The CSM’s Guide to Holiday Gifting
Customer Success Managers have a lot on their plate.
CSMs are responsible for the challenging but rewarding task of keeping their customers engaged with their company, quelling any major concerns or issues customers are facing, and helping customers extract the most value from their product.
They might also be asked to talk to prospects in the pre-sales stage, work with account executives to close important deals, or foster lasting relationships with partners.
But the most important goal for any CSM is retaining their customers year after year—making them an essential role in any organization.
No matter the industry, keeping customers is increasingly difficult as digital noise is at an all-time high and people are bombarded with thousands of messages and ads per day. In fact, up to 50% of a brand’s highest-spending customers also shop with competitors!
With so much competition for your customers’ attention, what can you do as a CSM to rise above all that noise?
Enter the holiday gifting solution.
Why Send A Holiday Gift At All?
There’s no better time to get on your customers’ radar than the holiday season. In fact, 96% of people look forward to receiving holiday mail! So your customers are more than likely to get excited when a personalized gift floats across their desks.
Not only are the holidays a truly special time of year, but they serve as a great reason to reward your customers for their loyal support, and can help customers build a stronger connection to your brand. This is especially important considering consumers with an emotional connection to a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value. Plus, happy customers often recommend products and companies to their clients, partners, and friends.
Sending a holiday gift is also a perfect non-intrusive way to make final direct contact with customers leading into the new year as they are considering renewal contracts!
Get Started With Gifting: The Sooner, The Better
While the holidays might be the best time of year to get on your customers’ radar, it’s a well-known fact that the holidays are also extremely hectic. Between racing towards end-of-year deadlines and embarking on holiday travel, it can be easy for your customers to get bogged down by emails, meetings, and obligations.
So, in order to be most effective in getting your customers’ attention and making it count, you’ll need to be strategic in your holiday gifting efforts.
Preparing your gift and sending it out to customers as early as possible before the holidays is an excellent way to stay one step ahead of the game and make sure your gift is one of the first they’ll receive.
We recommend that you start planning your gift four-to-six weeks ahead of time (depending on how many you’re looking to send). This includes time for brainstorming ideas, sourcing items from vendors, packing and shipping boxes, and delivery time to their actual desk (note that a Sending Platform handles the manual work for you). This helps avoid any delays out of your control like warehouse sourcing and mail-carrier holdups.
Next, you’ll want to make sure your gift is thoughtful, relevant, and personalized. Would you be excited if you received a generic pen or mousepad from a company you do business with? If the answer is “No,” it’s likely your customer won’t be excited either.
Pick The Perfect Personalized Present
As a gatekeeper of customer relationships, you have a crucial advantage when it comes to gifting. You know what your customers like! You also have the power to positively associate your brand with a surprise spark of joy your customers aren’t expecting.
Your gift doesn’t have to be elaborate either. When it comes to corporate gifting, it truly is the thought that counts, so a little bit can go a long way.
Is your customer a huge fan of their local professional basketball team? Send them a jersey or hat with their favorite team’s logo and a handwritten note about how your companies make a great team!
Or, how about a desk succulent with a note about how excited you are to help them accomplish new growth in 2020?
For brand new customers, try sending a “Road to Success” kit that includes a welcome letter from the CEO, best practices materials, quick reference guides, and some fun company swag.
You can also send a nice bottle of whiskey or champagne with a note to get them in the “holiday spirit!” Even a simple coffee eGift to help them “warm up” for winter and keep chugging along if the holidays are an especially busy time of year for them.
The holidays are also an incredible time for sending some sweet treats like an assortment of cupcakes and cookies they can share with others. And with something like a Sending Platform, you can place custom orders and have them shipped directly to your recipient, so you won’t have to worry about your gift going stale before your customers enjoy them.
Need more tips for finding the perfect personalized gift? Click here!
Packaging, Finishing, and More!
Go the extra mile by including a handwritten note addressed specifically to each one of your customers, along with a brief message about how grateful you are to work with them, why their business is so important to you, what they’ve achieved so far while using your product or working with your company, and what goals you’re looking forward to helping them to hit in the new year.
Additionally, since this is a holiday gift (and not just another promotional item), try sprucing up your gift with brightly colored crinkle paper to add some decorative flair, or use custom packaging and boxing to make your present really pop! Chances are your gift will not be the only gift your customer receives this holiday season, so anything you can do to distinguish your gift will be important.
And as any good CSM knows, you ideally want to start planting the idea of renewal in your customers’ minds well before Q4. Receiving your unique holiday gift, however, could be a helpful reminder for why they should keep using your company instead of looking elsewhere.
Pro tip: You can save yourself some time and energy by utilizing a Sending Platform, which allows you to send items via the tools you’re already using (like Influtive) and track them in your CRM to see if and when a gift leads to a renewal.
These are just some examples of the endless options that Customer Success Managers can use to make a huge impression before 2019 comes to a close. Need further inspiration? Check out our eBook 167 B2B Gift Ideas for the Holidays or take a look at this blog to learn how other companies use gifting for customer success.
Customer Success Around the Web
- The Differences Between Customer Success and Professional Services– Get clarification on what Professional Services teams do as well as how those roles differ from those in Customer Success.
- Planning for Insight: How to Build an Insight Roadmap for Customer Centricity– Learn why you might need an insight roadmap, as well as some considerations, and recommended logistics for one.
- Who Benefits from Customer Success Management?– Find out why Customer Success is a potential game changer for companies.