Messages build great expectations

December 8th, 2010

Imagine if your customer could see you through the words you write. Routine business communication need not be always perfunctory. Even a short note is an opportunity to deliver messages that paint a picture in the reader’s mind.

Last week I received an email from a holiday card website about my recent order. Typically I’d scan such an email and then file it quickly for future reference if needed.  This time I did a double take. Here’s the message with a few thoughts on why it worked:

“This is just a quick little note to let you know that I have completed your order and submitted it for printing. As you may know, our designers work on every single order with care instead of sending them straight from the computer to our presses.”

This company packs a punch within two sentences to set the tone of our relationship. The familiar voice caught my attention. I didn’t know the designers were so hands-on with the product. That’s a nice reminder, making me wonder about the competitors I had considered before placing the order.

“To help ensure that your finished product looks great, I have reviewed your photo(s) to ensure they will print well, reviewed the layout of the design to best suit your personalized order and proofread the text for grammar and spelling.”

This is where I saw the designer at work, checklist in hand, looking at my photo and layout with genuine care. I could picture people, not machines, processing my order.

“Thank you for entrusting xxx with your special moment. We hope you love the finished product as much as we do!”

With four sentences in a routine yet thoughtfully constructed note, the company built my expectations for a superior product. Upon opening the box I could see they delivered.

I placed another order. I bet they’re not surprised.

Posted December 8th, 2010

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