he hand-writes 7,400 cards annually.Since 1985, Sheldon Yellen, CEO of BELFOR Holdings, Inc., has been writing handwritten birthday cards to each of his employees. Even today, as CEO, And while the emergence of technology has allowed us to streamline our schedules and communicate at light-speed, we’ve also allowed ourselves to become more distant and disconnected from the people we work with.
After decades of working in e-commerce with large retail brands, Jamie Shibley saw a significant lack of customer service in the industry thanks to technology and decided to change things up. Rather than customers being seen as just a number in line she set out to make it easier to maintain that personal touch with customers and clients in an ever-increasing digital world.
The Expressory is a high touch, high tech, B2B company that works with small business owners to enhance the company-to-client personal connection. And her clients are already seeing major results. Jamie and her team assembled Happy New Year cards for a life coaching client and saw 46% of the card recipients follow up with conversations that led to new business propositions. She works with clients to assess their entire customer journey and develops creative solutions that can be implemented at various touchpoints, such as welcome aboard packages, timely check-in care notes and customer referrals.
According to Jamie, an average business can experience 20% customer churn in a single year when it fails to communicate regularly. In a day and age when our inboxes and social media feeds are as overwhelming as our busy calendars, it can be a challenge to be heard in the midst of all that digital noise. That’s why a simple “just because” card, handwritten and sent through the mail, can be just the reminder your clients need and magically open new conversations.
Most business owners know how important this element of business etiquette can be. But it’s often overlooked in the budget. However, relationship marketing should have its own line item in the marketing budget.
Whether you’re just starting out or an experienced pro, Shibley recommends three simple, actions that can significantly enhance your customer experience and overall brand image.
1. Hand-write timely thank you notes for business transactions. If you receive a referral from a client or colleague, write a quick thank you and if possible, pop in an easy gift card, such as to Starbucks. Thanks a latte goes a long way!
2. Routinely send “just because” cards to 5-10 customers you haven’t heard from.
Your personal and intentional efforts to connect with past clients will make you stand out and may be enough for them to reach out and pick up the phone.
3. Make your sale an experience that leaves a lasting impression. Make clients feel like more than just a transaction – after all, they’re part of something exciting – your business family! Whether it’s a small handwritten welcome note or a larger, new customer gift you will surprise and delight them and leave them feeling warmly welcomed.
In a tech-first world it can be challenging to reach your customers in a thoughtful and intentional way. Relationship marketing is key to caring for your customers. Smaller budgets will find ROI from investing their own time while larger budgets can take advantage of outsourcing to creatives like The Expressory. Regardless of the investment size, remember that consistency is key to achieving lasting ROI.