Keeping It Cohesive: 3 Customer Experience Tips for Every Season

Just like a personal relationship, customer relations need variety to thrive. You might have wracked your brain in the past for exciting ways to shake things up, only to fall flat and realize that most of the large-scale options tend to come off as gimmicky. Sometimes, you don’t have to think outside the box or break the mold to make a mark. There are many small ways you can tailor your business throughout the year to provide a dynamic and engaging experience to your customers. 

A brand is only as good as the people who support it. Customer service needs to be top-notch if it’s going to stand out in today’s oversaturated market. While most business owners are focused on the four quarters of the year, try shifting your attention to the four seasons for opportunities to enhance your customer experience. 

Seasonal Exclusives

Consider offering limited-edition stock for various seasons. Have summer door-buster sales or major holiday discounts. Offer exclusive complementary items that tie into the season or major holidays. The weather and seasons play a huge role in our everyday lives, so you don’t want to miss out on the chance to connect with your customers through something so human and relatable. 

Dress Up for the Holidays

Simple logos are good for many reasons, one of the primary beings that they’re easy to change without losing their identity. Switch up your graphics and logo colors to make the seasonal holidays. You can even put your own twist on them to stand out and grab attention. Seasonal designs and custom displays are a fantastic opportunity to humanize your brand and help contribute to the spirit of the holiday, whatever the time of year. 

Fine-tune Your Content to Seasonal Needs

A content strategy should be fluid and reflect customer needs and current experiences. You don’t always have to create something entirely new in order to thrive. In fact, your target audience is already looking for what you have to offer anyway, so why not diversify your blog posts a little and branch out? Find ways to demonstrate your business’s value through content that taps into your customer’s current wants or needs based on the season.

Business analytics and metrics go a long way, but it’s important to remember the numbers on your data sheets are driven by real people. Behind every click, every impression and every engagement is a live human being who could possibly benefit from your services. 

Stay in touch with your customers through social media. Interact as much as possible so you’re always in-the-know and equipped to make changes before they’re requested.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Toasting at The Office: A Guide to Responsible Drinks in the Workplace

Can you have a drink at a work event—and still be responsible? It turns out yes, but your company leadership needs to help you. They can do this not by banning alcohol, but by creating a policy and addressing it with employees frequently and clearly.

Here’s how you do it. Most companies have what’s called a code of conduct. It’s how they expect employees to function at work and while they’re being representative of the company. But the thing about a policy is, many people forget about it—which is why it’s important to share it again before events that may involve the availability of alcohol. If necessary, it’s helpful to have a meeting talking not just about the policy, but about consequences, too, and about how to report violations and maintain confidentiality.

Need more ideas and outlines about how to create and institute this? This graphic offers some ideas.

Please include attribution to https://zerocater.com with this graphic.

Toasting At The Office Infographic

Showing Your Holiday Spirit: Decorating Tips for Businesses

With the holidays right around the corner, it’s time to start decking the halls of your business and filling your space with lots of cheer. The merriest winter seasons can bring up some surprising issues, so it’s important to do your research and make sure that any of your big decorating plans won’t cost you anything. Here are a few tips to show your holiday spirit and decorate your business in a welcoming, festive and inclusive way that welcomes and warms the hearts of all who enter. 

Start Simple with Some Lights

Lights are an essential holiday decoration, but they can be costly and even a fire-hazard if you don’t plan ahead. Have an electrician come and check out your electrical system and the lights you want to install beforehand to make sure your business is equipped to handle the extra voltage. Then, ensure you won’t be installing the lights anywhere they could catch fire.

The best type of Christmas lights for a business are simple, tasteful and non-distracting to drivers or passersby. Make sure that you don’t overspend and wind up with thousands of dollars’ worth of lights that you will only be able to use for a few months or holidays. If your space is small, consider framing the window with a string of white or multi-color lights, or winding some lights around fence posts and stair railings. Wherever you decide they should go, be sure to tape down or cover any potential trip and fall hazards you might have due to wires or extension cords.

Hire a Professional to Help

There are some companies that offer holiday decorating services. Asking around and doing some research on companies in your area could help you cut down on cost as well as risk. As professionals specializing inthat area, they should know the ins and outs of the décor process and support.Be sure to ask questions and take notes with both your commercial electrician and the decorating company to ensure your business decor stays safe and cost effective.

Swap Out Essentials

You can give your entryway and bathroom a holiday-ready makeover just by fastening some bows around everyday objects and replacing some of the essentials with holiday versions. A holly-shaped hand soap dispenser, for example, can replace your typical clear one and dress up the bathroom counter in a flash. Hanging a wreath on the door or fastening a festive garland to the front desk and counters can bring a lot of cheer while leaving plenty of room for regular operations. Adorn your desks or shelves with silver, red or gold bows for a touch of excitement and festivity. 

Whatever your decorations, whether you add a live tree to your lobby or decor your entrance with some vibrant wreathes, try using your brand’s colors. This can help you create a holiday space that’s both festive and on-brand. 

Focus on the Feelings

Everyone has their own holiday traditions, but we allassociate the season with warmth, comfort and kindness. Evoke the feelings ofthe season in your decor by relying on familiar favorites, then adding yourbrand’s own personal touch. When you put feeling first, be it in business ordecor, you’re bound to evoke the best response from your customers.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Avoid Unhealthy Practices at Holiday Parties

healthyMore than gifts and celebrations, the holidays are about food.

More often than not, that food is delicious, seasonal, and wildly unhealthy. People tend to indulge most at holiday office parties as these treats are usually on the company’s dime and not directly out of your pocket.

But business owners and employees alike should pump the brakes and make healthy eating a priority this holiday season.

Why Eat Healthy?

While office holiday parties may signal the end of the work year and beginning of vacation, for many people there are still end of the year tasks that need completing in the days or week to come.

When you overindulge and don’t eat healthy, that can hinder your overall performance and productivity.

According to a study done by the University of Melbourne, things like drinking alcohol before bed may make you feel drowsy but you’re actually getting a worse night’s sleep.

So while those martinis at the work party may have helped fuel your good time, they can get in the way of that restorative sleep you need to finish any last minute, leftover assignments.

‘How Can You Eat Healthy?

Contrary to your cravings, it can be done. This isn’t a rhetorical question.

Even though there may be sugary temptations around every corner (or on every co-worker’s desk) during the holiday season, there are ways to stay on track.

They include:

1.) Choose Real Food

According to the piece, “Expert Interview with Krista Butler on Healthy Eating”, you should be consuming food that’s “whole food.”

She explains that this means simple foods like fruits, vegetables, and meats. “Real food” that great-great grandparents would be able to recognize if they could have time-traveled to this year’s holiday party.

2.) Be Drink Savvy

You can also be cognizant of your alcohol intake by limiting the number of drinks you consume or make sure not to overdo it with overly sugary concoctions like spiked eggnog.

Other easy to follow tips include making sure to drink plenty of water during the office holiday party.

This will keep you hydrated, leave you feeling fuller, and with a beverage in hand, make it less likely for co-workers to push unhealthy drinks onto you.

How Can Businesses Keep It Healthy?

1.) Smart Catering

Clean, healthy eating is on trend and expanding as people become more and more educated on what goes into their processed foods.

This is great news for business owners in terms of finding the right catering for their office holiday parties.

Between healthy food delivery services and local vegan or organic restaurants, there’s always an option for office party planners who want to provide choices for their employees.

Another way that businesses can help their employees and party-goers make healthy eating decisions is by limiting the portion size of the food you’re providing.

Rather than having a large amount of catering served buffet style, it may be both cost effective and healthier to have servers circulate plates of appetizers.

2.) DIY Healthy Options

If your company’s holiday party isn’t catered and is more of a potluck situation, you can encourage employees to put together a list of what they plan on bringing ahead of time.

This will not only ensure that there aren’t five different versions of mac and cheese, but it can encourage people to make healthy dishes if they know there aren’t enough on the menu.

The year may be winding down, but employees and managers alike need to keep up with their health especially around the holidays.

Following these tips can better ensure productivity and make healthy eating an attainable goal even during the most festive of office parties.

About the Author: Kristin Livingstone writes on a variety of topics including healthy eating and party planning.

Make the Holidays Fun and Safe at the Same Time

holidaysThe holidays are all about having fun with co-workers, friends and family, which is why throwing holiday parties, is such a popular event throughout the winter season.

However, before you invite your guests over, it’s important to make sure the home, office or other setting is safe and hazard-free.

Here are just a few tips for hosting a safe and fun holiday party:

Kitchen Safety

If you’re throwing a holiday party at your house, chances are a good amount of cooking is involved. Although allowing guests to socialize in and around the kitchen is perfectly fine, it’s important to make sure you practice kitchen safety.

For starters, make sure your guests don’t congregate around the hot stovetop or the oven. Doing so increases the chances of burns and other accidents.

Likewise, make sure you put away knives and other sharp objects after using them. It’s easier than you think for a guest to accidently lean on a knife or other sharp object.

Finally, no matter how busy your party gets, always make sure there is someone keeping an eye on the kitchen.

Leaving something on the burner or in the oven unattended can quickly turn into a fire hazard.

Tripping Hazards

Just because you’re familiar with your house or office (in some cases, office parties will be held at restaurants and other public gathering spots) doesn’t mean your holiday guests are.

The article “Injured at your neighbor’s house for a party. Can I recover for my injuries?” mentions the fact that you could be liable for any injuries that take place on your property.

Considering injuries that result from slips and falls are most common, it’s important to make sure you rid your house of any tripping hazards. This means making sure all walkways are clear of obstacles such as small pieces of furniture and power cords.

In addition, make sure you clean up any food and beverage spills the moment they happen.

Likewise, if you have elderly guests coming over, help them navigate stairs, hallways, and any other tight or uneven surfaces.

Finally, given the dangers of drinking and driving make sure all guests are fit to drive when leaving your holiday event.

Outdoor Hazards

Having a guest-friendly home is important, but making sure your home’s exterior is hazard-free is equally important, especially if you live in a wintery climate. Making sure you cut shrubbery and limbs back around outdoor pathways will eliminate walking hazards on the way to your front door.

Additionally, making sure all outdoor areas, including decks and pathways, are well lit is another safety step to keep in mind.

Lastly, if you live in a part of the country with snowy, icy conditions, make sure you clear all outdoor pathways of ice and snow before your guests arrive.

Childproofing

If your children are grown or you’ve never had young ones running around your house, then your home probably isn’t childproof. With that said, if your holiday-party guests are bringing younger children, then you need to make sure your home is childproof.

This means making sure choking hazards such as snacks and small holiday decorations are out of reach.

Similarly, limit access to dangerous spaces within your home, such as the garage, the kitchen, and stairways.

Likewise, keep any hot surfaces and open flames such as hot plates and candles out of the reach of your younger guests.

Before you host your next holiday party, consider some of the safety pointers mentioned above.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including home safety and event hosting.