Holiday Experience Shopping

by Jeannie Walters

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My friends are lamenting about the holiday season already. Stress. Lots and lots of stress. Have you remembered everyone? What do you need to take care of to make sure you can host 100 people for dinner? What about the teacher gifts!? OMG I forgot about the year-end report at work!

I can relate. I’m a mom of 2 young boys. I have a big family. Plus I’m running this business thingy.

When I see the Black Friday commercials with mobs of crazy deal hunters, I can’t help but think “Anywhere but there.” I don’t want the deals that badly. Camping out and fighting with fellow shoppers? No thank you.

How about considering the holiday experience? Amazon has “stolen” lots of revenue from traditional retailers because we are choosing the ease of the online experience over the in-store one. Small Business Saturday, sponsored by American Express, is an attempt at focusing on local businesses for holiday shopping. It’s a start. Some small business communities are creating experiences around the day, but what about other days?

During the holidays, consider your customer’s real lives and needs. Did you know 45% of people recently polled said they’d rather skip Christmas? How can you offer a superior experience when they encounter your store or service with anxiety already bubbling up?

Consider:

  • We are stressed out shoppers. Typically, we are either stressing about money or time. Usually it’s both. What can you do to make the shopping experience efficient and less stressful?
  • Employees are people, too. They have long lists of things to do for the holidays. Can you help them during this time?
Fun Ideas To Help Your Customers & Employees:
  • A service firm I know offered personal concierge services to all employees for the weeks leading up to the holidays. They could use them to run errands, hang holiday lights, or whatever they needed. Employees felt appreciated and were happier to do their jobs!
  • We received a cute ornament attached to our Chinese food delivery one year during December. It was several years ago, but we still hang it on the tree!
  • Shopping in a boutique several years ago, I saw as the greeter offered each shopper tea or hot chocolate. It was a cold Chicago day, so it was very appreciated.
  • A warm welcome – not just shoving the discount flyer into the shopper’s hands – can go a long way. Why not offer a flyer with ideas, costs of gift ideas, and some fun surprises?
  • Certain shops do a bustling business simply because they make it *a little* easier for shoppers. Gift wrapping can be a life saver!

What are some of your favorite shopping experiences? What are ways you beat the holiday stress?

Have fun shopping and more importantly, enjoying the holidays.

Photo credit: laurieofindy via Creative Commons license

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Jeannie Walters

Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience. Jeannie is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, a Forbes Coaches Council Member, a C-Suite Network Advisor, a LinkedIn Learning and Lynda.com instructor, and a TEDx speaker. Learn more here.

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