The importance of good customer/client relations cannot be underestimated, and it’s amazing how much of an impact simple considerations and recognition can have. At this time of year, one such simple thought is to extend your good wishes and recognise their support over the last year. A festive greeting card is enough of a token gesture to show thanks and wish them well over the holidays. This simple act makes your customers feel appreciated, which makes them feel important, and thus they remain loyal to your business. It’s not as straightforward as it sounds though – what should you send, when and how?
What to send?
Letter/card writing may be a dying art, but if it’s a genuine personalised message, a physical card received in the post can have a much stronger impact in terms of recognition and appreciation. If you don’t have the time to print and distribute physical cards however, or if you want to save the paper, consider sending an online e-card via email. These save time and allow you to reach out to all customers (you’re more likely to have their email addresses readily available than their addresses), however make sure these are not simply a boring, impersonal, branded graphic – make them stand out and say something to the receiver.
When to send it?
It’s a busy time of year for everyone, but rather than trying to make this fit in around your schedule, put your clients first. You ideally want to send it when they are online and active, but not when they are hectic and don’t have the time to read their emails. Bear in mind that lots of people leave Dubai for the holidays once the schools break up, generally mid December, so it would be good to send it to them before then. At the same time, here in the UAE we need to ensure that National Day (2nd Dec) is recognised and celebrated appropriately before we start pushing too hard with Christmas messages. Therefore you would probably want to send your messages within the first two weeks of December. Make sure the email is sent during working hours when people are online but not first thing in the morning when everyone is trying to clear their inbox for the day – aim for late morning or late afternoon, when you think they will be most receptive to it – and make sure it doesn’t go out on a public holiday.
What should you say?
Make sure that your greeting is clear and simple without being promotional. Don’t mention anything about business, unless you are thanking them for working with you and letting them know that you look forward to doing future business with them. Be careful about putting too much emphasis on the holiday itself, especially if you don’t know if that client celebrates the occasion or not.
Make sure the message is personalized. One of the biggest mistakes that people make when sending festive cards is creating the same template and sending it to everyone. Customers can tell when you send generic messages. Try and mention specific projects/successes that you had with them to make it more personal – it’s more time consuming, but if you don’t, you’re wasting time sending the message anyway!
Think about incorporating your company’s logo. Whilst it shouldn’t be the focus, it’s good to keep something small for recognition. Customers receive a lot of cards each year and thus a little branding on your card can help them in identifying you more easily.
If you’re struggling to find the time to do this, or any of the other ‘nice-to-have’ tasks at this time of year, think about working with an assistant, who could potentially source cards (on or offline), write them and deliver them on your behalf. If you’d like more information about how we might be able to support you, please do feel free to contact the team.