Ah yes, it’s that time of year again: the holiday season. It’s the perfect brew of heady anticipation, fat bonuses, and endless family reunions and get togethers. It’s a time where parents are more lenient with their kids, grandparents more indulgent than usual, and companies become more generous with their bank accounts.
Consumers also become less concerned with their budgets and waistlines and more receptive to the idea of opening up their wallets, all in the name of good cheer and merrymaking.
For businesses, the competition becomes fierce, as retailers and shop owners vie for customer attention amidst the holiday madness.
To get a larger piece of the pie during the holidays season, some businesses have used out of the box ideas that delight their customers, foster brand loyalty, and leave their less innovative competition in the dust.
Have a look at these unique customer service strategies that you can use for your business:
1. Personalize your greeting cards.
Instead of sending out mass produced cards, show loyal customers how much you value them by sending a handwritten note. Wufoo did just that: one of their developers sent out a handwritten letter to a client as a quick “thank you” for doing business with them. The card itself wasn’t sleek or precious looking, but it was sincere and sent an important message: “you matter enough to warrant a couple of minutes out of our busy schedules.”
Another way to personalize your greeting is by sending a short video. Warby Parker is an eyeglass store that makes short videos to personally answer client questions. Why not use this simple idea to send a “holiday greeting video” and leverage on the convenience of social media to delight your customers?
2. Hire toy/clothing/gaming “experts”
Toys “R” Us is using a new hiring process that screens staff members who are “toy experts” – for example, one is a bicycle builder, another is Skylanders game buff and one of them is an astronomy minor. That way, clients can engage with a “subject matter expert” on the floor as needed.
JackThreads, an online men’s shopping community, uses the same tactic in its customer support live chat or phone lines. Instead of hiring customer service agents, they employ Ohio State University students with a keen knack for design and a passion for clothing. Doing so ensures that customers are talking to someone who is truly interested in their niche and is willing to devote a lot of time to know more and inform others about it.
3. Make it easier for customers to decide what gift to buy
Toys “R” Us puts their promotions to a minimum during the holiday season to give way to more impactful, relevant promotions that lessen confusion for potential buyers. They also use “storefront sections featuring a curated “Here’s what’s Hot Shop” and “Gift Express” of toys $30 and under to help shoppers who don’t know what to buy or are in a rush.”
4. Give the Gift of Advice
In 2012, Canadian human capital solutions company Knightsbridge asked top executives and other business people to share their insights, tips, or advice on how to be a better leader. For every piece of advice the company gathered, Knightsbridge donated $25 to charity. This raised their company profile by using an easy, cost-effective, and engaging way to make clients feel special and feel like they’ve contributed with both their ideas and for a good cause. The results of that campaign were turned into an infographic that will benefit more people with useful ideas.
5. Motivate clients to covet for premium status in your loyalty program
Harrods has done an excellent job in this regard: there are no complicated rules to earn points, and clients receive £5 to spend in store for every 500 points they earn on the card. Benefits are clearly outlined on their websites, so you know when you’re entitled to a 10% discount, complimentary tea or coffee, free parking, or priority service with their in-house personal shopping service.
Perks like easy access parking slots, exclusive cashier queues, invite only status to exclusive events or access to hot new products are also great options to vie for.
Do you have any innovative ideas of your own? Share them in the comments below!
Nowadays, the traditional landline phone customer service that businesses have may not serve your customers well—considering that we’re living in the technology era. Having customer support in other types of network such as through online and mobile are some of the customer assistance services we have, which can take your entire customer service to a whole new level. Learn more!