Gone are the days when we wait until after Halloween (at a minimum) to talk about Christmas. Perhaps it’s because we’re all looking for something to celebrate this year. But regardless of the reason, every retailer on the planet is telling us to buy now, plan ahead and be ready for the 2021 holidays. And while we may be on top of it in our personal lives, how many of us are proactively preparing for how to recognize our customers this holiday season?
I don’t know about you, but fall, and all that comes with it, snuck up on me faster than any year in recent memory. Luckily, I’m not stressed out. Gifting is one of my love languages, so I almost always have a bank of ideas floating around in my head. Without giving too much away, my team is taking a mixed approach to gift giving this year — a small surprise in the mail and an experience. If you don’t have anything planned, or if you’re just now realizing you should do something special for customers this holiday season (ahem, you should), let me help you out!
A new way to think about gifting
Don’t write off gifting. Even if you have a tiny budget or aren’t allowed to send swag, you can still recognize your customers this holiday season. Consider a card. It may sound simple, but depending on your constraints, you can make something super custom or you can go the inexpensive (think boxed cards) route. Either way, when your customers receive a card from you, they’ll feel special. I promise.
If you’re looking to dial it up a notch, consider adding something to the cards. Yes, I’m thinking about stickers, but anything flat and lightweight will work. Your customers will love seeing a little creative surprise fall out of the card when they open it. If you’re looking for really high-quality, custom stickers, I recommend checking out stickermuel.
If you’d like to go a bit bigger than that, but still want to be mindful of shipping costs (and avoid all things heavy and breakable), consider the elegant simplicity of a branded wooden ornament. I sent this little package to my top advocates last year, and they loved it!
The year of creative virtual experiences
If there’s one thing we all now know, it’s that we can include everyone in our experiences — if we’re creative. While I shared the idea of doing a Missing Maps event with Influitive’s Dan Kalmar on the company’s new podcast, “All About the Customer”, there are a number of free and paid experiences you can enjoy virtually with customers to celebrate the holidays and kick off what will surely be an incredible new year.
While you’ve likely heard about the virtual escape rooms, game shows and even world races (I can personally recommend this one from Funktion Events), something that’s possibly not on your radar is a virtual gratitude event. Yes – gratitude! If you want to truly connect with your customers in a powerful, meaningful way, I can’t recommend 7:47 enough! Marketing Insider Group put founder and event leader, Chris Schembra, on their list of “10 Motivational Speakers That Will Rock Your Next Event.” I brought Chris in to lead a gratitude event in recognition of our customer advocacy program’s third birthday, and he exceeded my expectations. Customers shared a deep appreciation for a different type of event that brought them together as humans. Nudge, nudge..hint, hint…it’s a really good idea!
Remember…it’s not all about Christmas
No matter what you end up planning, do me a little favor and remember — the holiday season isn’t all about Christmas. Personally, it is my favorite holiday, but I also recognize that I support customers from all across the globe. They may celebrate things differently than I do, and this recognition is about them. So with anything mentioned above, keep this in mind: celebrate the season, not an individual holiday. And be sure to apply this in what you send, what you do, as well as with accompanying visuals. Providing an inclusive experience is a gift in and of itself.
So whatever idea this blog sparked (I hope more than one!) — make it special. Your customers are the reason your organization is in business. They’re the reason you have a job. They deserve some recognition, and fun, this holiday season. So get planning and have an absolute blast. You, and your customers, deserve it!
About the Author
Jeni Asaba, Senior Manager, Community Engagement and Advocacy, Jamf
When empathy and passion fuel your work, you can’t fail. That’s why they’re at the center of Jeni Asaba’s life, both in and out of the office. As a senior manager on the Product team at Jamf, a global technology company based in Minneapolis, MN, she’s responsible for the company’s community engagement and advocacy strategy. This includes Jamf Nation, the world’s largest online community of Apple-focused IT admins, and Jamf Heroes, a highly engaged, passionate group of Jamf Nation members.
In her role, Jeni focuses on the core of Jamf’s success, its customers, through creative and personable approaches. She shares interests (travel), fears (crocodiles) and weaknesses (baked goods) with her customers in a variety of ways to forge genuine connections and trusted relationships. Keeping every customer in mind, Jeni maintains a global focus and infuses cultural considerations throughout all facets of her work.
After her passion for people drove Jeni to begin writing for her hometown’s newspaper at the age of 12, she worked as a reporter at newspapers in Wisconsin, Iowa and New York before moving back to the Midwest. Residing just outside of Minneapolis, Jeni continually does her small part to make the world a better, brighter place. She is the founder of the nonprofit Project Prom and co-founder of the nonprofit Building for Bridget.