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The Lost Art of Handwritten Notes In Business


Handwritten thank you notes are as rare today as phone booths. Hardly ever seen but symbolic of a simpler time.

A written thank you is still considered the de rigueur for weddings, graduations and other life accomplishments. But for buying something from a company? Not hardly.

Today a thank you often comes as a tweet of three characters, “10Q”. Are you kidding me? I just gave you a check for graduation and all you have time to do is to Tweet “10Q”? Receiving a thank you on Twitter feels disingenuous and certainly lacks the substance a hand written note carries.

Imagine my surprise when a hand written thank you note was tucked into the CD case I received from ScanDigital this week. The note succinctly thanked me for doing business with the individual’s employer.

I had sent a bunch of slides to ScanDigital to be converted to digital format. Remember slides? Those tiny paper framed film windows that were common reproductions from film negatives in the 1950’s, ’60’s and ’70’s? Well, slides are pretty rare themselves. To preserve these old images (and cut down on storage space) I’ve undertaken the labor of converting hundreds of slides to jpeg format. Actually, I’m hiring it out…but I’m taking credit for the effort just the same.

The thank you I received made a positive impression of the company’s brand (in this case ScanDigital) on me. Of additional heft was the fact the note included the phone and email of the techie that performed the conversion for me. Imagine a company encouraging customers to call or email employees directly. Brilliant!

I figure ScanDigital has factored the less than 5 minutes it takes to write the note into its margins. But I’d be willing to venture ScanDigital knows the value the note has on its brand is nearly immeasurable.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 07/27/2012 7:52 am

    Rick – great item. totally agree. is there an app for this personal note idea?

  2. 07/27/2012 8:05 am

    Hi Rick, Great insights – I’m working on incorporating hand written notes into my regular process – thanks for the encouraging words.

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