Every year, a few days after Xmas, we find ourselves in celebratory mode again in the Russell household. My other half’s birthday and our wedding anniversary are on the same day in early January. The advantage is that it’s quite difficult to forget the date. The disadvantage is that if I ever did, then I would be in very serious trouble!

It’s a challenge to come up with gifts for Xmas, birthday and anniversary all within a few days and this year we ended up at a very nice National Trust owned hotel for a short stay.

That leads me to the question, which is….just how personal are you getting with your customers?

When we walked into the room at the hotel, an envelope in the bedroom contained a hand-written note, wishing us a happy anniversary and birthday. It was a nice touch and one that you don’t see that often these days.

You may well have experienced something similar and, if you have, then my bet is that you definitely remember it. And that’s the point; it’s memorable because it isn’t something that happens all the time.

I remember a few other examples of businesses doing something a little different to say thanks, such as a bunch of flowers on the back seat of a car we bought and if you have bought items from eBay, quite a few ‘sellers’ will add a little note of thanks in the package too.

No matter what business you are in, you will have opportunities to ‘spring a surprise’ and thank someone for doing business with you. The question is…are you doing anything about it?

If someone has spent a considerable amount of money with you, then a simple hand-written note thanking them shouldn’t be too much trouble. You’ll be amazed how long it sticks around and who gets to see it.

Of course, there is another set of people who would appreciate a little note of thanks too and that’s your team members. Simply popping a card on a desk recognising a special effort or achievement can mean an awful lot.

It’s worth-while having ‘thank you’ cards readily available just in case you get the opportunity to give someone a ‘pat on the back’. The next time you are out and about shopping, why not pick up a pack – they could end up being one of the most effective things you buy.

Of course, if you really want to get a momentum going, you could have your own company cards printed too and make it even more personal.

Taking just a minute or two to write a note of thanks or congratulations is almost always going to be a very good use of your time.

Oh, and thank you very much for reading this!!