The relationships between employers and third-party service providers such as payroll providers and Professional Employer Organizations (PEO) became more important than ever in 2020. In fact, both Administrative Service Organizations (ASO) and PEOs have been critical in helping businesses navigate the pandemic during a time of rapid change and disruption.
While there is still a lot of uncertainty heading into 2021, the start of a new year brings with it new possibilities and showing appreciation to clients can help close the year on a positive note. And after a tumultuous 2020, it may be time to think outside of the traditional, run-of-the-mill, holiday cards when putting together appreciation initiatives. Here are a few client appreciation ideas that won’t break the bank but can help strengthen relationships for the year ahead:
Check in with Clients
At the beginning of the pandemic, chances are you were working closely with your clients, doing tasks like tracking down information for PPP loans, providing compliance guidance or helping to complete loan applications. While some of these one-on-one consultations may have eased over the last few months, it’s a good idea to revert back to this strategy as the year comes to a close. Year-end is always a hectic time of year for employers and knowing you are there to support your clients will demonstrate your appreciation and help strengthen rapport as you head into the New Year.
Outside of a one-on-one conversation, proactively offering support to clients can help your organization highlight its value for the year ahead. While there are many ways to do this, one option is to put together a resource hub to offer guidance for frequently asked questions – especially during times of crisis like the pandemic. Any resource being offered should be timely and cater to forward-looking questions and concerns. For example: What is the best approach for bringing back a full staff? Are there laws that need to be complied with when choosing who to rehire? What is the best way to keep track of qualified applicants that haven’t been offered a position? All of these questions (and more) may be on the minds of clients regardless if they have reached out to inquire. Providing this type of support – even if it is folded into a holiday card or newsletter – can help your team stand out as a valuable and trusted business partner.
Just because you want to do something different this holiday season, doesn’t mean you need to throw away the idea of a card or gift altogether. However, it is a good idea to add a personal touch. Begin by identifying a group of high-touch clients that required more support this year. Then get started on writing handwritten notes with personalized messages. These cards can be sent out as-is or included in a gift package, such as a cookie tin or a fruit basket (if your budget allows it).
More Than Just a Friendly Gesture
The client relationship is more than just a business deal – especially during time of crisis. When grappling with the pandemic, many clients turned to their partners for help to safeguard their business with the right HR support system. Although you may not be able to stop by your clients’ offices to deliver cards and shake hands in-person this year, there are still many ways to let your clients know that you appreciate them.