A Guide to Writing a Customer Appreciation Letter
Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, so you should never take them for granted. Writing a customer appreciation letter is the perfect way to show them you care. Keep these tips in mind when crafting a customer appreciation letter.
Send Customer Appreciation Letters After Every Purchase
Several customer interactions can prompt an appreciation letter. Seizing all these opportunities will let your customers know just how much you appreciate them.
Sending a note with every purchase — or after a customer books with you if you’re a service business — shows your customers how much you appreciate their support. You could write something like this: “Thank you for purchasing [product or service name]. Support from customers like you is so important to the ongoing success of our business. We really hope you love your new goodies/were satisfied with the service we delivered.”
Sometimes a delay in shipping products is expected. This occurs for a few reasons:
1. When you’re creating a custom item for a client.
2. A certain product is out of stock.
3. Your product is still in development but being financed through crowdfunding.
In all these instances, it’s good practice to send customer appreciation letters before the goods arrive.
In these circumstances, you could write, “Thank you for your recent purchase of [product]. This product is currently out of stock/in development/being made with care. We’ll have it ready for you as soon as we can and send it along to you as soon as we’re able. We expect your goodies will be ready to ship in four to six weeks. If anything changes, we’ll be sure to let you know!”
Only include the details about when the item might ship if you have a good idea when this might be possible. Customers love to know what to expect and will handle delays better if they know how long they’ll last. Be realistic in your estimate though, as customers hate being disappointed.
Send Follow-Up Letters and Ask for Feedback
You’ve made the sale and collected the coin, so your work is done, right? Not if you’re a savvy business owner. Taking the time to follow up with a customer appreciation letter will convince a new customer to become a regular one. Loyal shoppers will also appreciate the recognition of their ongoing support.
You might write, “Thank you so much for your recent purchase of [product/service.] We hope you are enjoying your product/think we did a great job. If you’d like to tell us more about your shopping experience with us, we’d really appreciate it! We look forward to serving you again in the future.”
Any feedback you collect could be used to promote your business. Even if customers don’t want to share their point of view, simply being asked makes them feel valued. Just remember to gain permission before using any customer comments in your advertising campaigns.
Thank Customers for Feedback
Offering thoughtful feedback to an organization takes time and effort. Show your customers you value their comments with another appreciation letter.
Both positive and negative feedback deserve an appreciation letter, as both comments can teach you a valuable lesson. Positive feedback tells you when you’re connecting with your customers and getting things right. Negative feedback may be even more valuable to your business. When people criticize your business, products, services, etc, you can identify what’s not working and put strategies in place for a change.
Regardless of the tone of the feedback, always make sure to thank customers. After receiving negative feedback, you should apologize that the customer’s experience was less than ideal. You may like to share any measures you’ll take to improve things in the future.
For example, you could write, “Thank you for sharing your feedback about your recent experience dining in our restaurant. We’re sorry your steak meal didn’t meet your expectations. Our chef recently underwent further training, which has significantly improved the quality or our steaks. We would like you to see the positive changes we’ve made and enjoy a complimentary meal on us. Simply mention this letter in your booking. We hope to see you soon.”
Reduce Cart Abandonment With Customer Appreciation Letters
Customer appreciation letters help e-commerce companies lower their cart abandonment rates. Show appreciation for consumers simply considering your business. Cart abandonment, which occurs when online shoppers leave items in their virtual shopping carts without checking out, plagues the online retail industry. Studies estimate around $4 trillion worth of merchandise is abandoned before checkout.
Many companies attempt to combat cart abandonment by sending follow-up emails to their online shoppers, but these are often ineffective. Americans receive around 147 emails every day and open only 18.16% of commercial emails. It’s easy to see why email prompts fall flat.
If the shopper already has an account with you, you’ll know their shipping address. This means you can mail them a customer appreciation letter. A tangible customer appreciation letter bypasses your recipient’s crowded inbox, so it’s much more likely to be opened and read. This kind of correspondence tells your potential customer they’re more than just a number to you. This might just give your recipient the push they need to purchase their items.
A good customer appreciation letter sent after a shopper abandons their cart might read, “We’re so glad you’re a [company] shopper. We noticed that you still have [products] in your cart. If you have any questions about these products, we’d be happy to answer them. Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to make your shopping experience easier.”
Celebrate With Your Customers
Holidays and special occasions are also great opportunities for telling your customers you appreciate them. Customer appreciation letters or cards sent around the holidays, birthdays, and Valentine’s Day are cute ways to show you care. You might also send an appreciation letter to long-term customers on their “shopping anniversaries.” A gift voucher, promotional code, or free gift at these special times can make shoppers feel extra appreciated.
You needn’t wait for a particular occasion though. A customer appreciation letter that’s sent “just because” can really make a customer feel special. This letter might read, “I’m just writing to say we’re so glad you’re a [company] shopper. Loyal customers like you help our business thrive and grow. There’s no better time than now to say thank you for just being you! If we can ever make your shopping experience better, please let us know.”
Make It Personal
Modern consumers expect a personalized experience every time they interact with businesses. Tailored product recommendations and geo-specific information have become the norm. When you’re writing customer appreciation letters, personalization is more important than ever.
It all starts with the greeting. You should always address your customer by name. In the contemporary world, “Dear Sir/Madam” or “Dear customer” simply doesn’t cut it. Generic greetings make customers feel like numbers or sales figures rather than real, appreciated people. That name is all-important. If you’ve had a positive interaction with the customer, you can probably use his or her first name in your greeting. If you’re thanking the customer for negative feedback, err on the side of caution and use the more formal Mr. Smith or Ms. Smith, for example.
Take your personalization further by tailoring your letter to the customer. When you’re thanking customers for their purchases, mention what they bought. If they gave great feedback, mention what they said and why it was helpful to your business. Customers can spot form letters from a mile away, and they don’t like them.
Get the Tone Right
Customer appreciation letters are business letters, but they shouldn’t have the formal tone of most corporate correspondence. Imagine you’re having a conversation with the recipient and use the same language and phrasing you would if you were talking. Simple words are usually more effective than complicated ones. Colloquialisms are also acceptable, as they will make your letter seem more personal and friendly.
Sincerity is also important. Your customer really should feel like they’re appreciated. Avoid gushing and using superlatives, like suggesting the customer is the greatest customer you’ve ever had. Such bold claims will seem disingenuous and can undermine the intent of your correspondence. Simply writing from the heart is always effective.
Remember That Length Matters
A good customer appreciation letter will usually be a couple of paragraphs long. This length gives you time to state what customers have done to make you appreciate them and how their actions have impacted your business.
Few customers will have the time or inclination to read a customer appreciation letter that’s any longer than a couple of paragraphs. When you ramble on, you also run the risk of seeming over the top and insincere. If your letter is longer than a few paragraphs, cast a critical eye over it and cut it down. Be concise and to the point for the greatest impact.
On the other hand, a customer appreciation letter shouldn’t be too short, either. A very short letter can seem abrupt or abrasive. Taking the time to craft a well-thought-out letter shows you really do appreciate your customers.
Make Sure Your Letters Are Error-Free
When it comes to customer correspondence, the little things like grammar and spelling are big things. Take time to pay attention to the details and make sure your letter is free of mistakes.
If you’re unsure of spelling, use a dictionary. Double-check and triple-check the spelling of each customer’s name. How appreciative can you be if you don’t even have the customer’s name straight?
If you’re weak on spelling or grammar, ask a trusted friend or colleague to proofread your letters for you. Sending a polished, error-free customer appreciation letter makes your organization look professional. It also shows that you’ve taken care in composing your correspondence. No one will truly feel appreciated if they think you’ve rushed through writing their letter.
Hand-Write Your Customer Appreciation Letters
In today’s digital age, handwritten communication is becoming increasingly rare. This is true despite 64 percent of Americans saying they prefer receiving handwritten communication to electronic emails. Give the people want they want and hand-write your customer appreciation letters.
A handwritten customer appreciation letter has a personal touch that a typed letter just can’t replicate, no matter what its message is. Handwritten letters take time. They also can’t be sent in bulk. Customers understand this and tend to feel more appreciated when they receive them.
Of course, the time it takes to craft handwritten customer appreciation letters can be a significant barrier to growing a large business. Handwrytten is here to help. Our revolutionary service integrates with popular management systems, like Salesforce and Zapier, so customers can automate their customer appreciation letters. Innovative technology means these printed letters are virtually indistinguishable from letters written by hand.
Get the Timing Right
Timing is everything when it comes to customer appreciation letters. If your appreciation letter is responding to a specific event, like purchasing a product or offering feedback, send it as soon as possible after that event. Within the first 24 business hours after the event occurred is ideal. When you prioritize sending your customer appreciation letters, it shows you truly are grateful. Appreciation letters sent much later seem like afterthoughts. Send your appreciation letter too late and the customer may not even remember why you’re appreciative in the first place!
Timeliness also matters for letters celebrating birthdays, holidays, and other occasions. These letters should ideally reach the recipient a week before the event. Arriving early is always better than arriving late. Sending your letters early gives a buffer against postal delays beyond your control. Holiday cards are best sent well before December 25, as many customers will go away for the holidays. Send these in the first week of December to ensure they’re not left sitting unopened in mailboxes over the festive break.
Customer appreciation letters can create goodwill toward your company, encourage repeat business, and turn casual customers into brand advocates. Keep best practices in mind to create the most effective customer appreciation letters.