Does your Thank You Sound Canned?

Client appreciation is important. When clients feel appreciated, they stay longer and are more likely to refer you to their friends. This directly affects your bottom line. Sometimes, when you are forced to thank someone or do it out of obligation, it can come off canned or insincere. That’s the last thing you want to do.

Think back to when you were a child. Did your parents ever tell you to say thank you? Depending on your age and attitude, you may have done it with a chip on your shoulder. The note you wrote may have sounded insincere. The verbal thanks may have been quick and forced. You can force a person to say thank you, but you can’t force them to be thankful.

Thank you backI recently received a hand written note in the mail about a month after purchasing some new couches from a local furniture store. At first I was surprised and touched that the salesperson at the big warehouse of a store would take the time to thank me. As I read the note, it sounded more like a catalog description of the items we purchased than a sincere expression of thanks.

The first thing she did wrong was she wrote inaccurate information. She mentioned we made, “her afternoon very enjoyable.” Both times we visited the store it was in the evening – close to closing time. When I read that, I didn’t think she actually remembered us. If you are going to write a thank you note, either write it immediately while the interaction is fresh in your memory or make some notes about your customer so you can accurately personalize it later.

As I continued to read, I was pretty sure she had copied her words from the product description. She wrote, “They have stylish relaxed traditional design that makes your room warm and inviting. They also provide plenty of comfortable seating for family and friends.” What?!? If she would have completely left those sentences out, the thank you note would have been better. This is a case where less is more.

My advice for writing a thank you note that your client will be happy to read:

  1. Make it personal. Say something personal about the person or your interaction with them. It could be something you talked about. You might mention something interesting or funny that happened when you were together. We actually made our purchase as the store was closing. They had to call to keep the computer system up a few minutes longer, employees were leaving, and alarms were going off. Mentioning any of these things in a playful way would have brought a smile to our face as we read it.
  2. It doesn’t have to be long. Sometimes you feel the need to fill the entire note card. Adding words (especially from the product description) doesn’t make your thank you note any more appealing. Just write what is important and then leave the card partly blank if you have to. If I read the note I received, leaving out the product description part, it actually impacts me more.
  3. Speak from the heart. Just like people could tell when your parents forced you to say thank you, your clients can tell if you are forcing yourself to thank them. Sincerity is what will connect with the recipient.

If you want more help writing a meaningful thank you note, check out A Sample Thank You Letter.

I’m excited to announce an upcoming FREE call: Go Beyond, “Thanks.” Client Appreciation for Tight Budgets and Busy People.


  1. […] A few weeks ago, I shared the story of the furniture store thank you that I received. Just by reading the note, you could feel the sense of obligation. It didn’t make me feel appreciated and didn’t create any loyalty to the store or the salesperson who wrote it. […]

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