September 29, 2011

How to Write a Killer Thank-you Note

How to Write a Killer Thank-you Note

Picture this: You arrive home to the joyous surprise of discovering a handwritten card—real mail!—hidden amongst the mound of daily junk mail. Yes! Fist pump! We are card-carrying members of the Snail Mail Fan Club and we suspect you are, too. Receiving a thoughtful card has always been, and continues to be, a high point of our day.

So from one Snail Mail Lover to another: Go ahead. Make your customer’s day.

Tools You'll Need

Sincere gratitude can be exhibited in a well-worded email, but there are many occasions when you should make the extra effort to send a handwritten card. As with an email, make sure your response is timely.

Your card-sending toolkit probably seems obvious, but a few reminders never hurt:

  • Don’t use red pen! It’s the equivalent of sending a “shouting” email in ALL CAPS. Blue or black ink is ideal. But if you’re a glitter pen kind of person…well, your sparkly message will probably make your customer smile.
  • Use note cards or stationary that reflect your business. If you’re a vet clinic, keep it playful with paw-printed cards. If you’re an architectural firm, reflect your image with minimalist, artful cards. A postcard does the trick, too.
  • Try to not write like an emergency room doctor; recipients appreciate legible notes.

The Content

Resist the urge to mimic Someecards’ witticisms in the content of your card. In case you’re not familiar, their e-cards have zinging one-liners we often think but aren’t supposed to say out loud, such as “Thanks for not unsubscribing,” “Thanks for tentatively accepting,” or “Thanks for understanding it was just a formality when I asked if you needed anything.” Funny, yes…but not appropriate for your customers!

Tips for what to write:

  • Greet the customer
  • Express your gratitude, clearly stating the reason for sending the note
  • Mention details about what you enjoyed about your experience with this customer (prime opportunity to be specific and thoughtful)
  • Mention the past, but allude to your future interactions with the customer (when will you make contact next?)
  • Repeat your thanks
  • Close with regards and a signature (examples: Best, Yours Truly, Kindest Regards, Warm Regards, Cheers)

Designing Your Stationary

Need help shopping for the right thank you card? Personally, we’re big fans of the cards and other I’m-thinking-of-you products at FabulousStationary.com and Pinhole Press. Pinhole Press donates a portion of their sales to support an important cause, so be sure to peruse their Charity Water products.

If you like more creative control, you can print your own custom-designed cards and envelopes. That’s what we do for maximum wow-factor. If you choose to create your own stationary, work with a designer that’s familiar with the printing process and can provide advice on card stock, dimensions and the various printing options available (depending on your budget).

We use 100-lb cover stock with plain white matching A2 envelopes. It’s printed digitally, which is not the best quality in the world, but is more budget-friendly. Embossing, debossing, foil stamping and letterpress are all really fun things to get into with a bigger stationary budget.

Our Two Cents

Sending a thank you note is a gesture well worth the few minutes it takes you. The note keeps a line of communication open between you and your customer and keeps your name in their mind.

When the situation merits a little something extra, you should go for it! Send a token of appreciation along with your note. Depending on the occasion, we send a book, stickers, a t-shirt or even baked goods.

One last thing: The ROI on acts of kindness like a thank-you note isn’t always measurable or justifiable in a spreadsheet. But it works. If you do the little things to create a wow factor for your customers it will always be worth the investment several times over.

Buffer

5 Comments

Diana Lidstone Mar 31

I love your blog on writing a handwritten thank you note!! You also mentioned it in your "25 Ways to Thank Your Customers". Both times you mention other companies for stationary, etc.

However, has anyone EVER introduced you to a magnificent tool called Send Out Cards! (These are NOT e-cards but real greeting cards you write from your computer; then the company prints, stuffs & stamps & mails it - for less than $2 each)

Please feel free to send a free card to someone or to your self by going to www.sendoutcards.com/dianalidstone. At that site, you can also watch a great video (or 2) on how the system works. You won't be disappointed. Keep up the great posts!

paul kinyua Apr 28

it one of the most informative article about customer service have ever come across. its great

Nicola Scott Jun 5

What a fantastic idea.
We send out a thankyou business card with all our orders which says:
"We do not spend a fortune on large expensive advertising campaigns.
We believe our customers are our best advert.
Next time someone compliments you on your tan please consider giving them this courtesy card.
Thank you."

We are a spray tan company (www.spraytanpro.co.uk) which is why we mention the tan.

I think I might try the more personal handwritten note, only problem is my terrible handwriting, it is legible but just looks like it was written by a 5 year old.

Rich Casanova Jun 27

What a great article with such gems on the importance of the simple practice of keeping in touch which in turn means you'll be "Top of Mind" when your product or services are in need by the person or someone they know. I coach sending snail mail with "no strings attached", no logos, no offers, discounts etc. just expressing appreciation through the written word. It's a powerful thing!

Live life as a thank you note,

Rich

Ian Zafra Oct 9

Thank you for sharing! It's these little acts of kindness that reaps a lot of benefits in the long run. Will look into incorporating this thought in our customer care call center setting.

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