In a world full of emotionless emails and mass-texts with the grammar of a third grader, the art of handwriting and snail mailing a personalized note has gone the way of the 8-track.

But, personalized “Thank You” cards are the easiest, cheapest and most personalized way to build relationships, increase customer loyalty and effectively grow sales.

In banking, we all pretty much have the same products. And no one wants to solely compete on price. If you really want to differentiate in your market, do what few companies in the country do and write handwritten thank you notes.

A while back, I wrote about a handwritten note that I received from a hotel in Chattanooga. See the article here. I now realize that I left y’all hangin’, without tips to make it work for you.

7 Tips to Awesome Personalized Notes

Keep it Simple

Keep in mind that this is a note. Keep it simple in both design and message. If you choose to brand your cards, keep the logo elegant.  Avoid being ostentatious at all cost.

…But Make an Impact

The act of receiving a handwritten note will stand out all by itself. But if you want to take it to the next level and really be remembered, include a small gift (maybe something logoed), coupons or discount when they come back in (10 basis points added to your next CD or off your next loan in the next 3-months). Again, as long as you keep it classy and within your company’s culture.

… That said, You Don’t Need to Send “Stuff”

Imagine the impact of a simple statement like, “wish your daughter good luck on her soccer tournament this weekend.”

You can make an impact by showing your personality. Mention part of your in-person discussion, tell a (clean) joke, whatever. You don’t need to always be pitching business. This is a “Thank You” after all. If a smiley face fits your personality and your company culture, include one. Have fun with these.

… The One Thing You should ALWAYS Include

Make it easy for the customer to get back with you. Even if they walked out the door with your business card initially, send another. Always toss your business card into a note.

… And Legible

Pause … take a breath … slow down and write your note. Don’t rush through it and, whatever you do, don’t scribble! Rushing honestly won’t save you much time. The goal is to make sure that the customer feels appreciated.

I Know, You Don’t Have Time!

Get prepared. Have pre-stamped envelopes close at hand. Keep your note cards within arm’s reach. And write your note immediately! It should just take a minute or two. Your next customer will just think that you’re finishing up your last transaction … Because you ARE!  And they will gladly wait for the world-class service that you’re about to drop on them.

Be Innovative

Although it’s electronic, a text is still personal. While I believe that there’s great value in “old fashioned” paper … I’m open to you trying to text thank yous for the right demographic and if it fits your bank or credit union’s brand.

Do You Want Proof That It Works?

Offer to run an experiment and A-B test the success. Especially if your sales team is on any kind of commission or bonus structure … suggest that you split the team, for 3 months, into A) Those who write Thank You notes with every interaction and B) Those who do not.  And measure everyone’s sales over that time. Next … Let the sales staff “volunteer” for a team. See what they decide to do!!!

Feel free to share this article with your staff!!!

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