You sort through your mail and find a beautifully addressed envelope.
You notice it right away, of course, because a hand-addressed letter—especially one addressed in pretty calligraphy—is rare these days. Pick it up (go ahead, I’ll wait) and feel the weight of it in your hands. Run your fingers over it and feel the ink rise up off the surface of the paper. Open the outer envelope and find another envelope inside, this one with just your name on it.
You’re thinking, wedding invitation? Party invitation? It’s something special, you know that much.
And inside that envelope, you find a personal greeting. A thank-you. A note of appreciation for your business or just to say happy birthday or happy holidays.
How do you think that experience would make you feel? All of it, from the moment you find the envelope to the one when you read those words?
What would it mean to you that someone took the time to write this note and to put it in the mail so that you could experience this moment of feeling truly appreciated?
Pretty great, yes?
This is what our customers deserve. To know that they matter that much to us, that we value them. And they won’t throw that card away, as they might any other piece of mail that looks like a bill or an ad or a sales letter. They will set it aside and keep it. They will most certainly remember it.
And they’re very likely to tell their friends and their family about it, and maybe even show it to them. That would be great for business, wouldn’t it?
But the referrals and the future sales aren’t the end game, not really. The most important thing (we all know this) is to build and maintain good relationships with the people who trust us with their loyalty and their business.
But that’s not even the whole payoff, either (though it’s very compelling).
To me, it’s that one moment, when a thoughtful gesture floats down and comes to rest in the middle of someone’s day, or at the end of it. When for that moment, his or her attention is tied up the surprise of that note, the thoughtful words, the pretty script, the feel of ink on paper. The permanence of it. The care and good intention behind it. The effect it will continue to have long after that moment passes.
There’s a bit of magic to it. Because it’s rare, because it’s beautiful, because it’s special. Because it took some effort and thought.
Because it creates a thread of connection, or strengthens one that is already there. And whatever good things happen later, however the business relationship develops, it will be tethered to that good memory.
Pen. Paper. Words. A stamp.
Magic isn’t so hard to pull off, after all.