Handwritten Notes in Customer Service: What to Do and What Not to Do
Customer experience is what drives new and recurring business. One pillar of the experience is customer service. We all know customer service departments are there to solve problems before climbing the management ladder. They put out the small flames before turning into dumpster fires.
For many years customer service was all about one-on-one communication. The agents were proud of the companies they worked for and stuck around for decades. Today’s customer service is quite a bit different.
There are more customers than ever, putting more pressure on customer service agents. Companies have chosen to use AI-powered chatbots, live chat, and social media messaging instead of calls to handle the extra load.
While this solution solves a problem, it leaves the customer feeling alienated because they think they’re no longer worth the time for a call. Here you have two options: up your call volume coverage or find another way to connect with customers on a personal, intimate level.
The answer is handwritten notes for customer service, and here’s what you need to know to get started!
What Kind of Handwritten Notes Are We Talking About?
According to a story shared by Forbes, before AI technology, companies were forced to write each and every note by hand. Some companies sent tens of thousands without a single bit of automation, but those days are over.
Now, expertly programmed AI-driven pen plotters hold real pens and write with perfect pressure, slant, and flow to create a note that looks identical to human writing.
Why is Handwritten Automation Important?
It may surprise you that handwritten notes written by pen plotters are less expensive than ones written by a human. Both cost about the same for materials, but it can take weeks to write a decent number of handwritten notes for customer service, and all that labor costs money!
Even if you decide to have your customer service agents write handwritten notes after every call, you’re still paying for the labor it entails. Handwriting automation is the best option for your budget, sanity, and time.
Choosing the less expensive option opens up the ability to send more handwritten notes for customer service. We’re talking about scaling a campaign. When your business decides to go all-in on handwritten notes, it might have 500 customers to start.
It will attract new customers when the campaign is booming, and people are talking about your fantastic customer service. The next batch may need 1000 handwritten notes, and automation allows you to scale your note volume up and down as needed.
With consistency, we’re not talking about the handwriting. Human handwriting is anything but consistent, so handwritten notes created with AI-powered pen plotters need to be inconsistent in this regard. But what about consistency in action?
Handwritten notes can be ordered as one-off, ongoing, or trigger campaigns (which we’ll talk about later.) One-offs are when you create notes, send them to customers, and that’s it.
On-going and trigger-based campaigns need consistency and advanced scheduling options to keep them running smoothly and uninterrupted. Only a handwritten marketing service can put parts of your customer service on autopilot.
Why Are Handwritten Notes Perfect For Customer Service?
Customer service agents provide a buffer between customers and companies. They are often the first in-person point of contact for customers and can be the first to hear about a problem and offer a solution.
We depend on customer service agents to help us understand our problems and to help resolve them. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a person. Handwritten notes accentuate the role of the customer service agent and take some pressure off.
Customers spend time and money with your company – when was the last time you told them you appreciated that? When everything is digital, handwritten notes bring human interaction into customers’ hands. They show gratitude, thanks, thoughtfulness, and the list goes on.
What’s more, handwritten notes have been shown to evoke a sense of reciprocity. Customer service sends notes to patrons, and because they are handwritten, the patron feels almost obligated to at least acknowledge the gift.
Handwritten notes for customer service boost loyalty.
Your customers love the handwritten notes customer service sent enough to hang on the refrigerator or display on a table. They want people to see this fantastic handwritten gem sent by their favorite company.
When guests take a look, they jot down the company name or contact information. Even better, maybe they visit your website right then and there to make an order. All because customer service sent a handwritten note.
Handwritten notes for customer service increase referrals.
Relationships and customer loyalty are two different beasts. Loyalty is the customer’s connection to a company that convinces them to choose their products and services over competitors, even if it means paying more. A relationship is just what it sounds like – but in the case of handwritten notes in customer service is really about building a friendship.
For as long as we can remember, one of the pillars of customer service has been to treat customers with respect, but now it’s about more than that. Customer service agents and chatbots must interact with customers as friends, not company representatives.
A friendship is a positive relationship between customer and company that grows bonds, promotes loyalty, increases sales, and more.
Handwritten notes for customer service support relationships.
There is no lack of emotional reasons to use handwritten notes in customer service, from loyalty to friendship and gratitude. Not one of these is more important than the others, but appreciation is fundamental.
The fact is, customers are dollar signs. They are the people who buy your products and services, attend your events, and talk to friends and family about you, which leads to more business and more dollar signs. For far too long, companies, big and small, have treated customers like nothing more than a payday, but that’s not cutting it anymore.
Today’s customer needs to be approached with gratitude for everything they’ve done for your business. The simple reason is that it’s the right thing to do, but when you zoom out to see the bigger picture, it’s your competition you should be worrying about. If your customer service department doesn’t show gratitude for customers, hundreds and thousands of other companies out there to choose from – one will.
Handwritten notes for customer service show gratitude.
We feel confident saying customer reviews are in the top three marketing must-haves. Word of mouth marketing is when a customer shares your company or an experience they’ve had with your customer service agents, friends, and family. But that’s not where it ends.
Online customer reviews are one of the most sought-after motivators in sales. People trust friends and family but also strangers who left a review on TrustPilot or Yelp.
With handwritten notes for customer service, you can ask for reviews of products and services. The best way to track this effort is with QR codes. Add a QR code to your handwritten notes that take the customer directly to the platform where they can leave a review.
Handwritten notes for customer service help elicit reviews.
There are many reasons to use handwritten notes in customer service, but we’ll end our list by capturing email addresses. Handwritten marketing is outrageously effective, but it should never be your only marketing tool.
Email is still one of the best of the best when done right. But, without email addresses from people who’ve chosen to receive communications from you, there’s no one to contact.
That same QR code you’d use for customer reviews can be used to move the reader from the handwritten note to your online newsletter signup page. Make the signup page simple and easy to navigate for the best results.
Handwritten notes for customer service are ideal for capturing email.
The Dos and Don’ts With Customer Service Handwritten Notes
Handwritten customer service notes are practical for reaching out to new customers and retaining current customers. But as with any customer service, you must dedicate enough time and resources to the task to make it worth it.
Here is a long list of DOs and DON’Ts for effective customer service with handwritten notes.
What to Do
- Demo with the handwritten marketing service. You want a dedicated time to talk with the service, learn more about the process, and ask many questions.
- Ask for testimonials & results. What kinds of testimonials does the service have? Do they offer real-campaign results for review? Ask them for access to both, and don’t forget to search for reviews online.
- Make handwritten notes a habit. Handwritten notes aren’t a one-and-done type of project. To effectively use notes for customer service, you need to be consistent. The best way to be consistent is to make sending handwritten customer service notes a habit – something you automatically do.
- Keep it personal. A contributing factor to the wild success of handwritten notes is personalization. Address the customer by their first name, share a unique detail about them (via their account) and close with appreciation.
- Keep it authentic. There’s no secret trick or tip to make your customer service handwritten notes sound authentic, and the only way to do it is for the message to be authentic. Don’t try to be something you think your customers want – be your brand!
- Keep it brief. On average, highly-effective handwritten notes for customer service range from 400 to 600 characters, equivalent to about 75 and 100 words.
- Create a card that represents your brand. If you’re at the point when you’re considering sending hundreds of handwritten notes for customer service, suffice it to say your brand identity is set. Your company is represented by a color (Coke red), doodle (Amazon smile), saying (McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it!”), and more. Your card should evoke brand awareness or, to put it a different way, it should look and feel familiar to the customer.
- Add a little personality. This applies if your company feels comfortable with a more laid-back style. Add a little doodle to your handwritten notes from customer service. It’s a small way to add a ton of personality.
- Handwrite the envelope. Probably the number one thing to remember with notes is to handwrite the envelope. In the case of handwritten notes for customer service, the marketing service should always supply a handwritten envelope. Why is it so important? How is your message reaching the customer if the note is never opened? A printed envelope looks like junk mail and will be treated as such. A handwritten envelope looks like it’s from a real person, leading to a near 100% open rate.
- Apply a USPS stamp. Along the same lines as the handwritten envelope and printed digital postage looks spammy, the chosen service should always use hand-applied USPS postage stamps.
- Send within 48 hours. Customer service messages need to be written and sent within 48 hours. The longer you wait, the less impact your handwritten notes will have on customers. And, if you wait too long, the note looks like a plea for forgiveness, not a genuine gesture.
What Not to Do
- Use printed “handwritten” notes. Growing up, there was this saying parents used with kids, “If you’re not going to do it right, don’t do it at all.” That’s the exact reason never to send printed “handwritten” notes. These printed notes use a handwriting font, and when the definition is high enough and from far enough away, they might pass for an actual handwritten note. The reality is, the characters are too perfect, the spacing is too perfect, everything is too perfect to have been written by a human hand.
- Skimp on quality materials. Subpar materials read cheap and inauthentic when the consumer receives your handwritten note, and that makes your handwritten note a weak link in the chain of consumer trust you’re trying to build. If you’re going to write a note, take the high road and use thick cardstock and a high-quality pen.
- Ask for a sale. There’s a place for direct sales tactics in marketing, but handwritten notes aren’t that place. At the core of handwritten marketing and personalization is connecting with your target audience more personally. Pushing a sale down the customer’s throat is a surefire way to alienate them.
- Forget spelling & grammar. Have you ever read a book or magazine page and found a spelling error that plucked a nerve? The typical first impression of the author is one of doubt. With handwritten notes, that author is generally someone from the executive team, even the CEO. Missing these “easy” mistakes tells the customer you have no attention to detail.
Handwritten Note Samples for Customer Service
There are many times when we know what to do, but how to do it evades us. That’s why we love sharing handwritten note samples you can use to create your own branded message.
What is trigger marketing? Trigger marketing is a type of marketing that uses an event to “trigger” an action. For instance, when a consumer purchases a new car, it would “trigger” a handwritten note welcoming the customer to the dealership.
Welcome to the Dunkirk Automotive family! It’s been two weeks since you drove away in your new Nissan Altima; how do you like it? Your sales guide mentioned you were shopping for months before settling on this model. Thank you for choosing Dunkirk!
I’ve enclosed ten coupons for free car washes at any Fast Freddy’s location. If there’s anything you need, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
CEO Dunkirk Automotive
Nurture Relationships/Request Feedback
What does nurturing a customer relationship mean? Nurturing is akin to stoking a fireplace before starting family movie night. The logs burn slowly and steadily, keeping the room warm for hours.
You can keep the fire burning for years with handwritten notes in customer service. Your customers will feel the warmth, and you’ll have a loyal fan for life.
It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since you purchased your Nissan Altima. It looks like you brought in the Altima for service a couple of times in May, were you satisfied with your experience? Was the service completed promptly? Remember, if you need anything, get in touch!
To celebrate your one-year Nissaniversary, I’ve included a Fast Freddy’s coupon for one year of free car washes!
CEO Dunkirk Automotive
P.S. If interested, you can scan the QR code to leave our service department a review on Google. We’d greatly appreciate it!
Follow-Up After Conversations
How many touches does it take to convert a lead? Experts agree it takes five to eight contacts to convert a lead into a customer. Follow-up after connecting with a prospect is necessary, and handwritten notes are a great way to do it.
You’ve already started the fire with the initial conversation. The personalized handwritten note for customer service is a great way to reinforce the connection and keep the conversation going.
These notes have a near 100% open rate – they just work!
It was a pleasure connecting with you last Tuesday via Zoom. Hopefully, I answered all your questions about our service contracts and gave you a sense of how much pride we put into our work.
Feel free to contact me anytime if you have additional questions or concerns. I’ve enclosed a 33% off coupon for our Pro Service Plan, which brings the cost down to the Standard Service Plan you were considering.
Thank you for your interest in Dunkirk Automotive Service Plans.
CEO of Dunkirk Automotive
A Quick Look Back at Handwritten Notes in Customer Service
Providing the best customer service to your customers is something to take very seriously. Email, social media, and direct-calling work, but nothing trumps the power of a handwritten note for customer service.
Handwritten notes are friendly, gratuitous, and almost intimately personal. They build brand trust and promote word-of-mouth shares and referrals. They’re kept and displayed, keeping your company top-of-mind.