By Handwritten Letters, Jan 2 2018 02:24PM
With the advance of digitisation, emails, computers, smart phones, tablets, apps etc, technology has been seen as the holy grail for years now, and the answer to all of our communication problems.
Companies and marketeers spend thousands developing the latest loyalty program or app in attempts to wow their customers and stand out from the competition.
Sometimes though, it can be the small, simple things that really make a big difference.
An interesting article by Wade Burgess is one good example. He describes how, as a frequent flyer, he was on yet another routine business flight one morning. A couple of hours into the flight, he and all the other business class passengers were each given a note, handwritten on the back of the Captain’s business card.
He looked around the cabin and saw all the recipients reading their cards and smiling. The Captain’s handwritten missive had, in a few seconds, provided that personal connection with his passengers, so often lacking in our remote technological communications. To add further drama, he announced on the PA that he had personally signed one of the cards, and that the recipient of that card could claim a free bottle of wine.
In another example, Peter Gasca mentions how it is the ‘rare handwritten notes’ that stand out in his memory on a typical business day, rather than the constant onslaught of emails.
An article in Forbes describes how a young company called HEX generated huge customer loyalty and a successful business by sending out 13,000 personalised handwritten thank you notes to customers. The article proposes that the reason these were so successful is that we often spend so much time greeting and interacting with customers at the beginning of a transaction, in the rush to conclude an order and move on to the next, the simple art of thank you at the end is too often forgotten. A company that recognises this and takes the time to send genuine, non-commercial thank you notes to customers, can reap the benefits.
Personal interactions can also benefit from the handwritten touch. An unusual example is from a woman who describes how touched she was to receive a handwritten breakup letter from her boyfriend, rather than the usual text message.
Even the humble handwritten postcard is another survivor in this digital age.
The Postcrossing Project, a group of some 500,000 members worldwide, who sign up to send and receive postcards, tried using a postcard app to send custom images and typed messages. However their community manager Ana Campos writes: ““We actually tried integrating one of these apps into the site at one point, but many members specifically request that people don’t use them. Postcrossers are more into the small human details like stamps, calligraphy, ink and wear and tear.”
There’s no denying the great convenience and time-saving aspects of digital communications, which most of us could not now do without.
But what all of these examples demonstrate, is that the small, personal, human act of handwriting a message, however brief, often has the potential to create an impact out of all proportion to the message itself.