The art of the thank-you note has been largely forgotten, particularly by businesses. One unique way to improve customer retention, as well as positive word of mouth advertising, is by taking the time to write thank-you letters to clients or customers. While this can be a time-consuming process, the benefits for this type of communication are far-reaching and well worth the time spent. Ideally, the owner of a small business should be the one to send a thank-you note so that the gesture is associated with the company as a whole, not just with one employee.
1. Choose your format for your thank-you letter. While there is nothing wrong with a simple thank-you letter printed on your company letterhead, a personalized and handwritten thank-you note shows more effort and more attention to the customer as a person. Small thank-you cards can be purchased in bulk and utilized as necessary.
2. Avoid using the note as a sales pitch. Yes, this customer has already purchased something from you, but you want to make sure that you do not make a bad impression. A thank-you note is no place for a sales pitch. Stick to your appreciation of the customer and nothing else.
3. Personalize the card. Start with the customer's first name and then cite the day that she was in your place of business, if this information is available. For example, "Dear Ellen, we are happy you stopped in to see us this past Tuesday." This lets the customer know that she isn't just a faceless wallet walking through your door.
4. Express your appreciation to the customer. Sincerely thank him for his purchase and let him know that you appreciated doing business with him. Leave out tag lines, such as we hope to do business with you again soon, or we hope you'll come back for our next sale; these techniques are overly pointed and unnecessary.
5. Send the thank-you note first class with an actual stamp. If you have a lot of notes to send, it may be tempting to run them through a postal machine or even send them via bulk mail. Take the time to hand-stamp each one. It shows time and thoughtfulness, will actually reach your customer in less time and have less chance of being discarded.