The holiday season is a good time to take stock of what we have accomplished, where we may have fallen short and all the things we can be thankful for.
It’s also a time of year when most of us, as well as our valued customers, will receive holiday messages. Technology has made it much easier to create impressive and fancy pictures of our families in front of a festive setting offering seasonal greetings. These are certainly fine and I’m sure nearly all recipients appreciate them. But most of them are not memorable and will be quickly discarded.
One potential way for your greeting to cut through the clutter is to spend a few minutes personalizing your message in a meaningful way. There’s no need for an expansive, three-page thank you letter (unless you really feel compelled to do so). Two to three sentences expressing your appreciation for winning a customer’s business, or thanking them for staying with you despite a hotly contested and competitive renewal, can be appropriate.
Also, don’t shy away from calling attention to a problem that was resolved, because that can be a way of reinforcing the value you bring to the table. This type of personal message, if thoughtfully constructed, will be greatly appreciated and can help you stand out.
Following are three examples of personalized messages that could be incorporated into your holiday greeting for the situations referenced above. (If you have already sent a holiday email or card, consider revising these for a New Year’s greeting to welcome 2018.)
- Winning a customer’s business: “Dear Tom, I want to wish you and your family a happy, healthy holiday season. I also wanted to let you know how much I appreciate the opportunity you’ve given us to do business with you and your team. As we head into 2018, we’re committed to validating the trust you’ve shown in us and exceeding your expectations as to service quality and delivery.”
- Retaining a customer’s business: “Dear Phyllis, I want to wish you and your family a happy, healthy holiday season. We know you seriously considered other alternatives when your account renewed this year and we’re thankful we were able to retain the account. I just wanted you to know that we plan to work extra hard to continue earning your business next year and beyond. I would love to connect with you after the holidays to get your thoughts on what we need to do to improve and continue earning your trust.”
- On successfully addressing a problem: “Dear Jack, I want to wish you and your family a happy, healthy holiday season. As I look back on the past year, I’m especially pleased we were able to resolve some issues that were of concern to you. As we head into the new year, I’d like to set up a meeting between our teams to identify any lingering issues that need to be addressed, with a view toward improving our responsiveness and service effectiveness. I’m committed to the position that we have to earn your business every day.”
In all likelihood, the reaction you get from customers to these kinds of correspondences will be very positive.
You can incorporate this type of message into your greeting cards or as stand-alone emails. Of course, whatever your message is, make sure it’s genuine and sincere.