By Amin Akbarpour
I remember back in grade school when the occasional student would give gifts to teachers during the holiday season. This was commonly seen as a feeble attempt at brown-nosing. Now that I'm older I realize the power of the present. Giving back this holiday season is a fun and significant means of making contact with your clients during this hectic time. After all, let’s not forget that our clients are keeping our lights on!
Having a hard time figuring out what to send? Here are some ideas:
This one tends to come out as a win-win for Customer Success and Marketing. Why miss out on an opportunity to increase branding, right? Admittedly, not all corporate swag is creative or useful. I’m never going to wear these company-branded, plastic sunglasses and this pen will probably go into my stash of a hundred other pens. That said, it doesn’t mean there aren’t some cool things you could brand and send out. Some things I’ve liked in the past include:
- Portable chargers
- USB chargers (I’m a nerd, can’t you tell?)
- Local specialty food items (popcorn, coffee beans, salsa, etc)
- Wool socks
I was introduced to this one in the non-profit sector, but I don’t think it’s industry-limited. Make a one-time donation on behalf of the client to a non-profit, ideally one in the client’s location. It’s a thoughtful gift and eliminates any potential sending of items that are just going to be thrown into a drawer. Food banks, building projects, animal welfare and environmental organizations can all use your help, and giving to these charities is a great way of ensuring your gift goes the distance.
I mean, do I really need to elaborate here? Who doesn’t appreciate a nice bottle to keep them warm this winter? Some clients might have policies that they have to comply with, but presuming you can sneak a bottle of something through, then do it. Mixer kits, cocktail ingredients and bar accessories are ways to share the spirit of the holidays without spirits if you are worried a customer might not be able to accept a gift of liquor.
No matter which route you take, always try to include a handwritten letter. Use it as an opportunity to thank your clients for their business and build on your relationship. Gifts aren’t meant to be overly expensive, unusable hogwash. They are your opportunity to develop your personal connection with customers, stay in their mind during the chaotic holiday season, and show you care and value them with a thoughtful gift. Don’t let this opportunity slip by!
Need ideas for building solid relationships with your clients? The Success League is a consulting firm that works with customer success leaders who want to unlock the retention and revenue potential in their team. www.TheSuccessLeague.io
Amin Akbarpour - Amin is a customer success coach and architect. With relationship-building at the core of his practice, he molds teams by instilling the necessary principles to transform them into trusted advisors. Understanding what's needed for organizational change, he translates theory and ideology into practice and habit. Amin works as an Account Manager for Persado and is a University of San Francisco alum who is grateful to call San Francisco his home.