I bought a shirt last month at Brooks Brothers. It’s a white and red pinstripe button-up and I’m absolutely in love with it. But that’s not the point of this post. The customer service at Brooks Brothers is always exceptional and my particular sales associate, Garth, was no exception. He helped me with sizing, explained washing instructions, and made my shopping experience a step above the rest. When I got to the cash register, I was asked a familiar question: “Can I get your name and address?” Like most people I was hesitant, but in an effort to avoid saying the awkward “ummm… no sorry,” I gave him my particulars and expected nothing to come of it.
A couple weeks later I received an envelope in the mail. I thought, “oh great… advertising,” but I was wrong. It was a handwritten thank you note from Garth:
I couldn’t believe it. In a world of discount superstores and self-checkouts at the grocery store, seeing this level of customer service was truly surprising. It’s a step further than most brick-and-mortar establishments are willing to go. Think about it: The time it takes every sales associate to write (how many a day?), the cost of stationary, the cost of postage… the whole process is anything but easy and it gets expensive quick.
Do you think it's worth it? I’m sure Brooks Brothers would argue yes. And from my perspective, even if I don't become a loyal customer for life, the word of mouth advertising they received from me telling all my friends “I can’t believe they sent me a handwritten thank you card,” is probably well worth the stamp and 30 seconds of Garth’s time at the end of his shift.
Online stores can express their gratitude by sending handwritten thank you cards as well. Shopify store The Big Blue Hug, sends out a letter of thanks with every order they ship:
I bought this beautiful painting from a seven year-old named Ellis. He has autism and can’t talk very well so he draws a lot. Ellis is an amazing artist, so his dad, Jason, started an online store with Shopify to sell his masterpieces.
With or without the thank you card, The Big Blue Hug is a "feel good" store, but it's that little personal touch that brings the shopping experience to the next level. I put the thank you card on my fridge with a magnet, and you can bet the next time I need to fill some white space on my wall, I'll be going to their website.
Handwritten thank you notes may not make a difference to all your customers, but these two cards certainly made an impact on me. If you'd like to try this oldschool method of marketing, or simply want a clever way to thank your customers, you should consider including a handwritten thank you note with every order. Check out a few awesome Shopify stores that sell some really cool stationery: Hammerpress, Little Otsu, R. Nichols & Dempsey Press.