Last week, my wife and I received two thank you notes. One was from a friend of ours whose daughter had been watched by Cindy a few times over the previous weeks. It was handwritten, and was accompanied by a jar of organic honey and a gift certificate to the hot new restaurant here in Moncton.
The other was from our 7 year old daughter. No-one prompted her to do it – it was completely her idea. Also handwritten, it was terribly sweet – she wanted to thank us for all the stuff she got to do this summer. (I’ll pause here to let you daub the tears out of the corners of your eyes.)
Written thank you notes have gone from being common when I was a boy to being so rare these days that they have an incredible power to delight. Most of us are basically polite, and we always say our pleases and thank yous. So why then is it so much more powerful to get the thanks in writing? And even more so in handwriting? I’m not sure what the psychological reason is, but I know it’s true. That’s why I make a habit out of not just telling people who work for me that they’ve done a good job, and not just emailing them; I leave little Post-It thank you notes stuck to their monitors.
So next time you are thanking a co-worker, or a customer, or a supplier, or anyone else who is in your entire marketing sphere of influence, stop and think how little extra time it would take to write that message of thanks, and how much more it would mean if you did.