Last month I purchased ink for my girlfriend’s Samsung laser printer from a website I found with a Google search (great printer by the way).
The order process was smooth and it was delivered in 2 days. Pretty good right?
Yup. And I’ll never order from them again.
Why not you ask?
Well when the cartridge was delivered, the contents of the box were literally the invoice and the cartridge itself. No coupon code for a future discount, no business card and no thank you note.
It felt cold and clinical.
Just like a hot date, buyers need to be woo’ed
Maybe it’s just me, but I like to feel some kind of connection with a company I do business with. I want them to woo me into a long-term relationship. I want to feel like I’m more than just a number on an order form.
Even your local grocery store attendant will give you a hearty “thanks, have a nice day!” after swiping your week’s worth of beer and donuts at the checkout.
(Spoiler alert – it’s not only me that appreciates businesses personally thanking me for my business. Let the Twitter and Instagram screenshots further down illustrate this point!)
Contrast that experience with a company I used last week for another cartridge (she prints a lot … though I’m not exactly sure what).
In the box there was a note from the owner thanking me for my order. They also included a business card, a discount off my next purchase, and a free pen!
The note was printed on normal A4 paper and looked like it was the same for every customer, but it was still leaps and bounds ahead of Faceless Printer Ink Company.
Can you guess which business I’ll be ordering from in the future?
How handwritten thank you notes can make your business stand out
Now, what happens when you send a personally written, handwritten (heaven forbid, humorous) thank you note on premium paper, in a hand addressed normal-looking (not business-like) envelope to your customers after they purchase your product or service?
Besides the insane number of brownie points it’ll buy you, pictures of your notes will start showing up on Twitter, Instagram and other social networks where your customers will be telling all their friends how great you are.
Now, think that can help your brand a smidgen?
Let’s look at 11 companies (and one Uber driver!) doing just that. Some are startups, others are well-established companies you wouldn’t even imagine were capable of something like this.
First up is…
1) Bank of North Carolina
Do you remember the last time your bank actually thanked you for anything?
Just the fact that my bank isn’t screwing me every day is pretty impressive by most standards. But if I received a thank you note like this every once in a while, I could very well be a customer for life.
(Bank of New Jersey take note!)
The note reads:
Thank you for opening your Savings account with BNC Bank. We appreciate this opportunity you have given us. If there is anything we can help you with now or in the future, please do not hesitate to give us a call. Thank you for banking with us. We appreciate your business. Sincerely –
Casper sells mattresses, pillows and sheets that “create the world’s best sleep environment”.
These guys take the thank you note to new heights with their 80’s themed thank you notes. Who doesn’t appreciate a good Def Leppard pun on their thank you note?
Here’s what the handwritten note reads:
“Pour some slumber on me in the name of sleep, pour some slumber on me – come on snooze me up!
Hope you love 80’s Rock as much as you love your Caspter! -Luke”
Let me save you some trouble by linking the Youtube video to this classic. You’re welcome.
No prizes for guessing the song this note references!
Ok, last one from Casper. These guys are blowing up Twitter. Check out the note below apologizing for delayed delivery. Amazing – this company sends a “how we messed up” note and still wins the praises of their customer. All hail the power of the handwritten note!
I’m writing to say we’re sorry. We messed up and didn’t get you your order on time.
Everyone at Casper believed that providing you with a best-in-class experience is the single most important thing. So, we’re working diligently to ensure products are always delivered on time in the future.
Thank you for your patience as we overcome our growing pains – we appreciate you joining the family.
3) Delta Airlines
When it comes to penned letters and airlines, it’s usually the customer complaining about their misplaced Gibson Les Paul or the latest ‘Crippling 48 hour flight delay from hell’.
But in this case, it was the other way around. Delta Airlines employee Rachel was nice enough to write a heartfelt “we appreciate you” note to Mr. Nigri after a flight from Atlanta to Australia (though I’m not sure why she’s reminding Steven which terminal they arrived at). Regardless, classy move Delta.
4) Foodora (previously Hurrier)
Hurrier was food delivery service connecting fine restaurants (that typcially don’t deliver) with customers who can order a home-delivered meal with a couple of clicks on their iPhone or Android smartphone.
Hurrier was recently acquired by Foodora and sent this note to their clients to let them know. I can’t make out more than the first few lines. But I think it’s safe to say the personal, handwritten touch made an impact!
We have some exciting news. We’re thrilled… etc”
5) Forage Fine Foods
According to the Forage Fine Foods website, this little company makes flavorful herbs, spices and sauces for “hunters & gatherers”. As a supplier to local shops and delicatessens, this company clearly understands the value of personal relationships in business.
Dear JoJo & Barrier,
Here is your first delivery of Forage goodies, thank you for enjoying our flavors & for stocking the range – it’s lovely to sell to people who are passionate about good food & you both radiated a love of good food!
Judging by their reaction on Twitter (“highlight of the week”), how many of their suppliers do you think bothered to send them a personally handwritten note?
6) Love Your Melon
These guys started a college business selling beanie hats to help out kids suffering from cancer. Already successful in their goal of putting beanie hats on 45,000 kids’ heads, they’re now donating 50% of net proceeds to related cancer charities.
According to this note, it looks like they’ve already donated $500,000 to charity. Very cool!
7) Primal Snack Box
Primal Snack Box is a UK based company offering a monthly selection of snacks that conform to the paleo diet. Like Casper, posts of this company’s products have been clogging up social media sites over the last year.
For instance, Instagram is full of voluntarily snapped pics like the one below. Obviously this has to do with the excitement of receiving such an awesome pack of snacks, but take a look at vegan.london’s shoutout to the handwritten note!
The note itself reads:
Dear Libby, thank you so much for ordering our new Forest Explorer box, plus enjoy the extra ‘Spirulina Bites’! :)
The Primal Snack Box Team x
8) Strive Labs
Strive Labs sells Customer Relationship Management software in the health and wellness industry.
This example highlights the power of sending handwritten notes to top influencers in your industry. Just look at how many Twitter followers Jerry has! Think your brand could benefit from that exposure?
9) Sutton Ford Dealership
Bet your dealership didn’t send you a handwritten note like the one below, did they? Mine neither. Then again, I didn’t buy from Sutton Ford. My mistake!
This note reads:
This is Mike Darge at Sutton Ford. I just wanted to thank you for doing business with us. If there is anything I can do for you or your family please call.
Thanks again, Mike
Bonus points if you can find the unintentional pun in Fabiola’s tweet.
10) levity brew
Here’s one startup that is seemingly not a fan of capital letters in sentences (seriously, browse the levity brew site and try to find one!). But they are a fan of sending handwritten thank you notes, and that makes me happy!
Extra points to Kelly (the founder) for signing the note herself.
thank you so much for your purchase! hope levity brew truly elevates your day.
11) Pique Tea
This company sells tea crystals – which is a crystallized form of perfectly brewed tea leaves. Basically it eliminates the need to become a master at brewing tea, and gives you instant access to a perfectly cup of brewed tea by just adding water. Have I piqued your interest yet?
The note reads:
Thank you for your order! We hope that you enjoy this shipment of Pique. We would love to hear of any flavors that you would like to see from us.
Again, more praise for the handwritten note!
12) Christopher The Uber Driver
For anyone who doesn’t get why Uber is putting taxi drivers out of business, this may have something to do with it. When’s the last time your taxi driver sent you a personal thank you note??
Happy Super Bowl Sunday!
Thank you very much for being my passenger. It was an absolute pleasure to be your personal exclusive Uber driver this Sunday! Hope I’ve provided you with 5 stars exceptional service. Have an awesome Super Bowl Sunday!
Yours very sincerely & respectfully.
Christoper José Martínez
Christopher – can I book you for my future Super Bowl chauffeur needs?
There you have it – 11 companies (and one Uber driver) using handwritten notes to engage with their customers, build some amazing customer loyalty and get some free exposure on the social networks at the same time.
Are handwritten thank you notes worth it?
At Letter Friend, we’re obviously a little biased, but if your business depends on your customers ordering more than one time, we believe it’s one of the most important things you can do to create a lasting positive impression.
What do you want your customers thinking and saying (or posting on Twitter & Instagram) upon receiving a note from your company? Just look at some of the comments these notes have received!
“This is how customer service is done”
“I love them!”
“My kind of company”
“First class customer service”
“Loving the customer experience already”
“Customer service at the highest level”
“That’s one way to leave a lasting impression”
“What a highlight of the week!”
“I love startups that get it”
If I think back to my first printer order, my internal dialogue was more akin to a flatline than anything like those comments. If you can influence an emotional reaction in your customer with a simple gesture such as a handwritten note, why not do something like this?
And as you saw with Delta, it’s not just for fledgling startups with crazy ideas. Every business can benefit. Customers love being appreciated – period!
Did you receive a handwritten thank you note recently for a product you purchased (or Uber ride)?
What was your reaction?