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!