Yesterday I received my annual holiday card from my Grand Rapids Press carrier. It just so happens that yesterday the Grand Rapids Press also featured an article with the headline “Tip of the season…Many Service Workers Cash In On Holiday Spirit”. Interesting coincidence don’t you think?
First, let’s see if I can give you a clear picture of the holiday card I received.
- The unsealed envelope was rubber banded to the daily newspaper.
- The carrier’s name and address was rubber stamped in the upper left corner (return address section). The rest of the envelope was blank. For all I know, it could have been meant for my neighbor.
- The inside of the card had a short “Happy Holiday” message followed by a typed mailing label with the words “Merry Christmas from your Grand Rapids Press carrier John Doe”. (John Doe isn’t my real carrier’s name).
- The label was slapped on the card not quite sideways and not quit straight. (The typed mailing label is a new addition this year. Prior years’ cards ended with another stamp of the return address.)
I might be wrong about this, but I’m guessing this is my carrier’s way of saying, “HINT! Don’t Forget To Tip Me!
What he doesn’t understand is, it’s this impersonal gesture that turns me off every year. Taking the easy way out doesn't work in building relationships with your customers.
So, how can service providers increase holiday tips?
Be Reachable – Give customers a way to reach you in case something out of the ordinary happens and encourage them to contact you.
Ask For Feedback – At least twice each year ask your customers how you’re doing. Encourage them to tell you what’s on their mind. Take their suggestions to heart.
Do Periodic Spot Checks – 24hrs after your customers use your service call and ask them about their satisfaction.
Create Your Own Customer Appreciation Day – Every so often find a way to surprise your customers with something special. It could be a trinket or even a personal note of appreciation.
Go Above And Beyond – When a customer has a special request or need, find a way to make it happen…and make it look easy!
Bonus Tip - If you're going to send cards like my paper carrier, do it right. Take the time to address the front of the envelope and sign your cards by hand. Nothing beats a personal touch.
There are literally thousands of ways individual service providers can increase holiday tips.
SHOW (vs tell) your customers how much you care, give them every reason to reward you for great service, and you’ll never have to think about “hinting” again.