A friend of mine that owns three restaurants simply sat down and handwrote a post card to his customer list inviting them to join his rewards program and he had a 20% sign up off that mailing. During the previous 6 months, he distributed two other post card mailings, without the handwritten message, and never had more than a 5% response rate.
What made the difference?
This time he used cheapest and most effective loyalty building and customer retention tool in existence, a tool that is largely ignored because it is boring to the marketer. However, it is so exciting to the customer that it completely drowns out all other marketing messages it competes with. This powerful tool that nobody uses is a personal touch.
“Oh, it’s just that,” you say. “I thought he was going to talk about some new idea or technology that would magically attract and retain clients for me. Personal touch, blah, blah, blah.”
Gotcha! I’m sorry to tell you, but there is no magic pill for attracting and retaining clients. It takes work – work that many businesses today fail to invest in. They don’t spend time to write a personalized handwritten note or make a personal phone call because that kind of stuff is boring. It takes too long. Taking the time to sit down and think of what you want to write, find a nice card, actually write the note, stuff it into an envelope, put a stamp on it and mail it. Are you kidding? Why not send an email, it’s so much easier!
When trying to create loyalty and build customer retention, easier is not always better!
What catches my eye about a service provider is not the easy things they do, but the things I perceive as they’re going out of their way to do for me.
After receiving cost hikes and poor service from my local cable service for years, I had come to detest them to the core. I would have sworn my prejudice was so ingrained it would be impossible for them to overcome. Yet, I melted with just one personal gesture on their part.
My cable box went out. The company sent someone over two days later and replaced the box. Not great, but OK. The very next day, I received a handwritten note by the cable guy…yeah! The cable guy! He thanked me for being a customer in his own handwriting. I immediately thought, if a guy that doesn’t get paid the big bucks at the company would still take the time to send me a handwritten note the day after he performed a service for me, then that’s a company I like doing business with.
Here Are My Top 6 Loyalty Building Handwritten Notes You Should Be Writing To Attract & Retain New Clients:
1. Always have a stack of “Thank You” notes on your desk. -- Write at least one a day for anything or anyone that strikes your fancy. Just get it written and in the mail. You would be surprised how writing a thank you note to a clerk that helped you in a store can sometimes work its way back to you in very strange and positive ways.
2. Have an idea that people need to know about? – Send out a handful of notes asking people to lunch or breakfast to run an idea by them. 10 of these a month and your sales will go through the roof
3. Birthday and holiday cards – need is say more? And don’t send a lousy pre-printed one or a card with just a signature. That is a slap in the face. Take the time to write a brief message, then and only then, sign it.
4. Attach a note to an article that you read – nothing makes a person feel more important than when you send an article to them about an interest of theirs with a personal note attached. People work with people that do the little things.
5. Haven’t seen you in a while – sending a note to check-in with someone can result in business you never dreamed of.
6. Send something to make them smile – a joke, a funny news story or personal account. This will change your whole relationship to that of a friend and people buy from friends.
Writing a note is one of the simplest, easiest and most cost effective ways to build loyalty and retain clients, yet it is the most under utilized marketing tool in business today. Pick up a pen. Write a note and watch the magic begin.
By Michael Kaselnak
Image by Andrea Rankovic
Michael Kaselnak is considered one of the top marketing and sales experts in the financial services industry. He writes articles that have appeared in many mainstream magazines and has written the popular report 300 Financial Headlines that sell. He may be contacted at http://www.mikekaselnak.com