The holidays are a time for small businesses to show some extra customer appreciation, and this year, your best customers may feel they need—and deserve—it more than ever.
We asked business owners how they plan to thank customers this holiday season. Here’s how they responded:
Creating personalized video messages
This year, we’re creating personalized video messages for every single customer, coming from us, the owners of our family-run business, personally thanking them for their support. We’ll also include a special private coupon code for a free spice with their next order as a thank-you gift. We’ll be filming the videos from our personal kitchen as a way to acknowledge them for letting us (our spices) into theirs.
—Meaghan Thomas, co-founder and president, Pinch Spice Market, Louisville, Kentucky
I own a financial advisory firm and every holiday season, I bake mint chocolate chip cookies for my people. (I don’t call them “customers.”) I then hand-deliver them, when geographically possible, in a festive tin to each household. It gives me an opportunity to give them my holiday wishes face-to-face and to check in informally with each one. They appreciate the time and effort it takes to make homemade cookies for each of them, instead of outsourcing the effort to a vendor.
—Maggie Koosa, CEO, The Alchemists, Greenwich, Connecticut
Making a gift in-house
Our long-term clients and high-volume clients get a gift of appreciation from us. We send them a bottle of wine placed in a wooden wine holder with their name engraved (through burning) on it. With the wine and the holder, we give a handwritten thank-you letter along with it. We wanted the gift to be thoughtful and useful to the customer. Since it’s made in our workshop using scrap wood, it costs us very little to make it.
—Gian Moore, partner and marketing director, MellowPine, Seattle
Offering a free service
This idea is unique to my field (web design), but I’m pretty proud of it: Starting this year, we are offering all of our existing clients a free holiday decoration of their website. We’ll work with them to create a festive look for their site, including designing ads and promotions.
—Devon Fata, CEO and founder, Pixoul, Dallas
“Starting this year, we are offering all of our existing clients a free holiday decoration of their website.”
Hosting a product giveaway
We run a product giveaway on social media during the holidays to show our customers how much they mean to us. Each year, we select a prize that creates excitement and drives participation. We do this by first delving into our social media analytics from the previous months to identify which product posts our followers like, comment on and share the most. Then we read through our online customer reviews to gain insight into which receive the highest ratings. This information enables us to select a prize that is sure to delight and show our customers how much we appreciate them and their business.
—Alix Greenberg, founder, ArtSugar, New York City
Donating to charity
We are a public relations firm serving tech startups and have moved away from sending “stuff” for the holidays and started making charitable donations in our clients’ honor. This year, we’ll donate to Girls Inc., which fosters STEM education for girls. We’ve found our clients appreciate the sentiment, and especially with most clients still working from home, sending a gift basket to the office doesn’t really make sense right now.
—Michelle G. Faulkner, CEO, Big Swing Communications, Boston
Hosting an online contest
We will be hosting a special holiday contest for all our existing clients. We plan to open a contest on Facebook and have them share a holiday-themed photo of themselves with a quote explaining why they like our online legal product. The prize will be a gift card to an electronics retailer.
—David Reischer, CEO and attorney, LegalAdvice.com, New York City
What are you doing to show customer appreciation this holiday season? Share your insights in the comments section below!Print this article