Take Your Customer Experience to New Levels with Handwritten Notes
Every business owner believes they have great customer service. In fact, I have never had a single owner tell me that their customer service is terrible! Good – even great – customer service simply isn’t enough anymore. Your customers expect to be treated well. If they’re not, they will do business with someone who does treat them right!
So, how do you stand out from the crowd of great customer service? Eric, in his excellent post, The Ultimate Question That Could Transform Your Customer Service, suggests one great idea. I highly recommend you read that post if you haven’t done so already. Allow me to suggest another simple approach that can cause your customers to take notice of your service.
Send them handwritten notes.
Today, most communication takes place online. We email, text, Facebook, etc. When people do send mail, it’s usually a form letter typed out on a computer and addressed using a mail merge. Think about it. How often do you get a handwritten note in your mailbox?
A handwritten note shows you are focused on your customer. It’s personal. It’s special. I know people who have taken the handwritten notes we send and have placed them in a highly visible place in their office! That speaks volumes to how much some people appreciate the time and thought that goes into a handwritten note.
I realize that some businesses have thousands of customers. It may not be practical to send a handwritten note to every person who does business with you. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it for anyone. Start with your key customers. Think of one or two people who did business with you this past week and focus on them. Those who don’t receive a note wont think much about it. But those who do will suddenly see you and your business from a different perspective.
What should you include in the handwritten note?
Make sure you keep the note short. Leslie Harpold wrote a post called How to Write a Thank-You Note and suggests this great methodology:
- Greet the person
- Express your gratitude
- Discuss impact
- Mention the past and allude to the future
- Say “Thank You” again
- Sign off with grace
I would add the following suggestions:
- Address the envelope by hand. People take note when they see an envelope that is addressed to them by hand. They are far more likely to open it right away.
- Use old-fashioned snail mail. I realize this should be obvious, but I know some people who hand write a note then scan it to their computer and email it! Put a stamp on the envelope and send it in the mail.
- Hand write “Thank You!” on the outside of the envelope near the return address. This also increases the open rate of your note.
Great customer service is the minimum that any business should strive for. Those who want customers to refer their service must focus on critical non-essentials like like handwritten notes. It will speak volumes about you and your company.