Sending your customers a thank-you note is a simple touch that can make a lasting impression. Follow these simple steps to make your store unforgettable
BY JULIE A. PALM
If the last time you wrote a thank-you note was for the candlesticks Aunt Ruth and Uncle Harvey gave you for your wedding—or worse, the sweater your grandmother knitted for you in junior high school—it’s time to brush up.
A nicely written note sent to a customer goes a long way toward reminding her of the pleasant shopping experience she had in your store. It makes her more likely to recommend you to her friends and family—and to return herself.
People generally don’t write thank-you notes because they think they don’t have time or don’t know what to say.
First, you do have time. Every Friday, “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon sets aside several minutes on-air to write his thank-you notes. Sure, in a recent segment, he thanked “slow cookers” for “being a total crock.” Still, he makes time and he’s a busy guy. You’re not busier than Fallon.
Here are some tips to get you started:
O Invest in stationery. A post-purchase email is not a thank-you note. Invest in decent 3-by-5 or 4-by-6 notecards—one sided or single fold—with matching envelopes. If you want, you can have the fronts of single-fold cards or the tops of one-sided cards printed with your store’s logo, the words “thank you” or both.
O Write by hand. The etiquette gurus at the Emily Post Institute are adamant about this: Never use a preprinted message and simply sign your name. Handwrite each note using a nice pen with blue or black ink.
O Keep it brief. You’ll be relieved to know thank-you notes don’t have to be long. If you are using a single-fold card, leave the inside top half blank and confine your message to the bottom half. If you’re using a one-sided card, write only on the front.
O Be consistent. Like Fallon, set aside time to write notes. Writing weekly will help you remember details about your customers—details you can mention in your note to personalize it. Depending on the size of your store, you might send thank-you notes to every customer who purchases a mattress or to every customer who spends more than $2,000. Enlist the help of your store managers or have retail sales associates write notes to each of their customers.
O Don’t muddle the message. It’s OK to include your business card or a coupon for a future purchase, but don’t use thank-you notes as thinly veiled sales promotions. Be genuine in your gratitude.