Saying 'Thank You' at Holiday Time
Calendars are great because, if used, keep your company's name in front of the client for an entire year. Often they have coupons that expire each month on products and services your company provides. Many marketing companies produce calendars appropriate for our industry. You don't have to re-invent the wheel; just use one that is pre-designed.
Other than calendars, and as part of a yearly marketing plan, my preference is to do something for Thanksgiving or wait until Valentine's Day. During the December rush your thanks is likely to be forgotten. Why? Your clients get a lot of "Thank yous" during this time of year. Your message probably won't stand out. If you send it at Thanksgiving you'll stand out more than you would at Christmas time. You'll definitely stand out if you send it at Valentine's Day since almost no one sends thank yous or "we love our customers" messages at this time. You do want to give thanks. You don't want to get lost in the deluge.
Here are four other activities to say thank you at this time of year:
- Give all of your service technicians a gift to give all customers who use your company's services between Thanksgiving and New Years. My favorite for residential clients is potholders. All kitchens need potholders. They get destroyed quickly and extras are always appreciated. The latest give-away that I've seen is a pizza cutter. With most of the United States ordering pizza, this can come in very handy. A third choice is chip clips. These potato chip, pretzel, or snack holders always come in handy. I even use them to clip freezer bags together when the original sealer is broken. If you don't like any of these ideas, there are hundreds of catalogs which sell items such as mugs and pens as well as a lot of unusual items that can be printed with your company name and a holiday theme. For large jobs, the sales person can deliver the gift when the job is completed. The employee presenting the gift simply says that this is a small token of our appreciation for your business.
- If you are going to say thank you to your employees do it in a way that they appreciate. Don't make it an imposition on your employees. I've seen companies where holiday parties are attended by fewer and fewer employees each year. If this is the case in your company, find something that almost everyone would enjoy. And, that might be having a celebration at a time other than December. Many times the employee's spouse has a Holiday celebration at their work place which must be attended.
- If you are going to give cash gifts, make sure that everyone knows that it is a gift. Profit sharing bonuses should be given at times other than holiday times. If you give year-end bonuses at holiday time, your employees will think they are Christmas bonuses and expect it in good years and bad...even if they are not warranted in bad years.
- Send a note home to the spouses and significant others thanking them for their support during the year, and especially the busy, overtime segments of the year where the employee is working 50 or more hours. This definitely takes time away from the employee's family and should be acknowledged by you. This letter, if it is hand written, can do more for employee morale than almost anything else you do.