A couple years ago I wrote a post about how to network during the holidays. It still gets traction each year as people look for ideas to leverage the opportunities of the holiday season. But have you ever considered how the holidays affect client service?
Here are 4 ideas for leveraging the opportunities of the holiday season and avoiding client service pitfalls.
1. Clearly communicate holiday plans.
Will your office be shut down for the holiday? Does your service or delivery team have limited hours? Make sure your clients know about it in advance!
You never want to create a client service experience where someone calls in and finds out that you’re unexpectedly closed.
As you plan your holiday schedule, take the time to develop a communication plan for your clients. You may want to send an email as well as list your adjusted holiday schedule on your website and client service portal.
2. Schedule an event to give back to your clients.
The holiday season is a great opportunity to let your clients know you appreciate them. In addition to sending cards and gifts, consider scheduling an event for your clients.
You could just have a holiday party, but consider more creative approaches. You could provide educational opportunities or give clients the opportunity to work with you on a charitable project.
One client of ours invites clients and partners to join them at cooking classes led by top chefs. It’s a creative way of getting to know people better, and everyone enjoys it.
3. Remember to accommodate the holidays in your project plans.
When you develop project plans and scopes of work, consider how the holiday season will impact your plans.
Don’t fall into the trap of using your standard project template if a holiday falls right in the middle of it. Look at your company holidays as well as the individual schedules of key team members.
This might seem basic, but it’s surprising how often people forget it! The holidays will happen whether you plan for them or not, and it’s best to be prepared.
4. Recognize and reward your client service team.
The holiday season is a great time to show your appreciation for your client service team. From account managers to delivery drivers to customer service reps, your client service team is how clients experience your company.
Take the time to recognize the great work your client service team has done over the past year. You could give awards or bonuses or just schedule a holiday party where you recognize team members’ contributions.
Happiness is contagious, and client service teams who feel appreciated will better appreciate their clients. You’ll end up with better client service.
I hope these ideas are helpful as you work to provide excellent client service during the holidays! For more ideas on customer service, check out our latest eBook on Why Customer Service Matters in Sales.