|Thank you note from hospital.|
Do thank you notes from businesses you’ve purchased from make you feel appreciated, or like a potential future sale?
I recently learned that a small business had been sending out thank-you notes to customers every three months, and asked which customers were receiving these notes of appreciation for their purchase. I was told that all customers get one, and currently there are 300 customers that have been collected in their database over the years. And, the notes all must be hand written for the personal touch.
This week, I received a thank-you note signed by three people at a hospital where I had a medical procedure done a couple of weeks ago. I recognized one of the names as being the doctor’s assistant, but couldn’t figure out who the other two people were. The note had a beautiful message about wellness and thanked me for using their services.
Many years ago, my mother bought a Cadillac. It was a beautiful car that had every option for comfort and convenience, and was a pricey vehicle. Mom was flattered to get calls every quarter to ask how things were going with the car. I knew she was simply in a database at the dealership and they were keeping in touch with her in hopes of making another sale down the line (her brand of choice is now Lexus).
Every four to six weeks, we get a newsletter with basic home care information from the banker who we have our mortgage and subsequent two refinancings through. Our rate is currently so low that we’ll not ever refinance again, but surely there is a database at the bank that spits out our mailing label every time one of the newsletters come out. Of course, his newsletter reminds us that he’s still out there, ready to serve us if needed.
When I get the banker’s newsletter, I toss it into the trash because it never has information that’s useful to me as a home owner for over 20 years. I would bet that at least 80 per cent of the 300 customers who have been getting the quarterly thank you note from the small business toss never open it, despite the “personal touch” hand written address on the envelope.
My mom eventually caught on that she was as special to the Cadillac dealership as every other customer they had, and when I received the note from the hospital, I thought it was a nice gesture, but I sincerely doubt that any of the people signing the note would recognize me even if I showed up in the same procedure room wearing a hospital gown. I didn’t feel appreciated. They performed a service and my insurance company and I will pay the bill.
A thank-you note after a sale may be appreciated, but after that, it’s all just marketing and no one is really thinking about the individual customer.
Busy people don’t take the time to open mail with a repetitive message that doesn’t pertain to their life now or in the near future.
The marketing professionals who cling to this old fashioned way of staying in front of the customer need to understand that they are working with customers who have become wise to what they are doing. Frequent notes of appreciation are not, well, appreciated.
What do you think? Do these business really appreciate you so much that they think of you every few weeks or months?