Holiday Surprise and Yuletide Delight: Ease Customers’ Stress with Rewards and Recognition













That oft-quoted statistic about suicide rates spiking during the holiday season is actually a myth — seriously! I did my Snopes homework! — but if the honking car horns drowning out jingle bells and Black Friday fights breaking out at Walmart are any indication, it’s safe to say the holidays do inspire a little stress in American consumers.

So what’s a retailer to do to quell their shoppers’ holiday blues?

You could start by amping up your rewards program, for one. Throwing in a few bonuses for your most loyal customers can be a great way to help them de-stress during the holidays — and help them love you even more.

Here are a few ideas on how to surprise and delight your customers with Christmastime rewards and recognition.

Increase your loyalty program’s sale prices

If you’re offering shoppers a sweetheart deal during the holidays, surprise your loyalty-program members by sweetening the deal even further — just for them.

Whether you give them a few dollars or an extra percentage off their purchase at the register — or hand them a gift certificate in a certain amount depending on how much they’ve spent — you’ll save your loyalty-program customers the stress of over-spending during the holidays, and there’s a good chance they’ll remember you for your Christmastime generosity.

Offer stress-relieving perks for loyalty customers

Think about how you can take a load off of your favorite shoppers’ shoulders when they visit you for a holiday shopping trip.

And don’t stop at your everyday rewards for loyalty program customers! Consider adding on free gift wrapping or free shipping for this special holiday shopping time — or even neighborhood valet parking or complimentary chair massages if you really want to treat your loyal customers.

Double up on rewards during the holidays

Make visiting your store worth your customers’ while during the holidays: Why not introduce double points between Black Friday and the start of the new year? Or, if you reward your loyalty-program members with gift cards, you might consider doubling the value of those cards during the holidays.

Who among your customers wouldn’t like a little extra treat at the restaurant of their choosing after a long day of shopping — or a month in the kitchen preparing Christmas cookies, potluck appetizers and family meals?

And don’t forget your newer customers: Be sure to make it extra-simple to sign up for your loyalty program! Give your employees the tools they need to enter shoppers into your system quickly and easily, then consider following up electronically after the holidays for other, nonessential information. Decreasing those barriers to entry reduces their stress and makes it easier for you to gain new fans.

How are you planning to make your rewards-program customers’ lives easier and more pleasurable during the holiday shopping season? Leave a comment below to share with our community! Or, join on Facebook and write on our Wall with your ideas.