Should I give Christmas gifts to my lawn care customers?

Giving your lawn care customers a Christmas gift may be a great way to show your appreciation of them and retain them for the next year’s mowing season. But is it really always a good idea? Also what about the type of gift you give? Should you send a holiday card instead? What works best?

That’s what a member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum was interested in knowing when he asked “I have a question regarding giving out a Christmas Gift to my customers.

A company I used to work for would give out pointsettias as a Christmas gift to their customers. I thought what a great idea, but last year I ran out of money so I just sent Christmas cards instead. All of my customers returned the next year. I was thinking about doing it this year I have 20 customers and it would cost me about $200 to $300 dollars to do it. If everyone returned from last year is this and unnecessary expense? What do you guys do or think about it?”

One lawn care business owner suggested “I think that everyone has their limits … What one company feels would be a small amount to spend on a customer, another company might find that overkill. I think that showing your customers that you care about them is the most important thing to keep in mind.

I believe the real trick is that you KNOW your customers to have a successful campaign.

Lets say you like the idea of the pointsettias and send your customers one. Most customers might be very appreciative and sing your praises, but would you send one to a customer that doesn’t celebrate Christmas but rather some other faith’s traditions? That customer might not be so impressed that you sent them something at Christmas.

I’ve commented numerous times about taking a small amount of time and chatting to your customers and what I have gained from a quick chat (a referral, a snow blower, winter contract). I also have a very good sense as to many of my clients habits, beliefs, and even their dogs names just from quick short chats. If a customer of mine is a daily patron at the local coffee shop with their buddies, then maybe a gift card for a couple of cups is a great gift, not to mention that it would stir a bit of conversation when they brag to their buddies that the lawn guy paid for the coffee that day.”

Another suggested “A personalized Christmas card will suffice for most customers.

In some cases, you will find that large gifts are frowned upon by your customers. I used to send gift baskets to the purchasing managers of our larger commercial and government contract clients. The cost of these baskets ran about $75 each. After the second year of doing this, I learned that such gifts can be considered bribes for future work. This is improper for government contracts, especially, and can get your company barred from bidding in subsequent years.

So keep all of this in mind and give wisely.”

A third business owner shared “I know what we do around xmas time. My wife bakes of a bunch of cookies and such and we put them into a tin and give out to our regular clients and the rest of them get cards and a discount card for their next invoice.”

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