Yesterday I had to swing by the post office so I thought I'd check the P.O. box I have there. Normally the only thing in there are some credit card bills addressed to the previous occupant that keep coming no matter what I do.
But this time there was something in there that reminded me of my trip last fall to Locarno, Switzerland.
(I'm been reminiscing a lot lately about last year's many travel escapades in light of the coronavirus and how it's wrecking or potentially limiting my current wanderlust desires. Staying home right now seems like an excellent idea.)
Locarno is a beautiful town at the top of Lake Maggiore...with drop-dead gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains.
Everything is very clean and orderly in Switzerland. The sidewalks are constantly scrubbed clean by street-cleaning machines. There is no trash or litter anywhere. One stays in the crosswalks and follows the rules here.
Even the most basic "rules" are to be followed. Our last night in town was a Sunday, and the nearby grocery stores were closed. We decided to stay in and have dinner and wine our last night there on our 8th-floor terrace overlooking the lake. Because how could we possibly miss this sunset...
Fortunately we had found a well-stock convenience store earlier that was open on Sundays. So I headed over there to assemble what we needed for a light "grazing" meal: some cheese, prosciutto, salad, wine, and bread.
The store was crowded and I kept adding to the items I was juggling in my arms. I had picked up some bread from one of the shelves when I realized there were some fresh baked loaves in another part of the store. I put the bread down for a moment on a nearby display so I'd have a free hand to sort through the fresh-baked loaves.
Literally a minute or two later, a guy who worked there asked me in a very uptight way, "Are you planning to buy that?", pointing to the bread I'd put aside briefly. He showed extreme consternation that the bread was OUT OF PLACE and not in its proper spot.
I thought I must have done something terrible, he looked so irritated with me. A few seconds later before I could reach for the bread again, he whisked it away and put it back on the shelf near the back of the store.
My husband I and had a few laughs about this episode later, and it came back to me when I checked my P.O. box and found the following returned "thank you" note I'd sent to one of my copywriting training buyers last December.
Apparently I screwed up again..."insufficent address" was marked on the front of the envelope... (I've blacked out the name of the Copy Insider I sent it to):
So what's the lesson here? Obviously being too "anal" about your customers' shopping behavior is not the way to leave a positive impression and make them want to buy from you again (unless nothing else is open).
There's plenty you can do to inject a more personal feel to your customers' buying experience and make them feel appreciated. You have to think beyond getting that initial transaction to building the long-term relationship.
It's one reason I sent out holiday thank you notes to everyone who purchased one of my copywriting training programs last year.
I personally addressed them myself (even though it felt like my hand was going to fall off afterwards.) And the fact that it was something physical sent via "snail mail" made it feel much more personal as well.
I got many positive responses back in return. I definitely plan to do it again this holiday season.
If you're a freelance copywriter, marketer, or business owner, think about showing appreciation to your clients and customers as well.
I've sent holiday gifts over the years to many of my top clients, especially those with teams of people I've worked with (sharable snacking gifts are great around the holidays). If you're not doing something to say "thanks" to your customers and clients, you probably should be. It goes a long way!
Yours for smarter marketing,