The holidays will be very different this year. Less traveling, less gatherings, less face-to-face time with basically everyone. There’s no doubt that every single one of us is adjusting our expectations.

To counteract all the changes, it’s useful to remind customers that real people are doing their best at every business. It’s real people trying to provide a unique and caring experience that will help people feel safe and comfortable. And there’s no better way to do this than through personal 1-to-1 outreach.

Here are four simple ideas for starting conversations with customers to show them that they’re not alone during this unusual holiday season.

Send Digital Holiday Cards Just Because

Physical holiday cards can be a real treat to write and send, but don’t think that’s your only option for a personal card.

Create digital holiday cards with a tool like Canva or Adobe Spark (both of which have great templates that are easy to customize) and send them along with a personalized text.

If you want to include some sort of special offer or promotion, that’s fine. Just make sure the message, card, and offer all focus on showing your gratitude and appreciation.

Create and Deliver Ringless Voicemails

The idea of calling all your customers and leaving a message is certainly overwhelming, and not just because of the time commitment.

People don’t particularly love to pick up the phone, but they still appreciate when someone takes the time to leave a heartfelt message. That’s the magic of Ringless Voicemail.

That way you bypass dial tones, awkward conversations, and the ignore button by automatically delivering messages to a voicemail inbox.

Skipio clients have used this feature to great success during past holiday seasons, with CEOs leaving voicemails full of thanks to targeted groups of customers.

Share a Series of Happy, Hopeful Messages

Sometimes we all need a little reminder that though the world may be broken, hope is not crazy. By creating a series of inspiring and hope-filled messages, you can brighten someone’s day in an instant.

These messages could include heartwarming puppy pictures, feel-good news stories, silly dad jokes, or inspirational quotes.

For a smaller, local business, share good news from the surrounding area to really make it a personal experience. A business of any size can share positive stories or articles related to your industry or the products/services you offer.

To make this easy for you to plan and put together, create a designated “good news” drip campaign so that you can schedule daily messages and they’ll go out automatically.

Promote a Local Nonprofit or Similar Organization

There’s undoubtedly an organization in your area that would be grateful for your support and any publicity you can offer. Consider building a relationship with a nonprofit and officially partner or even just choose one to regularly promote.

Find one that resonates with the values of your business and encourage customers to donate time or money if they’re in a situation to do so. Explain why you’ve chosen that organization and what your plans are to support them as well.

If you’re able to, donate a certain percentage of your profits each month. Or consider matching donations that your customers make, up to a certain amount.

What it’s all about

You should enjoy conversations with customers because those relationships are more valuable to you than anything else. Yes, doing these things will help your overall customer retention, but ultimately it’s not about that. (That’s just an added bonus.) It’s about giving people the best experience possible and showing them that you genuinely care about making their lives better.