The holiday season is finally here, which means it’s time to start dressing your business up for Christmas, putting the bells on to bring customers new and old into through your doors.
It can be tempting during these times to blow the doors off with amazing promotions and specials so good customers can’t stay away. Though Maria and the Von Trapp kids just love brown paper packages tied up with string, shoppers these days have something different in mind for their favorite things.
Yes, your customers want a great deal on gifts they buy during the holidays, but they also want transparency for Christmas. Here are four ways to give them everything at the top of their list.
Don’t offer “too good to be true”
Those Black Friday deals that customers literally break down the doors of their local Wal-Marts for in the wee hours of the morning have set a ridiculous precedent and created a dangerous retail atmosphere for the holidays.
Feel free to pull out the stops with your products and offerings during the holiday season at your business, but don’t give away the store. Something often has to give when you offer deals that good, and more discerning customers will catch on to that eventually.
Enlarge the fine print
Along the same lines, if you do offer a smashing special promotion, be sure you make it crystal clear whether there’s any fine print involved.
If there are restrictions on your promotions, especially those involving returns or exchanges, make sure they’re clearly stated either on your in-store signage, receipts or somewhere else clearly visible to customers.
Educate your employees
Be sure your employees understand the promotions you’ve organized for the holidays and, more importantly, can explain them clearly to your customers. Empower them to answer customers’ questions honestly and take care of issues and problems without summoning a manager.
Employees who are in the know will be much friendlier, less stressed and able to make the shopping experience better for your customers.
Make yourself available
Yes, you. If you’re typically the back-office, out-of-sight sort of owner, take advantage of the holidays as an opportunity to get out among the people. Shed those Scrooge-like tendencies and embrace the people who make your business what it is: your customers!
Be available to answer questions about your business, the brand and your promotions — or just to say hello to customers and interact with your employees.
Transparency will differentiate you from others during a time when many businesses are scrambling to collect as many customers as they can — no matter the cost — to stay in the black, and it will serve you well into the new year.
So even if you think you’ve created a nice, neat, seemingly irresistible promotional package, if you aren’t being completely honest with your customers — especially during a busy, stressful season — remember that they’ll see right through it and problems could creep up later.
Take the high road: Transparent policies and promotions that also make good business sense during the holidays will be [the sound of] music to your customers’ ears!
What promotions do you have lined up for your customers this holiday season? Leave a comment here and tell us all about them.