I've been streamlining shipping lately and am skimping where I shouldn't be. Namely, the thank you note. Ideally, it should be an individually written card lovingly enclosed and packaged with the order. It should thank the customer, remind them who they're shopping with, and encourage them to come back.
I'm of two minds. I truly believe in my deepest of hearts that most of my customers toss them. I've seen a couple board posts with people lamenting the waste of paper and packaging on simple orders. I can't skimp on packaging - all it takes is one order arriving damaged and needing to be replaced and I'm in the red. Promotion is a different story. We've all got business cards and enclose them in each order. Even with returning customers. I keep business cards in a file on my desk with notes on them as to what I bought and if anything happened but I'm not sure anyone else is this compulsive.
Where does the thank you note fall in? Again, this is something I have sent but stopped when I started seeing that the same people who I sent them to complained about wasteful shipping. At the same time, I just received one from a large supplier I placed a wholesale order with and I'm rethinking the whole thing. It was individually printed, customized to what I ordered, tasteful and shared what they did that made them different from the other places I might have gone. There was an individual's name (first and last), their phone number (not 800 but we're all on one-price unlimited calling anyway) and an invitation to call for any reason at all. When I read it I was struck by the thought that someone actually cared. I was planning on doing business with this company again anyway because they have great prices and their product arrived in good condition, exactly as advertised and promptly. I confess that the thank you note I received is tipping me more in their favor. It was a wholesale order. I'm a small fish in a big pond. A person with a last name gave me their phone number if I'd like to discuss my order. I'm impressed.
What does this mean to me as a small business owner? I'm going to enclose a thank you card again. I have them, I might as well use them. The ten seconds it takes me to write one out is priceless. Please let me know if you find this offensive or tedious. I will flog an idea to death. If you disagree I want to hear about it!
If you've stumbled upon something that your customers find extra special, please share it with me so I can steal the idea.