Awesome Customer Service Sealed With A Thank You Note

Shortly after starting this blog, Jenny Dempsey and I attended a webinar held by Zappos thankstalking about their philosophy of customer service (Click here for a full summary).  One practical thing they do that we adopted at Phone.com is the “Customer Appreciation Station (CAP).”

The whole concept behind the CAP is to send notes of appreciation to customers.  This is built on Zappos’ concept of building personal emotional connections with their customers.  What better way to cement this emotional connection than to send a thank you note at the end of your interaction?  In our office, the station looks a lot like a craft station where our more creative types can create their own notes from scratch.  We also supply pre-made thank you notes for the less creative types.

As a way of getting everyone in the practice of using the CAP, we started “Thank You Thursdays.”  Each Thursday, everyone is encouraged to send at least one note of appreciation to a customer.

While my motivation for sending these notes is not to receive praise from customers, it’s always nice to know they are having a positive affect.  I have actually received a few emails recently from customers thanking me for my notes.  Oftentimes this is just a thanks and other times my note reminded them of a question they had been meaning to ask for a while.

I recently spoke with a customer who was angry because his service had been cut off for an unpaid bill.  My goal throughout the call was to figure out how to restore his faith and trust in our company.  My focus was to turn the situation around and turn him into a long-term customer.  After the call, I decided to send him a thank you note to thank him for his patience in a difficult situation and offer additional assistance if he needed it.  A week or so later I received the following note from him in an email:

I received your note in the mail – thank you!  It was a very thoughtful gesture and I really do appreciate it  You should know that I am overall satisfied with Phone.com.  At times I let my frustration get the better of me.  I wish you and everybody at Phone.com a happy holiday season, too!

This customer went from yelling to sending this email!  As you can see, we were able to completely turn his situation around and the thank you note sealed it.  Of course all customers come in different shapes and sizes but I want to encourage you to continue to find ways to appreciate your customers in both good times and in bad.  I have yet to find valid reason not to appreciate them more and more.

Jeremy Watkin is a Product Marketing Manager at 8x8. He has more than 19 years of experience as a customer service professional leading high performing teams in the contact center. Jeremy has been recognized numerous times as a thought leader for his writing and speaking on a variety of topics including quality management, outsourcing, customer experience, contact center technology, and more. When not working you can typically find him spending quality time with his wife Alicia and their three boys, running with his dog, or dreaming of native trout rising for a size 16 elk hair caddis. Be sure to connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.