting a handwritten holiday card with a QR code is going to be more impactful than an email with an embedded video.”
Offer online scheduling
Take the stress out of the holidays—for you and your customers—by offering online bookings. A hair salon, for example, could offer online appointments for holiday hairstyles while a restaurant might promote holiday party reservations through its website.
“In peak holiday periods like this, you want to make the shopping experience more convenient for your customers while increasing sales for your business,” says Ty Wilson, co-founder of CustomMade, an online jeweler in Telluride, Colorado, that uses scheduling software to ensure sufficient staff-to-client coverage during the hectic holiday season. “The goal is to make it easy to transact with your business online, especially in times of heavy traffic.”
And, once you start taking online bookings over the holidays, you very well might decide to continue offering them into the new year.
Host a holiday contest with prizes
Use your social media platforms to host a contest for your customers—asking them to share photos of them at your business or with one of your products, tagging the business as they share. Reward each participant, if possible, with a coupon for a holiday discount on a product or service. “It’s a way of letting them know that they matter to you,” says David Reid, sales director for VEM Tooling in Clovis, California.
Personalize your holiday video greeting with artificial intelligence
For a small business with limited resources, an optimal way to create individual videos for your VIP customers is by filming just one video as a template and teaching AI software to speak in your voice—addressing each customer by name and making a reference to how much you value their business.
“We’ve gotten great results, and we’ve found that these videos are great conversation starters,” says Andrew Gonzales, president of BusinessLoans.com in New York City. “This allows for customization on a whole new level.”
Technology has opened up new opportunities to engage with customers and show your appreciation. Consider finding new ways to use it this holiday season.Print this article