Don’t forget your customer relationships this festive season

With the festive season in full swing, it’s important to take the time to ensure all of of your holiday logistics are in place as it’s easy to get caught up in the crazy period and forget about the most important component to your success: customers.

According to our recent survey, more than half of Square’s sellers (52 per cent) across Australia listed attracting and retaining a loyal customer base as their biggest obstacle when it comes growing their business.

Employing the right business tools and strategies to maintain and build your customer relationships during the festive season is crucial. Here are some of Square’s customer service best practice insights that can be used to keep you in your customers’ good graces and help your business grow this holiday period.

  1. Make it personal

Remember that your customers are not just paying for a product or service, they are paying for a great overall experience. Tracking customer requests and regular purchases can personalise the CX to ensure they feel valued. Tools such as Square’s customer directory can help you keep track of customer data, notes, and feedback (both good and bad), so you can provide customers with a more personalised service and communication.

  1. Stay in touch

Everyone wants to feel like they’re valued and kept in the loop. This means that it’s important to send newsletters, invitations and specialty emails to your loyal customer base. By monitoring your customers’ buying habits throughout the year, you can provide personalised offers for their favourite products and services to get them in the door this Christmas.

  1. Offer rewards

Reward your customers for coming back, whether it’s with a digital software program or a traditional punch card. Loyalty programs serve as encouragement to return, and are especially helpful to differentiate your business from similar ones in your area. You can even consider partnering with neighbouring businesses or those that offer services and products complementary to yours.

  1. Celebrate your customers

Honour loyal customers with special events, like an evening with private shopping in-store or VIP online discounts. In the lead up to Christmas it’s an easy way to engage and reward customers that shop with you throughout the year and make them feel appreciated. You might even extend the discount or private event to include your customers’ friends and family as a good way to spread the word and your brand.

  1. Engage the community

Getting involved in your community gives you a chance to form beneficial relationships with neighbouring businesses, especially in the lead up to the end of the year. Consider partnering up and having a Christmas street party or sale with stores and restaurants in your area, offering special discounts or samples throughout the festive season. This is a good opportunity to engage new local customers and reward returning customers with more.

  1. Think through your return policy

Purchases made during the Christmas period can sometimes experience the highest levels of returns, and while this can be seen as negative to your sales, remember that it’s also an opportunity to display an exceptional customer service experience and an opportunity to gain customer loyalty. If your return policy is difficult, it can be very frustrating for customers and may result in you losing their future business.

  1. Don’t forget the little things

While big gestures are nice, it’s the little touches that stand out and keep customers returning. A special holiday treat with every purchase, a holiday dessert special, or a simple thank you card at the end of the year takes a small amount of effort but has a lot of impact. Our platform, for example, allows you to include a personalised holiday message on the invoices or e-receipts that you send.

Ben Pfisterer, Country Manager, Square Australia