As I strolled through the local shopping centre this October, the familiar strains of Christmas carols and the festive decorations caught my attention. Whilst it’s much too early for jingle bells my opinion, it reminded me that it’s not too early for client account managers to prepare for the holiday season.
With just two months left until the summer break (down under), taking proactive steps now can pave the way for a seamless and stress-free break for both you and your clients. Here are some ideas to make the most of the year end and ensure a successful and well-deserved holiday pause.
Year-End Reviews: Start planning year-end reviews or assessments now. This is a great opportunity to recap the year’s achievements, discuss goals for the coming year, and gather feedback from your clients.
Budget and Forecasting: Ensure that budgets and forecasts are up to date and that you’ve discussed any potential year-end adjustments with your clients. Address any outstanding financial or strategic issues before the year closes.
Prepare for the New Year: Take the opportunity to set goals and plans for the coming year with your clients. This shows your commitment to their success and helps ensure a smooth transition into the new year.
Personalise Your Festive Season Approach: Make your interactions with clients personal and memorable. This can include handwritten notes, bespoke holiday cards, or small, thoughtful gestures.
Client Gift-Giving: Expressing gratitude to your clients through thoughtful gifts can go a long way. Consider personalised gifts, company-branded items, or items that align with their interests. To align with commitments to sustainability, we encourage gifts that are sustainable, recycled, or locally made. However, please be mindful of your clients’ company policies regarding gifts. Some organisations have specific regulations on the value or acceptance of gifts, especially government entities. We recommend checking their policies before sending any presents.
Client Documentation: Organise and update client documentation. Ensure all agreements, contracts, and client-specific information that may be needed whilst you’re on leave are in order and readily accessible.
Team Delegation: If you work in a team, delegate tasks and responsibilities among your colleagues. Ensure that everyone knows their role and is capable of handling client inquiries or issues during your absence.
Client Communication: Inform your clients about your holiday schedule a couple of weeks out. Let them know when you’ll be out of the office and who to contact in your absence. Make sure they have alternative points of contact.
Setting Expectations: Clearly communicate your holiday work schedule. Will you be working reduced hours for example? Be transparent about when you’ll be unavailable and when you’ll be checking emails or handling urgent matters.
Emergency Contacts: Provide your clients with emergency contact information for someone who can assist them in case of urgent issues while you’re away.
Out-of-Office Message: Set up an out-of-office message on your email and phone to inform clients of your unavailability and the date of your return.
By preparing in advance and staying organised, you can enjoy a stress-free holiday break while ensuring your clients feel well taken care of. It’s an excellent opportunity to strengthen your client relationships and set the stage for a successful new year ahead.
What steps do you take to prepare for the holiday season? Take a moment to envision your own preparations and consider the obstacles that might arise in the absence of early and strategic planning.