The year is wrapping up, the holidays are upon us, and we all know that means stress, time management problems, distractions and good old American holiday chaos. Whether you are in retail or not, it is simply good business to do what you can to make life a little easier for your customers.
It does not matter if you need to get customers into your store or you are a B2B service provider. If you are in business, then you have customers, and you can choose to make their life a little easier. Even if it does not directly bring you holiday business, it’s still worth doing.
Here’s a few ideas to consider:
- Make sure the phone number on your website is a clickable link. While everyone is rushing around this holiday season, the one common denominator is they are all carrying their phones. If someone comes across your website on their phone, there should be only one more step to make the call: click or tap on the phone number.
- In a similar vein, make sure your website is uncluttered and as easy as possible to navigate. Avoid windows and ads popping up everywhere. For most businesses those don’t work, and for most customers they are really annoying.
- If you are running specials or promotions, make them clear and obvious and skip the fine print. If you have expiration dates or special conditions, don’t hide them. Make them easy to read and understand.
- Do someone a favor. If you remember something about your customers (and you should!) you might recall one of their interests or something about their family member or even their boss. If you happen across any info that might be helpful, send it to them: “Hey I remembered your husband was into fishing. I came across this list of great gift ideas from Orvis and thought you might find it useful.” Imagine getting an email like that from a business acquaintance, instead of a sales pitch.
- If you buy gifts for clients, buy them something that makes their life easier or better. Gifts of food are always appreciated during the holidays, as long as they are practical and don’t require excess prep or cooking time. Skip the branded items unless they are actually useful.
- If clients are doing business with you during the holidays, make sure to be extra communicative, but don’t necessarily demand the same from them. They are sure to be busy, so taking the initiative to keep them informed about progress of an order or deliverable will surely be appreciated. You just saved them an extra phone call or email.
And for your own sake, stay calm and start getting ready for next year. Most non-retail businesses slow down during the holidays, so use that time to plan your marketing, organize your files, and attend to overdue bookkeeping or whatever else you’ve been neglecting all year long. You will want to hit the ground running after the holidays, so now is the time to start getting ready.