They almost got it right

As we approach “thank you note” season, I thought I’d share an experience that gives some insight about what NOT to do!

A few weeks ago, I was ordering something over the phone. The order became sort of complicated, and probably took much longer than the average call. I had some very specific questions that required both myself and the associate, Lisa, to research before the order could be completed. In the end, the order was completed properly, and I have to say that Lisa handled the entire process VERY well.


About a week later, we got a card in the mail from that company. Upon opening it we found a hand written note from Lisa, thanking us for our order, and the note even included a few details of our conversation.

Sounds good, right? What’s the problem?

The card was addressed “Dear Linda” (my wife), when it was me who spent over 20 minutes on the phone with Lisa. It’s true that Linda has an account with this company, and we had even put the order in her name for simplicity, but Linda never spoke to Lisa.

Is this a big deal, when everything else went so well? I kinda think it is.

You could argue that Linda is the account holder and it went to her because of that. I would counter that argument with this:  If this company is REALLY trying to make a personal touch and show an interest in the consumer experience beyond the sale, they need to get ALL of the details right, which starts with knowing who you are are talking to.

For most people, there is nothing more personal than their name.  It represents who they are and it identifies them from the crowd.  Unless they have changed their (first) name for some reason, it’s been with them their entire life, which means they are pretty attached to it.

So as you are writing your thank you notes, and taking the time to thank your employees for all that they do all year, remember that one little detail that will truly communicate how much you care about them: Use their (correct) name.

Thanks for reading!  Happy Holidays!


4 thoughts on “They almost got it right

  1. I loved this post. I had a similar experience with Sears trying to order a battery pack for Joe’s drill. (A Christmas surprise.) I gave her the credit card info, and all the other necessary stuff. The woman was very patient as her computer told her that my physical address didn’t exist. (Riverside recently became a Danville RD/Street – unless you stick with a PO Box as we did). I told her that the address can be overridden as we do when ordering on line. 40 min into the call, she asks again for my credit card, insisting that I hadn’t given it to her earlier! I kept saying, “I don’t want to be billed twice as I’ve given you this 20 min ago”. Well, I placed the order for shipment to our home. Instead it shows up at the PO Box….with Joe’s name on it. So, figuring that he ordered something since it tis the season, I handed it to him to open when he got home. Surprise! So much for Santa! I would love to see a Thank you – maybe it would go to our CAT! haha

    Thanks for the contact information. I reached out – and understand that Disney is Tough.

    Leanna Knoebel Muscato Games Manager Knoebels Amusement Resort PO Box 317 Elysburg, PA 17824 570-672-2572 x 128 cell 570-259-0969

    • Wow – thanks for sharing that story, Leanna! I hope Joe enjoyed the battery pack! :o) Let me know if your cat gets any mail!


  2. Hey Matt, Great post! On an even larger scale, I have been to a few concerts in Maine where the headlining act has said the traditional “Thank you (insert city name)” at the conclusion of their set. Unfortunately more than once I have heard a band either say “Thank you Boston!” or “Thank you Massachusetts!” as their final goodbye. Minor, yes. Has it stuck with me, yes.

    See you at AIMS!


    • Thanks, Ben! Great example! I don’t know if I ever told you the story… when I was going to Plymouth State I volunteered to be part of the local road crew when Joan Jett came to town. One of my jobs was to put a big piece of tape on the floor by her microphone that said, PLYMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE. Good times!

      See you in January – happy holidays!


Give me your two cents!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s