‘Tis The Season To Be Jolly? GRUMPY

The Optical Journal - Optical News With Independent Views

The holidays are here, again. One thing you will discover, no matter if it is in your own office, driving around town, or out running errands of your own and making purchases at other stores…people are GRUMPY.  And it is very easy to fall into this same bah humbug mindset when you are surrounded by bad attitudes. So, while taking care of your own customers, some of whom might be a bit…testy….keep a few things in mind about WHY they might not be feeling so Christmas-cheery.

  1. The pressures of gift buying, both on the wallet as well as the psychological ones (will Aunt Edna like her purse? Will little Johnny tear the head of the stuffed animal I bought him?)
  2. The emotional issues that come up when families get together (rivalries, old slights, etc
  3. Maybe a bad experience or loss of loved one has affected them
  4. Feelings of loneliness are more prevalent during the holidays.
  5. They don’t celebrate the holidays and are tired of having it shoved down their throats.

Think of your own situation. We all have some of the above to contend with during the holiday season. So, how do you take this negative attitude and turn it into a positive, both for your customer and your bottom line?

Make them feel special
One of the best ideas I’ve ever seen is the one some retailers and restaurant chains are now using to sell gift cards. If the consumer spends a certain amount on a card, they get a bonus card for free, somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-20% of the purchase. Use this same concept in your office. Offer something for ‘free’ to everyone, even those just getting adjustments. Spend a couple of dollars per person and give a coffee mug with candy, and a small bottle of cleaner and cleaning cloth. Small cookie tins work well for this, too, as do the little baskets you can purchase at dollar stores and hobby/craft stores. Giving the candy or cleaner/cleaning cloth combo is something you don’t HAVE to do, and your customers will appreciate it. But the container it comes in will be something they use again and again, and each time will think of you, in a positive manner.  If a customer buys a gift card for a loved one, give them a 20% off card for their own next purchase.

If there is a spa or some other ‘special’ place near you, see if you can work out a reciprocity agreement with them. Your customers who purchase at this time of year are generally buying for themselves. And probably are doing it out of necessity, not because they have bajillions of dollars in the bank. So, reward them for helping your business by giving them a discount card to the spa, hair and nail salon, etc. and the salon/spa can give its clients a discount card to your dispensary. It’s a win-win…for you, for the spa, and for both of your customers.

We all have stress and worries, and the holidays just exacerbate those concerns. A little something extra can go a long way toward making your customers feel happier, and the nice thing is you get to reap the rewards as well…both in knowing you put a smile on someone’s face, as well as helping your bottom line.

Nikki DiBacco, ABO/NCLE, is an educator, writer and owner of DnD Consulting&Design. She is also co-founder of The Visionaries Group. Learn more at www.visionariesgroup.com

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