Archive for March 2013 | Monthly archive page

Not long ago, I was talking with an acquaintance at my son’s basketball game. I knew she had recently purchased a new car, and I was curious to know how a high-end car dealership says thank you after a sale.

“They gave me a key chain.” She shrugged.

“Did they send a note?”

She shook her head.

I spoke with another friend who had just driven home a new mid-range Mercedes. The dealership didn’t send him a thank-you, but he received a plush blanket and a pre-printed card from Mercedes-Benz USA.

Better than a key chain, sure, but he received nothing at all from the salesperson or the dealership, and the note from the national office was pre-printed and impersonal.

I asked them both a few questions about how they felt about their experiences, and they both said that even though a gift was a nice token, they felt no emotional impact from it. They didn’t feel special or appreciated.

And they said one more thing (psst: this is the secret sauce): a handwritten note would have altered the after-purchase experience for them. Companies who aren’t making that effort to connect with their customers after a sale are missing a huge opportunity to extend the memory of the client’s last great customer service experience with the company.

Creating an emotional connection with your customers can have a huge impact on your bottom line, too.

“Customers who have a true human relationship with a brand typically buy double from that brand and stay loyal for a longer period of time,” wrote Mark Robeson, senior vice president of sales and marketing at VIPdesk, in the March 2012 issue of Loyalty Marketing Magazine (“How Luxury Brands Can Reinvent the Customer Experience“).

Makes sense, doesn’t it? We want to do business with the people we like and who make us feel appreciated. Like we matter.

“The good news is,” Robeson continued,”that there is an opportunity for luxury brands to increase their customer loyalty, starting with a seemingly simple technique: a note. In the era of e-mail, handwritten correspondence can go a long way in developing a bond with a brand. One luxury executive who is a strong believer in a handwritten thank-you note is Fendi’s head of accessories, Silvia Venturini Fendi. Every one of the brand’s made-to-order Peekaboo bags come with a handwritten note from Ms. Fendi. Another brand that is well known for sending handwritten notes to its customers is Montblanc, purveyor of luxury watches, writing instruments, jewelry and leather.”

I’m pretty sure those companies know what they’re doing. A note. Pen, paper, a few sincere sentences of appreciation for doing business with you. With all the high-tech ways we keep in touch these days, sometimes going old-school (think: timeless, with proven results) can have the biggest impact.

{If you would like to learn more about how I can make it easy and simple for you to send beautiful handwritten notes, just fill out the contact form here.}