Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Three times a charm

Recently I received three thank-you's for a relatively inexpensive product I purchased from a website. Now perhaps you are thinking that three thank-you's are a bit of overkill for purchasing a $29.95 item. Not at all. Each thank-you was different. And each thank-you had a different impact.

The first thank-you was an auto-response email. That thank-you let me know that my payment was received. Although it was impersonal (as all auto responders are) I felt safe in knowing that the site got my order. Then awhile later I received a personal email from the person I purchased this CD from, Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound. This thank-you was more personal and I felt that she appreciated my purchase. It allowed me to fell more connected to her. But it was the third thank-you that really made an indelible impression on my heart and mind. When I received the CD that I had ordered there was a hand written note on her stationary. It said "Laurie, Thanks for your order. Have fun submitting articles! Joan" Great note, but the best part was at the top of this note. Her cartoon mascot the "Publicity Hound" had a cartoon balloon that read "Hi Laurie" coming from the mascot's mouth.

This note was fun. But the other great thing about the note is that it had Joan's contact information. Address, fax, phone, email and website (www.publicityhound.com). This meant that I would be able to call her or reorder without a lot of problems trying to find her.
I asked Joan about her process and how much time and money it cost her to do her thanks. Needless to say it cost her very little time and even less money. Even so she has found this extra effort has been noticed by her customers. Who, partially because of these efforts have become loyal, repeat customers.

Now this is not an advertisement for Joan, but I must tell you more about her. She is the perfect example of what I have talked about in these blogs. A great combination of generosity and gratitude. She has an email newsletter that she sends out that is jam packed with great free publicity tips. She often speaks for free to members of her organizations and she has great products.

Think about your own thank yous. Do you even thank your customers once? Do you take the time to hand write a personal note? Whether your customer buys a $50,000 car or a $30 CD they deserve to be thanked. I believe that a simple verbal "thanks" is not enough anymore. There is too many places to buy our products and services. We must set ourselves apart by the simple yet extraordinary acts of gratitude and generosity.

So write at least three thank-you's today to your customers, whether they have purchased from you recently or not. Oh and by the way when you do thank them, make sure your contact info is on the card or note.