Corporate Gifts and the Holidays

My desk is covered today with an assortment of food items. Gift boxes of goodies coming from a variety of vendors from whom we at BLK ( purchase products and services. It’s very nice to be thought of during this holiday season, and these small tokens of thanks are nice warm gestures.

As I open the gifts each day (before they are devoured quickly by BLK staff) and the cards that accompany them I feel a twinge of ungratefulness. Why am I ungrateful for being fed by people and companies that we do business with? Many of these vendors have added no personal touch. I am left with feelings that BLK is just one more customer on their list. The gifts reflect this lack of personalization. Omaha Steaks (I am a vegetarian), selection of nuts (allergies not considered) gourmet chocolate (diet out the window) wine (one day at a time?) cookies (diabetic?) fruit basket (the safest bet).

Not one vendor called ahead to thank me for the business, personalize the note or better yet stop by our office to offer their tokens of thanks. An accompanied telephone call of “thanks” or better yet a “visit” to our office would mean so much more. For along with the thanks, would come a discussion on our needs for the future. This celebrated moment would be and opportunity to learn of our experiences with these services. And most important a moment for these vendors to “personalize” their thanks. And myself the customer will at least have the “illusion” of being an important client.

I will send all of these vendors personalized notes and calls of thanks. But secretly I hope for voice mail keeping this masquerade alive.