Yesterday I wrote about how entrepreneurs can maintain a good work life balance through the festive season. Today I’m going to continue on that theme and look at how companies can deepen their relationship with their customers during the holiday period. To help me through the many do’s and don’ts of the festive season for business I have brought in CEO and business relationship specialist Eoghan McCabe from Intercom.
Eoghan with the internet being such a fast and easy way to communicate these days, is there still a space in this world for Christmas Cards?
“Absolutely, more so than ever before. Real mail from online companies is a surprise and even a treat for customers.”
Here at Fridge we can second that experience with a fantastic Christmas card we received from the team at Rainbird. See image below.
For me it was the fact everyone at Rainbird had signed the card that made me and the team at Fridge smile when we received it.
To continue, Eoghan in the past you have suggested holding back on sending lots of email during the holiday season. Why is this, and most importantly what would you suggest instead?
“Simply because every business is jumping on the holidays as an excuse for mailing their customers again. Customer inbox’s get flooded, making it hard to stand out. At Intercom, we use in-app messages to engage customers while they’re actually in our product. We’ve seen in-app messages to be much more effective than email, since it keeps the conversation within the context of the product.”
You also suggest this may be a good time of year to show current customers how the year has gone for you and show what’s been happening. From your and Intercom customers experience how should companies go about this?
“Great companies beat themselves up about their rate of progress. They feel they never move fast enough. (Of course, this is what makes them move fast and be great.) So at any point in time, it won’t feel like they’re getting as much done as they would like. A simple exercise of listing the years’ accomplishments can be enlightening; we’ve accomplished so much in the past year, but I didn’t realize it until I took a step back. Share this list with your customers to demonstrate how hard you’ve been working for them, and to get them excited about the progress you’ll make in the year to come.”
Eoghan, what are your top 3 holidays don’t (or No No’s) from a SaaS (Software as a Service) or any businesses point of view?
- Don’t stop offering support to customers during the holidays. Make sure someone is always available to respond to customer issues within a reasonable amount of time.
- Don’t count on your traffic, and therefore your customer acquisition, staying stable during the festive season. We model in a 33% decline.
- Don’t launch anything new from mid-December until the new year.
Eoghan, now looking forward into next year, how do you expect companies to be interacting with their customers in 2015 ?
“The simple messaging technologies that consumers have been enjoying for a few years will make their way to how web businesses interact with their customers. This will make customer relationships increasingly natural and personal.”
So i’ll leave you on a question. What do you do through the festive period to engage and deepen your relationship with customers?