One of my family’s longest holiday traditions is that my dad buys himself his own gifts and then labels them as from my brother and me. He says it’s not that we don’t get him fun presents, it’s that we never get him useful presents. Honestly — as much as it may make him sound like a Grinch — he has a point...
For a holiday gift to be truly great, truly memorable, it needs to provide tangible value long after the decorations are put away and the eggnog’s run dry.
That same rule applies to giving gifts to your customers. It’s a wonderful idea and shows you care about them as more than just an invoice on your balance sheet. Yes, it also just happens to be a smart seasonal investment in their continued business throughout the new year.
But, it’s not enough to get your customers a gift. You need to do what I’ve never managed to do for my dad: Get your customers the right gift.
For some (or even many) of your customers, that means a gift that helps them get over their various communications problems. After all, communications are how they connect with you, each other, and all of their own customers. They’re the bedrock of any successful business.
“Whoa, Brady,” I can already hear you saying out loud to yourself in your holiday onesie that perfectly matches the one you got from your dog. “Isn’t a communications gift for a customer I talk to all the time really just a gift for myself?”
Yes, yes it is. You’re welcome.
To help you get those gift ideas flowing, we’ve put together this quick list of Communications Gifts for Your Customers!
A Mutable Headset for the Manager Who’s Always on the Move
You know that customer who calls you and then spends the whole call on speakerphone too distracted to really talk? Their voice is constantly cutting out from being too far away? One time you heard them swear as they dropped something expensive and had to pretend nothing happened?
The holidays are the perfect opportunity to politely make their (and thankfully your) life easier by getting them a wireless headset that pairs directly with their desk phone! That way, whenever they wander off or start talking to someone else, they can simply hit that "mute" button and come back to the call when they're ready.
Sure, that leaves you sitting in silence, but at least you know you can keep working until they come back.
There are numerous headset options out there. Too many, really. Most of which look the same with ridiculously complicated names. However, the best is definitely the Plantronics CS540.
If that’s a little outside your holiday gift budget, any wireless headset with a mute button will both get the job done and save you from hours of what can barely even be called “conversation.”
A Hamburger Phone for the Guy Who Always Calls During Lunch
During my time on our Support Team, one thing I learned quickly was that I had to take my lunch break during non-peak grub times. When your customers are other busy professionals, it makes sense that lunch is an easy opportunity for them to call their communications provider and make some adjustments.
If you have a few customers who you share a similar ritual with, show them how much you appreciate their business with shiny new hamburger phones!
I know, getting your lunch call pals some hamburger phones may seem a little cheesy. At this point the trope might be a tad well-done. But what can I say, I’m a sucker for the classics.
Plus, if any of your customers tend to spend those calls eating right in your ear, the cumbersome shape of a genuine hamburger phone will force them to use at least one hand to hold it. That’s half of their feeding potential otherwise occupied, giving you a better chance of getting through the call quickly and getting to your own food sooner.
A Conference Phone for the Team with Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen
Are any of your customers still young, scrappy hustlers who are making it work no matter what? If so, you’ve probably encountered a situation or two where a desk phone, or even a 3-way call, just doesn’t cut it.
You’ll be talking to one person and need to pause every other sentence for them to relay what you’re saying to a team member. Or, even worse, you’ll get stuck in a cycle of transfers as you’re forced to update different people with the same information.
Yes, their dedication and teamwork is admirable, but gosh darn is it a frustrating experience on your end. Help your up-and-coming customers out with a gift that keeps giving all year round — and makes their whole company a whole lot easier to communicate with.
The Polycom SoundStation IP 5000 is the perfect starter conference phone for teams that have outgrown using direct calls for every meeting. It’s quite affordable compared to most conference phones, and is guaranteed to make them think of you every time they use it.
A FluentStream System for… All Your Other Customers Who Need Help
- Does one of your customers usually sound like a robot when you call them?
- Does one of your customers have sigh-inducingly egregious hold times every time you call?
- Do you find yourself always leaving voicemails for a customer because they’re almost never at their desk?
These and many other annoyances are what I’d label “General Communications Problems.” They’re much more common than any of the customers who need help we’ve gone over so far, and unfortunately, they’re also much more annoying to deal with. Chances are, if you’re having those issues when you call, so are all their other callers.
Allow me to introduce my totally-unbiased gift idea: recommending your customers the wonders of a new FluentStream system! Unlike the other gift ideas on this list, recommending FluentStream doesn’t cost you a thing, and will actually earn you rewards for your referral.
If smarter, more reliable business communications isn’t the best communications gift you can get a business, then I honestly don’t know what is.