When the holiday season rolls in, the vast majority of business-oriented and especially customer service articles are aimed at owners and managers of retail stores and other businesses that see increased traffic during the season. And this is perfectly understandable, really. That being said, B2B companies can also pull a few tricks out of their sleeves during the holiday season and engage their customers. Things are much more relaxed for them and they can really accomplish a lot with little stress and bother.
A Simple Holiday Card
In the B2B arena, customer service and customer engagement are all about the human touch, regardless of how paradoxical this may sound. And small shows of appreciation such as a simple holiday card can go a long way towards creating a closer relationship.
You can really go old school and send a fancy, hand-written one, or you can take advantage of new technologies and come up with something really great digital. The crucial thing is that you personalize it and ensure it is does not look like something you blasted out to everyone on your email list. Video greeting cards are all the rage these days and they really can hit the spot if you have a fun-loving team that is great with a camera.
Marketo has some great examples.
‘Tis the Season of Gift-Giving
If you are looking for a way to go a step further, you might consider sending a nice, holiday-appropriate gift to your best and most loyal customers. It does not have to be anything lavish and, if you can, try and make it personal. For example, if you know of a client who enjoys golf, send him or her a new tee with your company logo. Maybe it will be a nice bottle of scotch they can share at their holiday party. Send over a car washing service to their parking lot and have their employees’ vehicles washed during the party. These things can have a huge effect on your future relationship.
Don’t Suspend Customer Support
While the majority of your B2B customers will be slowing down for the holidays, much like you, this does not mean you should stop providing customer support. You should always have someone manning the customer support and provide a helpful ear to people who are unfortunate enough to work during the holidays. If people want to reach you, a fancy virtual receptionist service like OfficeHQ does can go a long ways towards showing that you care for your customers even during the holidays.
You might even want to remind them that you are around to help if they should need help during the holiday season. They will be amazed that you thought of them and that you are actually providing support during the holidays.
Send them a Jokey Survey
B2B customers usually aren’t that fond of surveys, even though they are envisioned to help you provide better service to them. The holiday season is the perfect time to slip in a survey without making it seem like a survey. Make it jokey and almost like a total gag.
For example, you can start with, “You are already sitting at your computer, doing nothing and counting the hours to the party; why not tell us what you think?”
You can add some visual flair to your holiday survey, use categories from popular culture, like for instance how many John McClain’s they would give to your support staff, and so on.
As long as you keep it breezy, fun and funny, you will actually be getting some invaluable insights from your customers.
When all is said and done, it is all about being a nice person to your B2B customers. Let them know you value them and their business.
It really is that simple.