9 Tips to Delight Customers During the Holiday Season

9 Tips to Delight Customers During the Holiday Season

As the holidays quickly approach, there’s no better gift to give your customers than a great experience. Whether you’re in retail or running a service-based business, there are so many things you can do to delight the people you exist to serve.

We’ve curated a list of nine tips from entrepreneurs across the country – and yes, we’ve checked it twice! Their advice will help you boost sales during the holiday season and build loyalty to keep customers coming back after the New Year.

  1. Irresistible discounts.

    Everybody loves to save money. Hand out coupons that can be used towards a future purchase and make the savings meaningful. This can help boost your sales in January after the holiday madness ends. If you want to ask for a little something in return, encourage customers to opt in to your email list or leave write a review on your social media page.

  2. Handwritten cards.

    Most people spend a ton of time on their phones these days. We’re bombarded with emails, texts, social media posts and more. This means your simple handwritten message will really stand out.

    Mail cards to your top customers if you have their addresses. If you don’t, print up a batch of seasonal business cards or postcards and write a short message on the back, like "Happy Holidays, thanks for shopping with us!" Pick a colourful design to make it whimsical and fun. Then simply pop one in a bag or hand to your customers at the checkout counter.

    If you’re a service professional and know which clients you’ll be seeing each day, have cards ready to hand out as they leave.

    You can also consider including a special discount. It’s like our first tip is the tip that keeps on giving!

  3. Gift with purchase.

    When customers are shopping for family and friends, they will be delighted to receive a little something extra. Use your email list, social media posts, social media ads, window displays, in-store signs and more to spread the word and good cheer.

    If you use a CRM, see what your top customers are buying and surprise them with something you know they will enjoy – like a personalized case for their new smartphone, a scarf to match the sweater they bought last week or an upgrade on today’s spa service.

    Think of the last time you were upgraded at a hotel, received a free coffee from your local barista or got a complimentary appetizer at your favourite restaurant. People love the surprise and delight factor!

  4. Keep things moving at checkout.

    While long lineups may seem like a good thing, once a customer has decided to buy something, they don’t want to wait to pay for it. Keep your lineups moving and you’ll keep your customers happy.

  5. Free gift wrapping.

    Think outside the (gift) box! If your business is too busy to offer custom gift wrapping at the cash, try using branded gift bags, bright tissue paper and colourful ribbons. Bagging your purchases like this doesn’t take much extra time and it is so appreciated.

    If you have the space, set up a gift wrapping station so customers can wrap their own gifts before heading home. A local charity may partner with you and send volunteers to help in exchange for donations too.

  6. Throw a party.

    The holidays are a wonderful time of year to thank your customers. Celebrate what they mean to your business – from cookies, coffee and hot chocolate throughout the day in your store to a by-invitation-only evening party at your office. Encouraging your customers to join you in a more casual environment is also a great way to connect on a personal level.

  7. Preview what's coming in 2018.

    People love being in the know, so share news of what you plan to release in the new year at checkout, in your holiday cards, on social media and at your party.

  8. Record a video.

    Making a video doesn’t need to be expensive! All you need is a fun idea and a great story. Think “thank you” and “happy holidays” videos posted to social media or individualized messages for special customers, which you can record on your phone. Maybe you’ll even go viral if your customers love it enough to share! After the holidays are over, you can use video to promote your business at any time of year too.

  9. Make a meaningful donation.

    The holidays can be overwhelming for some, especially for people without the ability to buy gifts or cook a holiday meal for their family and friends. Think of a way to make a difference in your own community, then invite your customers to take part.

    Ideas include sponsoring a family, collecting unwrapped gifts for a local toy drive or teaming up with employees and customers to serve meals through a church or shelter in your city. You can also offer a complimentary service, like a massage for a single parent who always puts the kids first, minor home repairs for someone who is between jobs or snow removal for a local senior.

Discounts and meaningful gestures will capture the hearts and minds of your customers over the holidays. Great service however will keep them coming back all year! By focusing on creating a truly incredible service experience every single day, your dream business will continue to grow and prosper.