It’s the most wonderful time of the year. A chance to show your appreciation to your clients and give back to those who keep your business going. But for many B2B organisations, this is not the case. They get caught up and give little or no thought to the people that matter most to their business. We want to help change that. Here are three simple but effective ways to give a little extra to your B2B clients this Christmas.
The countdown has begun
No matter your industry, you will likely experience some form of disruption this December. It’s a busy month for everyone, and if poorly managed, things can quickly snowball out of control. And stressed clients are not happy clients, so why not spread some festive cheer this Christmas by starting your countdown early?
Unlike those in the consumer space, many B2B businesses shut their doors for the festive season. If this is the case and you haven’t yet informed your clients about any changes to your office hours, now is the time to do so. You need to give them ample time to make necessary changes to their schedules and plan around your working hours. This will include rescheduling or cancelling recurring meetings, completing essential tasks at an earlier date (for example, payroll input sheets or client invoicing) and postponing non-time-critical jobs.
Equally, on the days that you are out-of-office or working reduced hours, let your clients know. Advise that it might take longer than usual to respond to their queries and if possible, offer details of an alternative contact who is on hand to handle urgent enquiries. It’s far better to manage expectations and over-deliver than to not say anything and risk facing frustrated clients.
Top tip: Spread the word far and wide! Update your clients on a one-to-one basis but also be sure to share the message via social media, email and your website. And remember to update your answerphone message!
Sometimes, a small gesture can go a long way. It all comes back to the Costly Signalling Theory: costliness carries meaning. Every B2B business will (or should) drop their clients a line in an email wishing them a merry Christmas, but very few will take the time to create their very own virtual Christmas card, and even fewer will spend time writing and posting handwritten cards. In essence, the more time and effort a task takes to complete, the more meaning and significance is attached to it. So take an unconventional route and show your clients that you value them – not just their money.
Now, time to go and dig out that address book and grab a pen because you’ve got greeting cards to scribe.
If you’re looking to make a lasting impression this Christmas season, you can take the above one step further and send a gift to accompany your handwritten card. By no means do you have to spend a fortune for this to be effective, in this situation, it is the thought that counts. It’s a chance to show your clients how well you know them and prove that you do pay attention when they are speaking to you.
Gift ideas for your B2B business
A few idea gift ideas to get your B2B business started include:
- Branded office stationery: not only is it useful (who doesn’t love a free pen or a complimentary calendar), but it also offers free advertising for your business and serves as a reminder of your thoughtfulness to your loyal clients.
- Novelty desk items: think plant kits, mug warmers and anything in between.
- A useful product or subscription: you understand your clients’ pain points better than anyone, so if you think they might benefit from a particular product or service, why not help them out and gift it to them?
- Gift hampers: from food and alcohol to coffee and candles, gift hampers can be as extravagant and as personalised as you like.
- Unique advent calendars: whilst you may have missed the boat on this one for this year, there’s no harm in thinking ahead for next Christmas. There is an advent calendar for almost everything now, be it socks, savoury snacks, tea or beauty treatments.
- Personal gifts: it’s worth taking note when clients mention things they like, want to try or any problems they are facing that you can help to solve. Then, you can write a more personal message to explain the gift and make your gesture feel even more special, helping to strengthen your relationship with your client.
- The gift of knowledge: not every gift needs to be tangible. There’s just as much value in offering resources, provided they are relevant to your client. Whether it’s a free downloadable guide or ebook, a performance summary, access to exclusive training videos or a free subscription to an educational email series, the options are endless.
So there we have just a few ideas to help you give back to your clients this Christmas and ensure they are with you for the long run. Remember: you can’t be all take and no give. You need to show your clients you value them and make them feel wanted otherwise they will go elsewhere!
For more tips to help you improve customer loyalty, check out our customer experience blog here. And if you’re looking for a helping hand boosting your retention rates, get in touch to organise your free consultation and discover how we can help your business.