The holiday season is upon us (actually, it’s been upon us since mid-August), and gift-giving is on everyone’s mind. We give gifts to family, friends, and co-workers. As a business owner, you should add one more to the list: customers.
Thanking your customers with a holiday gift is a gesture that will enhance your relationship and can help build loyalty. You don’t need to wait for the holidays, either. Anytime is a good time to show your appreciation.
What to Give
Customer gifts needn’t bust your budget. Remember, it really is the thought that counts. Small gifts can have a big impact: mugs, water bottles, and calendars are all solid options. Another option is giving gifts and gift cards from flower shops, boutiques, coffee shops, and restaurants. These will all be well received by your customers.
Think Local, Shop Local
When you’re shopping for gift cards, don’t automatically opt for the big chains. You can likely find the same gifts right here in Muncie. Instead of giving gift cards from Starbucks, try a local company like the Caffeinery. It’s win-win: You make a client happy and help a local business. This same strategy can be used for restaurants. There are several locally owned eateries in Muncie, and most offer gift certificates. Your customers should also like keeping their dollars in town.
Don’t Forget Your Vendors
Thanking your customers is important, but don’t neglect to show your appreciation for your vendors and suppliers. Like customers, they’re essential to your business.
Gift Etiquette — Avoiding Mistakes
As with everything in your business, you want to avoid any potential problems. There a few things you should keep in mind, especially during the holiday season. Not everyone celebrates Christmas, so it might be best to avoid Christmas-specific items.
Personalize Whenever Possible
If you know your customer or vendor is a coffee lover, a gift card to a local shop will be appreciated more than something generic.
Be Careful with Humor
Use caution when buying something that’s meant to be funny. People may not share the same sense of humor, and the last thing you want to do is offend a customer or vendor. When in doubt, choose a safer route.
It’s common to give out items with your company name, but you might want to keep this to a minimum for holiday gifts. A tote bag with your company logo is great for a mid-year thank you gift but might be considered a little crass at the holidays. If you do give something with your logo, keep it small and understated. Again, relationship building is the goal, so don’t do anything that might jeopardize that.
Saying Thank You
You may receive gifts from employees, vendors and even customers. It’s important to acknowledge these with a simple “Thank You” card or note.
At Farmhouse Creative, we appreciate our customers all year ’round. We hope you have a wonderful holiday season.