In “Don’t Abbreviate Follow Up Part I”, we talked about the importance of knowing when to and when not to email as a follow up action. This time, we are going to talk about another tactic commonly used today. The “Generic Thank You Letter.”
Nothing says love like the generic thank you letter. I love knowing that I visited a church, company, or service and that my time was so valuable to them, they thought they make best use of their time and add me to their “mail merge” list. Wow, really? If I were neurotic, which I am, I would sit down and figure out my hourly wage, add a 15% premium just for fun and take that times the number of hours I was at your establishment to really evaluate how important I was to you. So, as an example, let’s say you make $20 per hour and spent two hours at a company’s event. That’s $40 worth of my time and you can’t take the time to send me something outside of a mail merge letter? Really?
I understand companies are busy and they are trying to make the best use of their resources and their time, but the prospect and clients are the ones getting short changed. I know in my business, if I tell someone I am going to follow up, I don’t send them a generic letter. I might send them a brochure packet as a follow up, but I would not do so without at least calling to be sure they received it and using that opportunity to better delve into their needs. Come on people! It’s basic customer service.
So, while I’m on a soap box about the generic letter, let me go ahead and address the robot that calls me after I call into an organization to evaluate my “client experience.” Ok, let me get this straight. You want me to evaluate whether the environment was “warm and friendly” and you have me talking to a robotic menu? Have you taken the time to think about just how stupid that is? If you truly value the advice and comments from your clients, hire someone to do it. You’ll not only have your actions and words matching, but who knows, you might actually get some great ideas out of the process too!
Don’t forget to tune in for the final clip of this three part series! In the mean time, don’t abbreviate Follow Up….
Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help organizations incorporate best practices into their business to help them succeed. In his free time, he also writes a lot on his other blog, Christian Men, Christian Warrior.