The Magic of Acknowledgement

Are Thank You notes just a nice thing to do?

Don’t bet on it.

When we get very busy serving our customers and filling our funnels, we find that even “thank you note believers” will put sending out notes on the bottom of their to do list. The value of a Thank You note is a hard thing to quantify, unlike getting an order filled on time or landing a new customer. So it stands to reason that if something has to be left for another time, it would be the thank you.

 

Unfortunately, study after study shows that when you demonstrate gratitude to your customers, they are warmer on follow up visits, spend more with you and become talking billboards for your products and services. And customer loyalty is quantifiable – it  costs 5 times as much to get a new customer as it does to keep a current customer.

 

Saying thank you to vendors results in better service, delivering on time and keeping your cash flowing. Employees who are appreciated are more productive and stay longer. Thank you’s do pay big dividends wherever they are given.

 

At the end of the day, it is because all these transactions are based on relationships – human to human, even in this highly digital age. And one of the most basic human needs is acknowledgement. Acknowledgement is the action of expressing or displaying gratitude or appreciation for something. Think about any relationship you have that isn’t working as well as you would like and the chances are that an abundance of acknowledgement or appreciation is missing. Casual thanks are nice, but are missing the “effort” factor. Acknowledgement in the form of a simple thank you note is absolute magic.

 

But we still have the problem of time to do it. While there are digital solutions, e.g. email and automated follow up letters, they do not always convey the sincerity that we want. Fast and easy most often is interpreted as fast and easy, i.e. limited impact. We want speed and convenience and we need the personal impact. Thankfully, there is new technology that gives us both the convenience and the personal touch.

 

ThankYouPro is an iPhone app that allows us to create and mail a real paper note (not a postcard!) in less than a minute. The paper note is mailed with a first class stamp almost immediately. This sophisticated app is totally customizable, provides a variety of handwriting fonts, and best of all, lets you sign your card right on the phone. The result is a handwritten look in short expressions of gratitude, perfect for sales call and interview followups, gifts and even friendly catch-ups. This class of thank you notes definitely helps to end the email vs paper note dilemma, providing an even higher level of convenience than email while making it a personal experience for the receiver. Check out ThankYouPro at the app store for the most sophisticated and convenient app for thank you notes.

New – The Corporate Program

Our new program is not just for corporations, it is for any organization sending at least one card per day. ThankYouPro will set up one account for the organization, offer a generous discount and bill monthly. We’ll even keep your account stocked so you never have to buy stamps. Just contact us at customerservice@thankyoupro.com.

105 Emails

Are you an email Thank You note sender? Here’s something to think about:

Words of wisdom from the New York Times…..
“Corporate employees receive and send an average of 105 emails per working day, many of which are unnecessary. The most productive and least stressed workers are those who don’t check their mailboxes regularly.” (From The Week)

How much attention will your email Thank You note get? Will you get lost in the crowd?

Yes, email thank you’s are quick and free. But if you are a business person wanting to enhance customer loyalty, quick and free will be perceived as quick and free.
Consider this:

• People see paper thank you notes as having the proper weight and respect. They show real intent and are much more personal. They have the power to create connections between people.

• People who appreciate etiquette will see the email thank you as rude and thoughtless. Paper notes have the ‘good breeding’ factor.

• Paper notes will have a much bigger impact, especially in the business environment, i.e. they get noticed. Most people get so many emails that they don’t really notice them as they fly by. The paper note is still considered more “professional”.

• All people do not live online.

We want speed and convenience and we need the personal impact. The real issue is how to say “Thank you” when it really matters. Thankfully, there is new technology that gives us both the convenience and the personal touch. There are now smartphone apps that allow us to create and mail a real paper note (not a postcard!) in less than a minute. The paper note is mailed with a first class stamp almost immediately. The most sophisticated app of the genre provides a variety of fonts, and best of all, lets you sign your card right on the phone. These are not thank you letters, but short expressions of gratitude, perfect for sales call and interview followups, gifts and even friendly catch-ups. This class of thank you notes definitely helps to end the email vs paper note dilemma, providing an even higher level of convenience than email while making it a personal experience for the receiver. Check out ThankYouPro on the iTunes AppStore.

Wisdom from “The Happiness Project”

Recently I was introduced to a book called “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. I believe we all want to be happy and work to attain those things that we believe will make us happy. Sadly, those things aren’t always the source of happiness that we want them to be!

Rubin believes that an important part of working towards being happier is to be grateful, and to put a voice to that gratitude, either in a gratitude journal or by simply reflecting often on what there is in life to be grateful for. It’s so easy to focus on the things that are not going well and on mistakes and regrets of the past. Even though much of this is human nature, she realized that there was so much in her life to be grateful for. If she thought about it and put it into words, it stuck with her for much longer than just a moment. It colored how she felt for some time afterwards.

This really resonated with me. Even though I have so much to be grateful for, I rarely make a conscious effort to vocalize it. But since we started ThankYouPro, I have written more thank you notes than in my entire life. Clearly, that started because it’s now our business, but it is also because the app makes it fun and easy. The notes are one way that I have given voice to my gratitude. The more notes I write, the more occasions I find to say thank you. Pretty much every day, there is some kindness someone has done for me, or some event in which I was included that gave me joy, or just for time spent together on a project. I find myself consciously looking for opportunities to say thank you.

The really interesting thing is that I am not looking for or expecting feedback from the recipients. It’s enough for me to do it. I’m sure there is some point of overdoing it, but for now I am in agreement with Rubin. Giving voice to my gratitude is resulting in a significant bump in happiness.

The High Cost of “Lost” customers

It costs 5 times as much to get a new customer as to retain a current customer.

It’s very sad that many companies put much more effort into gaining new customers than keeping the ones they already gained. The cost involved is amazing. There is tremendous value in having an active customer retention program that keeps your current customers buying from you rather than drifting away to a competitor.

We recently saw a white paper by customer loyalty guru Jill Griffin. She cites a Rockefeller Foundation study on the reasons customers become “lost” customers:

Complaints were not handled 14%
The competition 9%
Relocation 9%
No special reason 68%

No special reason means benign neglect.

So how do we deal with “benign neglect”? While there are many ways, it can be as simple as reaching out to say “thank you” for your loyalty. A thank you card in the mail says that you appreciate their business and want to stay connected. It takes less than a minute with ThankYouPro to avoid the 68% benign neglect syndrome and keep that customer engaged with you.

We are expanding

We are so excited to find that such a variety of people are using our product. We have users from corporations, auto sales, insurance, in-home care, landscapers, caterers, and independent consultants. And we have had a request for new card designs and we definitely plan to offer many new designs. So we’re asking for your help in selecting the new designs. Please send us ideas and or designs for our new card covers – we need your help!