Gift-Giving Etiquette in the Modern Corporate Landscape

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By Jacob Maslow

The corporate world is ramping up its gift-giving efforts in 2019, as customer appreciation remains critical to slow or stop customer churn. Approximately 50% of customers will go to another business within five years.

Offering exclusive customer service and showing appreciation can help reduce this churn rate.

The right luxury gifts are helping to shape the modern corporate landscape, allowing many companies to retain lucrative contracts and contacts. Gift-giving etiquette that is helping Fortune 500 companies show appreciation to key accounts and customers are:

1. Privately Give Gifts If Not Everyone is Included

It’s proper etiquette to give gifts in private when not everyone is receiving a gift. If a top customer comes in and gets a gift right in front of a long-term customer who did not receive a gift, you may lose a long-term customer as a result.

If gifts are being given to people in the office, you’ll want to follow the same etiquette outlined above.

2. Thank You Notes

If a client gives a gift out of appreciation, it’s essential to send out a “thank you” note within a week of receiving the gift. You can handwrite the message, but it’s not always necessary. When a gift is personalized, a handwritten note will be suggested.

Otherwise, you may be able to send an email or other form of communication to say thank you.

3. Choose Thoughtful Over Expensive

Over-the-top gifts do not need to be returned based on monetary value. Instead, the right gifts for them will be personalized. Personalized gifts will leave a lasting impression more than a generic gift, such as baked goods, unless the person baked your favorite item especially for you.

It’s always better to be personal than to be concerned about the price of the gift.

4. Remain Mindful of Policies

Corporations may or may not have policies in place that forbid gift giving. For example, some corporations prohibit the practice altogether, while others require gifts to be valued at $25 or less.

You need to be mindful of these policies and not break them. It’s acceptable to call the recipient’s company to ensure that the gift is appropriate with the human resources department.

Gift-giving is a way to show appreciation, and while it may be acceptable to send a close friend a humorous gift, it’s not permitted in the corporate world. However, the right gift will give a lasting impression, helps forge deeper relationships, and has been a critical practice in the corporate world for decades.

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