The holidays are upon us once more, and everyone is looking forward to closing out Outlook and Excel and spending time with their loved ones.
“Before we start pouring the office party punch or hop on our virtual holiday Zoom celebrations, this is also the perfect time to let our clients know that we appreciate their business and that we’re looking forward to another year with them.” Says Stephanie Staiano, CSS ProSearch Sales Director.
Here are a few tips on how to engage clients virtually over the holidays:
Set realistic expectations for engagement
Take a moment to consider the type of engagement that your audience is likely to consume and enjoy during this season. Think of the morning coffee-drinker who has your blog or social media up at 9 am on the first week of December — where is their mind wandering to, and how can you connect with them? Steer your content to match the energy levels and excitement of this season, toward meaningful messages that reflect the sentiment surrounding the holidays.
Take this time to neatly close any existing projects and tie up loose ends. Reach out and thank your clients for another great year of business and keep a plan in mind for what they may need in the new year.
Make a plan for the next year
While you plan out how to connect with your audience during this season, it’s also time to chalk out any end-of-year priorities or proposals for the next year. Take some time to sit with your clients before the holiday rush to gauge their needs for the upcoming quarter, then use the three or so weeks of early December to finish strong and close out existing projects, while also mapping out any priorities and opportunities for after the break.
Keep the focus on building and creating relationships over upselling
It’s no question that the holidays are a time for buying and spending: a recent national survey shows that the average consumer plans to spend nearly $1,000 on gifts, and 49% of gift buyers start window shopping and buying even before November.
It’s most companies’ instinct to take advantage of this season by pushing sales and consumer spending. But why not go a step further and set your business apart by focusing more on client relationships and showing you care?
While it makes sense to have holiday promotions and deals for the clients who are still making orders, make sure you’re also balancing your outreach with meaningful messages and focusing on creating and strengthening your relationship with your audience. This solidifies your base and establishes a sense of trust and authority that will extend far beyond November and December so that you can trust your clients to stick with you all year round.
Preplan and batch-create your content, with scheduled posting
One minute you’re celebrating the new year and toasting with your team to another year of hard work. Then you blink and it’s November 24th again, and the holidays are just around the corner. As this time of year never fails to creep on us, take initiative during autumn and plan out how you can get ahead.
Consider batch-creating your content (social media posts, email campaigns, and blogs, to name a few) before the holiday season so you can have a healthy inventory of scheduled posts. This way your team can focus on responding and engaging in real-time with your audience while the work you’ve spaced out can roll out on time with no stress.
As another year begins to close out and everyone is reflecting on the hard work they’ve put in, consider showing your gratitude for your audience’s business and engagement. This is, after all, the season to be thankful. Plan out a few initiatives to let your clients know how grateful you are for their business and that you’re looking forward to beginning the new year and quarter with them.
If you have the capacity, do something generous and treat your clients with a care package and/or promotion for their next order — something that reminds them you are more than a product or service and that you value your business relationship.
Be a genuine partner — your clients and team will thank you
This is a season for reflection and gratitude. Extend the joy to your team and yourself by setting realistic expectations and celebrating the work you’ve put in this past year. By focusing on building and maintaining sustainable relationships and letting your clients know that you value them, you’re setting yourself up not just for an incredible new year but many more down the road.