The Lost Art of Thank You Notes
In this world of instant information and easy access to the ears of thousands of people, an incredibly powerful tool for building connections and loyal customers may have been lost in the shuffle: Thank You notes. It may not be pioneering and it may not be sexy, but no one can doubt the effectiveness of this good, old-fashioned way of showing appreciation for your customers and your clients.
The fact that thank you notes have been forgotten to some extent is an advantage in and of itself. They’re seen as a bit of a novelty now, something to be valued well above even the most impressive newsletter or social media shoutout.
There’s something special about a handwritten note that never really went away. It shows genuine appreciation for everything your clients have done, and that you’re willing to put in a little more work to let them know that. If you tailor them to the individual then that valuable multiples tenfold. People like to know that you’re giving them attention in particular. That simple experience of receiving a card in the mail is one of the best ways out there to communicate that to clients.
There’s no denying that handwritten notes tailored to each and every one of your clients will take a bit of extra work, but the benefits are well worth it. Especially if you’re a smaller business just getting your feet off the ground. Loyal, committed customers are going to do so much work for you and this is a great way to keep them engaged.
Forbes told the tale of how a little company called HEX wrote 13,000 thank you notes and were able to build a thriving business and a loyal customer base on that foundation. Through this experience they found that with thank you notes, there was genuine value not just in the first impression, but also the final impression at the end of a customer interaction (with the thank you note as a means).
This is a great example of what thank you notes can do, but by no means do you have to destroy your hand by writing thousands of notes to get the value that thank you notes provide. If you have a few clients that you want to keep up long term relations with either as continued customers or a means of finding new ones then this is a great way to show that you care about them. If you do it right, they’ll care about you and your own success in turn.
So how can you begin writing your own? Well there are a few basic rules of thumb to follow to make your own thank you notes incredibly successful. Be familiar in the way you address your clients. Show that you have a genuine interest in what they are doing and they will react positively. This kind of personal touch rich with detail will be the most effective kind of thank you note imaginable.
If you’re concerned about cramping your hand then don’t worry because the note doesn’t have to be long. A short, simple note is often the best way to show that you care. Asking someone to read hundreds of words of thanks isn’t the best way to reach them anyway so there’s absolutely no reason to.
You’re going to want to send your notes after some kind of meaningful interaction with the customer. After a meeting, a referral, a new business commitment, or the end of a deal are often the best times. Ideally, it will leave a better lasting impression of whatever interaction you’ve just had.
It’s sometimes great to send letters out of the blue too. Unexpected gifts are usually the best kind so if you can help it, be unexpected.
The last step is how your notes look. They should be creative, but professional. Don’t waste your time on something gaudy or colorful. Simple and to the point is going to be the best and easiest way to go, but if you have branded stationary then that’s a big plus.
Thank you notes are still worth your time as a business. This kind of move speaks to people’s natural sentimentality. They’ll appreciate the gesture and they’ll appreciate you more in turn for it. There’s no telling how much work that can do for you as a business so give it a shot and see if it’s right for you.