In last month’s blog post, I wrote about the key to ORMS’ success and longevity – putting our clients first. I shared how we always listen to our customers, as well as other key stakeholders like future clients, business partners, regulators, and industry influencers, to ensure we are delivering the services that our clients need. In this month’s post, I’ll continue on that thread and share some more actions you can take to cultivate real and meaningful relationships with your customers.
A deceptively simple, yet powerful way to keep in touch with your clients is with a handwritten note. This definitely falls under the “old school” category of nurturing and business development, but it is surprisingly effective. Post-Internet, as we exhaustedly sift through inboxes filled with hundreds of unread emails, and try to stay current with the latest LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter feeds, there is something refreshing about receiving a quaint but ultra-personal handwritten thank-you card from a business colleague.
A 2018 psychological study bears this out. It found that letter-writers consistently underestimated the positive reactions receivers would feel upon reading a note of gratitude. According to Amit Kumar, one of the authors of the study, “What we saw is that it only takes a couple of minutes to compose letters like these, thoughtful ones and sincere ones. It comes at little cost, but the benefits are larger than people expect.”
Let’s face it, most of us don’t get nearly the volume of snail mail as 10, 15 or 20 years ago. And much of what we do receive consists of impersonal, preprinted junk mail offerings. On the rare occasion we receive an envelope with our name handwritten on the front, it really stands out. I have yet to meet the person who will discard a hand-addressed envelope without first reading what’s inside!
And if what’s inside is a few sentences of honest, heartfelt appreciation for a recent interaction, or a simple “thank you” for being a long-time client, well … that really leaves an impression.
A quick Google search results in lots of tips on how to write the perfect handwritten thank you note. My advice is to keep it simple:
Above all, don’t overthink it. Here’s a simple, but effective example of a sincere, but brief note:
“Hi, Joe – Thank you so much for trusting us at ORMS with your last environmental review. Your team was outstanding to work with and we truly appreciate your business. Best, Derek.”
While I don’t do it as often as I should, sending a handwritten thank-you note has always been something that people have responded positively to and made a point to discuss. This year, I plan to make handwritten notes part of my regular routine. How about you?