This time of year always raises some familiar themes - family, friends, the giving of gifts and taking a well-earned break to name but a few! But another is naturally gratitude. Taking the time to recognise what we’re thankful for and ensuring that where possible, we pass on our heartfelt thanks to those who deserve it.
In business this applies as much as it does in our personal lives. Colleagues, partners, service providers and of course, customers are all essential to the work we do. In particular, this feels ‘front of mind’ at Premium Credit this year as we’ve been making a number of changes to our letter suite in 2020, an important part of which has been ensuring that we’re thanking our customers at the relevant points in the journey. We were delighted to see that the Government have changed their viewpoint on the text within default letters, meaning that we have the opportunity to reword these letters softening the tone and using plain English, which have driven significant levels of complaints for many lenders. This work is underway and in line to be implemented for all customers ahead of the 2nd June 2021 deadline.
With the ongoing effects of this pandemic, the idea of saying thank you seems even more important in 2020. Perhaps this is because of the levels of individual sacrifice on display every day? Or potentially, in a competitive environment, the fact that a customer or partner has chosen you rather than a competitor, let alone committing to buy in the first place, means more against this tough economic backdrop. Whatever the reason – a well-placed 'thank you' can cement relationships for years to come.
Alternatives ways to say thank you
But the restrictions leave us with a quandary – so many of the ways in which we say thank you are effectively blocked by the restrictions. But with a little planning, there may be more creative ways to do it than buying a beer in Leadenhall Market (albeit we look forward to doing that again in 2021!).
For clients, business partners and customers, seasonal entertainment – the wining and dining that is central to our industry is unlikely to be possible. With that firmly off the table, what alternatives do we have? Personalised and authentic expression of gratitude has always been more important than a flamboyant gesture. During lockdown, very few items of post have not been bills, promotions or online shopping parcels – meaning those that have been personal have meant a great deal. With so few working in offices, a little preparation may be required to ensure home addresses are collected and securely managed, but a handwritten thank you this year at Christmas may go a long way.
The Christmas party, another stalwart of the festive period and often laid on as a thank you to staff, will sadly not be happening either. As part of Team Premium, our internal employee engagement and social team, we’ve looked into some alternatives. For smaller groups, perhaps a virtual escape room, cocktail making party, or wine/beer/cheese tasting? Larger groups are more difficult to build in an interactive element, but live ‘cook-alongs’ with top chefs, comedy shows and festive quizzes hosted by famous faces have all been repackaged for the ‘virtual’ environment.
The greatest gift?
After many months of working exclusively from home, there are certain comments that seem to crop up time after time. People feeling as though they’re ‘always on’, that it’s more challenging to achieve division between work and home life and that the social element of the office is difficult to replicate in a remote environment. For this reason, perhaps the greatest gift that anyone can be given this year, is time. Those companies whose staff manage to relax, recuperate and re-energise over the Christmas break will surely be rewarded with greater focus and a fast start to the challenges that 2021 has to offer.
And finally….. It would be remiss not to end on a note of thanks to all of you. Premium Credit wouldn’t exist without you, our partners. Thank you for everything you’ve done so far in 2020 – we hope you’re able to enjoy yourself over the festive period.