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It’s important to say ‘thank you’ at any time of year, but even more so at Christmas. This year, make sure your customers and employees know how much you appreciate their continued business and loyalty with a thoughtful gesture.
There are a lot of ways to show your gratitude, whether with a Christmas card or a personalised gift. Here are some low-cost ideas for saying ‘thank you’ to your customers and employees this year — you’ll build stronger business relationships, make a positive impact on others and get yourself into the Christmas spirit.
How to thank customers for their business:
- Personalised Christmas cards
- Handwritten thank-you notes
- Complimentary gift wrapping
- Free Christmas delivery
- Surprise perks or discounts
- Thoughtful branded gifts
How to thank employees for their hard work:
- Workspace upgrades
- Appreciation outings
- Recognition awards
- Personal gifts
- Charitable donations
- Post-Christmas incentives
How to thank your customers
1. Give the gift of complimentary wrapping.
Whether they shop at your store or online, save customers time, energy and money by offering free gift wrapping services. Use gift bags, ribbon, personalised wrapping paper and packaging supplies that reflect your brand colours to subtly reinforce your small business. Offer to include a personalised Christmas card so the finished product is truly ready to gift.
2. Add a handwritten thank-you note to each order.
If you can’t express your appreciation in person, do it with a handwritten note. Whether you use a note card or a postcard, including a quick message in each order shows customers how much you value them and adds a tailored touch.
3. Send a personalised Christmas card.
Once you’ve ordered a batch of Christmas cards for your small business, take a few minutes to write a personal note inside each one. This may cost you a little extra time, but the gesture will go a long way with customers. Send out your Christmas cards at the start of the season (early November) — they’ll help keep your small business top of mind as peak shopping season kicks into gear.
Include a voucher or discount code with your Christmas cards to give customers even more shopping incentive.
4. Offer free Christmas delivery.
Contactless shopping was a hit last year, so get ready to play Santa again and offer free doorstep delivery. Whether you drop off a wrapped and ready-to-open present or a bulk order of gift cards, customers will appreciate this added convenience. In addition to delivery, offer an easy collection option. Encourage customers to shop online and collect outside your shop — designate a collection area with a few signs to streamline the process.
5. Surprise customers with perks or discounts.
Make your customers feel extra-special with surprise discounts and rewards throughout the festive season. If a shopper makes a big purchase at your boutique, send a thank-you email with a discount code for their next visit. If a customer visits your coffee shop to buy gift cards for all of their employees, give them a cup of coffee on their way out. Unexpected acts of kindness practically guarantee positive word-of-mouth advertising for your business, and you’ll get some good karma, too.
6. Give a thoughtful, branded keepsake.
Place your logo on something practical, like a coffee mug or a wall calendar, to help keep your business top of mind. Include these gifts with in-store or online purchases, or deliver them (along with your small business Christmas card) to local customers.
Appreciation gift ideas for employees
7. Upgrade their workspace.
Whether your employees are working on location or from home, make sure they have everything they need — maybe an ergonomic office chair or an upgraded break room would make their day-to-day lives easier. Acknowledging their comfort is a simple way to show thanks for their hard work any time of year, but especially after the Christmas rush.
8. Take them on a special outing.
Treat your employees to a nice meal or get everyone together — virtually or in real life — for a team-building event. Send digital restaurant gift cards so everyone can have lunch delivered one day, or get the team together for quiz night, happy hour or a bowling outing.
9. Recognize them with an award.
Praise from a manager can go a long way in terms of morale and attitude. Make this recognition more official with a certificate or employee of the month incentive, and go all-out with an in-person or online awards ceremony.
10. Gift them something personal.
Beyond Christmas bonuses and branded sweatshirts (though those make great gifts, too), give your employees something that feels truly personal. If you know one of your employees loves to cook, give them an of-the-moment cookbook with ingredients for the cover recipe. Is one of your staff members an aspiring musician? Give them an hour of recording time at a local studio. These deeply personal gestures will show that you care about your employees, value their interests and have spent quality time getting to know them.
11. Make a charitable donation in their honor.
Give a gift that will make everyone feel good at Christmas. This year, make a donation in your employee’s name to their favourite charity, or match their contributions. As their employer, this gesture will demonstrate respect and show how much you care about them.
12. Energise them for the New Year with a post-Christmas incentive.
Most industries are busier than ever around Christmas — and this year, you might be dealing with long lines, confused customers and a surge in online orders. So, once the Christmas rush is over, reward your employees’ hard work with a gift card for a local spa or a bonus day off.