Is that a misprint? NO! You really should be thinking about next year’s Christmas (or next busy season) now!
It’s the third and final article in my mini Christmas series, for businesses who have peaks of activity at some point in the year, whether that be in the weeks leading up to Christmas, over Christmas and New Year itself, or any other time of the year.
So if you’re a retail, leisure, or hospitality business already in the thick of Christmas activity, a health and wellness business anticipating a hive of activity as those New Year’s resolutions kick in, or a professional services business who recognises everyone leaves things to the last minute to get renewals, repairs or returns done on time to meet their end of year deadline here are a few considerations to help you with your marketing next year.
As Christmas (or whenever your busy period falls) looms nearer, your marketing for next year is probably the last thing on your mind. But now is a great time to be building up material to use for next year.
What better way to promote your Christmas/New Year/peak period events, promotions and activities than to give people a taster and show them what they’ll get, whether that’s having fun and celebrating at your venue, seeing your business and team looking their best in all their Christmas splendour, or hearing feedback from your happy customers?
So at the very least, here are some things to do now.
- If your business is all about the venue take photos of your business in all its Christmas splendour while the decorations and Christmas tree are looking their best – don’t leave it until half the needles have dropped off, or the light bulbs have gone out. Keep an eye out for a clear, frosty morning and get outside with your camera to take some shots of a wintery scene. Or if it’s a product you provide capture details or samples of your handiwork so you’ve got something to show next year’s customers of just what you can offer.
- If your business is somewhere people come to celebrate or relax get some video footage of parties or people enjoying themselves – best when guests/visitors have just arrived, and had time to relax with their first drink, but don’t leave it until the tables are strewn with empty glasses. (Obviously always check with customers that they are happy for you to record, and secondly for the footage to appear on your site.)
- Record details of what you’ve delivered customers and so you can prompt them next time around, so they (and you) don’t forget anything. And you can deliver a consistent service which is at least as good as, if not better than this year.
- Capture feedback from your customers; ask people for testimonials that they would be happy for you to use in next year’s marketing, find out what they liked and disliked and make a note of what you’ll repeat or build on for next year and what you’ll add or do differently. Do this now while their emotions are still running high from their experience, not in three weeks’ time when everything is back to normal.
- Keep tabs on your costs to ensure you have an accurate picture of your expenditure and profit margins. If you run events or promotions include post costings for each event, to take account of uptake, wastage, and actual spend.
- Take stock at the end of the season, and learn from your successes and failures to build on this for next year. Don’t kid yourself you’ll remember; you won’t… so make sure you record all this in as much detail as possible and file it where you can find it easily and make sense of it when it comes to planning next year!
- Get feedback from your team, and involve them in the review process by asking for their ideas. What worked well for them, where did they struggle to meet customers’ expectations, what can be improved on the next year, what should be done differently to ensure the customer experience is still a great one even when you’re busy.
- Follow up with your customers to show your appreciation for their business. Take this opportunity to remind them of what they enjoyed and tell them what you have planned for the year ahead to sow the seed for further business throughout the year or at the same time next year.
- Recognise and reward your team accordingly if they’ve put in extra hours or effort to make your busy periods a success, so they’ll be happy to do the same again next time.
- Take the time to celebrate your successes and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.
So if you want to capitalise on your existing business and keep those customers loyal and coming back next year, start planning NOW.
And if you missed the first 2 articles you can find them here:
And if you’re recruiting extra staff for your busy season you might find this one useful too: Seasonal staffing
If you’d like some help with your customer retention and how to keep your customers interested enough to come back next year and stay loyal to you, set up a call with me here