Another Thanksgiving has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean you’ve missed your chance to be thankful. In fact, if you’re going to run a successful, customer-centric business, it is important that you express gratitude towards your customers regularly.
Here are important tips for writing a thank you letter to your customer, complete with sample thank you letters to help you show your customer how much you appreciate them.
Why Thanking Your Customer Pays Off
Thanking your customer is one of the golden rules of businesses. Cashiers thank customers for stopping by the store. Pilots thank customers for flying with them. And websites thank customers for their purchase. But it’s not just business — saying thanks is an important part of any social exchange. It’s so integrated into our society that any degree of positive action often warrants some sort of thanks.
The reason behind our social obsession with thanking each other is the same reason why thanking your customer pays off: the rule of reciprocation.
The rule of reciprocation is simple. When someone does something nice for us, we are programmed to want to return the favor. So if a company takes the time to thank and nurture its relationship with us, we feel compelled to return the favor in how we spend our money.
While a simple “thank you for your purchase!” on your website is unlikely to inspire lifelong loyalty, writing your customer a thank you letter is just the kind of personalized, thoughtful, and time consuming action that will inspire reciprocation — hopefully in the form of repeat business and word-of-mouth advertising.
Studies show that 68% of customers stop dealing with a company because of what they perceive as indifference (this, to customers, breaks the rule of reciprocation). Thank you letters are an important part of making your customers feel valued, and letting them know how much you appreciate them. They are an inexpensive way to increase sales, return on investment (ROI), and customer retention.
What to Consider When Writing a Thank You Letter to Your Customer
Ready to send your customer a thank you letter? Here are some things to consider before your pen hits the paper:
Who is your audience?
Consider who is on the receiving end of your letter (in other words, who is your customer)? Are they a business or a person? A loyal customer or one who has just joined the family? Are you writing to one special customer or many?
What are you thanking them for?
Consider the content of your letter. Have they recently made a purchase from you? Did they give you feedback on an important issue? Did they contact your company for support?
How are you going to thank them?
Consider the format of the thank you letter. Are you going to handwrite your letter or type it up? Is it going to go on paper, or in a card? Will it be a letter per se, or more of a thank you note? Is it appropriate to send an additional token of your appreciation along with the letter (a discount, a fruit basket, etc.)?
Tips for Writing a Thank You Letter to Your Customer
When writing a thank you letter to a customer, be sure to do the following:
Customers value timely action, which is why the sooner you send your thank you letter, the better. A quickly sent thank you letter says that even though you are a busy person, you
can take time out of your day to make your customer a priority. It also ensures that your customer will remember the conversation or action that you are thanking them for.
Sending a timely thank you letter to your customer isn’t only beneficial to them as the recipient: it’s also helpful for you as the writer. When you send a thank you note promptly after an interaction, details of the exchange will still be fresh in your mind. That means you can write a more personalized, valuable thank you letter than you could were you to do so a week or two later.
Be Clear and Concise
A good business thank you letter should be relatively brief and to the point. You want to say thank you without overwhelming your customer with information, or unsightly blocks of text.
That being said, don’t necessarily steer away from longer letters if the situation (or your writing style) calls for it — just do your best to make sure that your thoughts are well- defined, meaningful and organized!
Tell Them Why You’re Thankful
When telling your customer why you are thankful, specificity is key. What is it that makes this particular customer special? What have they contributed to your organization? Being specific in your thank you letter will naturally make the letter more personalized, and heartfelt.
People are great at sniffing out insincerity. We can sense it a mile away (or even perceive insincerity where there is none). That’s because we value real, quality, exchanges with one another. Your customers are no different — which is why if you’re writing to show them your gratitude, it’s important that you mean it.
One great way to convey sincerity is to avoid self-promotional material in your letter. Your tone and word choice is also crucial. Don’t write a thank you letter to your customer that is overly formal or stuffy. Avoid generic statements that make your letter sound like you copy and pasted it. And, be sure to follow our next point.
Talk Human to Human
One thank you letter from a real person is worth more than a billion automated ones.
Greet your customer by name — never with “dear valued customer.” Connect with them as an individual, not as a company (companies are, after all, made up of people). You can do this by using the personal “I” rather than a corporate “we.”
Don’t be afraid to show emotion in your thank you letter — using an earnest, human tone can help you win big sincerity points. At the end of the letter sign off with your name.
A big part of what makes a thank you letter truly valuable is the amount of warmth it conveys. Being warm is all about being compassionate, open, and approachable. This too, you can achieve with the right words.
A funny or clever thank you note can get double the mileage that a regular one gets. If you can think of a way to use humor organically in your thank you note, you can get extra points from your customers, and potential publicity on social media.
Here are some of the do’s and don’ts of using humor in your business thank you letter:
- Use humor sparingly where it makes sense within your thank you letter
- Be humble/subtle with your humor — remember, this card is about thanking your customer, not showing off
- Use humor as part of a thank you card design.
- Force humor — it can come out awkward for everyone involved
- Use humor at the expense of the customer — you don’t want to risk offending them when you’re supposed to be
- Send a Token of Your Appreciation.
Sometimes actions speak louder than words. If you want to truly wow your customer, consider throwing in a little something as a token of your appreciation.
This can be something small, such as a voucher for a free item, stickers, a patch, or another symbolic bonus item. Or, it could be something larger, such as a gift card, fruit basket,
and more. Gifts that are a bigger investment can prove profitable by solidifying important business relationships and/or giving you free publicity. The key to any token of appreciation is making it personal and relevant to the individual.
Write by Hand
Now more than ever, many people have fallen out of custom of writing or receiving handwritten letters. Which is why writing a handwritten thank you letter or card can set your business apart an extra mile.
Handwritten notes are the ultimate indicator of time you put into that customer.
If you don’t like your handwriting don’t worry. Everyone’s handwriting is unique, and that’s part of what makes handwritten letters so special — they feel authentic.
Use a Card or Stationery
What’s better than a thank you letter to a customer on white paper? A thank you card. By incorporating a simple, visual design, you are showing your customer an extra layer of thoughtfulness. One way that you can do this by purchasing pre-made thank you cards or stationery. Another is by designing your own custom thank you cards that are unique to your company.
If you choose to go this route, make sure not to design anything that’s too flashy or that shows off your company too much. A subtle use of your company logo is fine, but remember: you’re trying to thank your customer, not shove a promotion in their face.
The same fate that junk email meets can also happen to junk snail mail: going straight into the trash.
Send your thank you letter smartly so that your audience will be enticed to open it. For example, a handwritten envelope is more attention-grabbing than a typed, corporate envelope. If you are using fun stationary or a thank you card, you can also get a catchy envelope to match.
Another way to guarantee reception of your thank you note is by grouping it in with an order or package. Your customer will already be happy to have their package and will receive an extra lift when they find a personalized message of gratitude in the contents.
Types of Thank You Letters with Samples
Use these thank you letter samples to create your own winning thank you letters, notes, and cards.