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“How does it feel, to treat me like you do?”

The term ‘Blue Monday ‘ was first used by a travel company to describe that mid-January feeling in a press release in 2005, many years after the iconic New Order hit of the 80s. There are even various formulae to – allegedly – calculate the exact date on which it falls, based on factors such as weather, debt, salary, failure to fulfil new year resolutions and the time since Christmas.

Whether your mid-January slump actually happens on a Monday, Tuesday or any other day, it’s natural to feel a touch of the post-Christmas blues. The decorations have come down, payday feels a long way off, and many of us are feeling the real or imagined pressure to lose weight or get fitter (or both).  So if both your employees and your customers are feeling a little low, this is a pretty good time to be thinking about ways to create happy.

Happiness on any scale

The Institute of Customer Service predicts that in 2018 “The need for organisations to develop relationships, rather than just manage transactions, will escalate”. There’s a powerful value to being proactive on the happiness front when you consider the impact:
  • 74% of adults in the UK say they are willing to spend more on a brand they love
  • 64% of adults in the UK would share a positive experience with others
  • After one bad experience, 71% of adults say they would likely never use that brand again.
(Source: Lithium’s ‘Value of a Happy Customer Survey’, 2016)

You could apply this to any organisation or brand. For example, Dubai plans to become the happiest city in the world, reaching 95% happiness by 2021. Smart Dubai has a Happiness Agenda, and is sending sent some of its 47 ‘Happiness Champions’ for training at the Disney Institute for an in-depth learning experience of Disney’s best customer service practices. (Source: Mintel).

Three low-spend ways to beat the January blues

While your overall happiness strategy will take some planning, you don’t need a city-sized budget to be able to immediately instigate some meaningful touches that can lift the spirits, make life easier for your employees and engender the feel-good factor in your customers.

Here are three straightforward things we can help you to do right now:
  1. Celebrate great customer service (especially by all those employees dealing with post-Christmas refunds and enquiries) with spontaneous on-the-spot recognition. Give a low-cost high value reward, such as free cinema tickets for a trip to the movies, or a gift card for meal out. Or talk to your team and come up with some no-cost rewards that will make employees smile, such as an extra-long lunchbreak, use of a priority parking space for a day or two, or having the boss make tea for a week.
  2. Be responsive to complaints or simply show you appreciate your customers with an unexpected gesture that will make them smile. To keep things really simple (as well as cost-effective), you could talk to us about getting set up to send ‘any time’ eCodes for a gift card or digital voucher of their choice, complete with email personalised and branded messaging.
  3. Start thinking about longer-term loyalty. How can you reward those customers who come back to you time and again, and turn them into powerful advocates? Not all loyalty programmes are about collecting points over time: think about renewal gifts, added value and escalated benefits. We can help you come up with ideas that will work for your audience and boost your bottom line.
For more happy thoughts about employee and customer recognition and rewards, please get in touch!
Posted: 1/15/2018 9:00:00 AM | with 0 comments
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