Table of Contents
- What Goes in an Auto Body Shop Thank You Card?
- Do You Really Have to Write Cards by Hand?
- Thank You Card Options
- Combine a Thank You Card With a Gift for Maximum Impact
- Final Thoughts
Power tools, sheet metal, spray guns… and thank you cards? You might like to think that a quality repair stands on its own, but it’s still important to thank your customers for their business.
You don’t have to be Martha Stewart or Emily Post to write a thank you card. In this age of digital everything, when someone sends a handwritten card, it stands out.
Look at your customers from the last month. Were any of them long-time, repeat customers?
If so, do you think a handwritten thank you card could show some class? This would set your business apart because so few businesses actually do this.
What Goes in an Auto Body Shop Thank You Card?
This doesn’t have to be difficult! All you need is a short, simple message thanking them for their business. But if you want to plant a seed or two for future harvest, consider adding a couple of points. You might start by saying:
Thank you so much for choosing Otto Botty’s Auto Body to repair your vehicle.
Then you can add a subtle validation of their choice:
Our mission is to return your vehicle to its pre-collision condition not only cosmetically, but also mechanically, and most importantly — safely.
If your shop sends out customers review requests, you can prepare them for that too:
We value your feedback, so if there’s anything you’d like to share, please be on the lookout for an email about that.
And finally, wrap it up!
On the unfortunate occasion that you need collision repair again, we hope you’ll come back.
Of course this is only an example. You can, and should put this in your own words.
Do You Really Have to Write Cards by Hand?
The example above is about 70 words, and that’s a lot to write in each card. If you shorten the example message, then you can certainly write them by hand, but it’s more realistic to have the message printed, and then sign your name.
Resist the temptation to use “handwriting” fonts on your computer. They rarely fool anyone, and then it just feels like a form letter and loses its authenticity.
The bad news is that a printed message is far less personal than a handwritten one. The good news is that you have some options, one of which can check the box of being handwritten. More on that below.
Thank You Card Options
Let’s say you’ve decided to give it a shot and give thank you cards or notes to your customers after a repair. Now you need some cards, but where do you begin? Do you get cards off the shelf, from an office supply store like Staples, do you get a pack from Amazon, or do you order custom designed cards to match your branding? Do you order cards at all, or use a fulfillment service to do it for you?
The Fully Manual Option
If you have someone on your staff with not quite enough to do, whether it’s yourself, your spouse, a receptionist or someone else, this might be an option.
If you go this route, you’ll start with some blank cards, either off-the-shelf or custom printed. Then a person in your office will be responsible for writing a short note, or at a minimum, signing the card.
Don’t be tempted to pre-print cards with the signature printed on. This defeats the whole purpose of standing out, and lessens the effect by removing the personal touch.
The Custom Option
Going custom takes it up a notch. Here you can have custom cards designed, by a professional designer, to match your shop’s branding, color scheme, and typefaces. You can really get creative here and get a unique card.
Your designer will be able to walk you through various sizes, paper thickness, paper color, whether you want layered papers in contrasting colors, a flat card or a folded card, metallic foil printing, matching envelopes, and more.
If you need a recommendation, I happen to know the owner of Paper Cuts.
The Automatic Option
This option is a little more expensive and requires some setup, but does have some advantages. First, as the heading says, it’s automatic, meaning your cards can be written, signed, and even mailed automatically.
How? There are a number of companies that use software and robotic arms, to write with real pens on paper. Some of them can even replicate your own handwriting and signature.
In this scenario, you would only need to supply your customer’s name and address, and the fulfillment service does the rest.
If you really want to automate things, it’s even possible to integrate with your management software. So for example, a card order could automatically be placed when your repair order is marked as complete.
Combine a Thank You Card With a Gift for Maximum Impact
If you could have a card prepared and ready to go when your customer picks up her vehicle, you could either hand it to her with her keys and paperwork, or leave it waiting in the car. Increase the effect by including a car wash gift certificate or some other gift, so in addition to your heartfelt thank you message there’s a nice gift inside.
This type of thing gets talked about and shared with friends and family!
Any collision repair center can stamp “Paid” on an invoice that shows “Thank you for your business” down in the bottom corner. In fact that’s what most of them do. By presenting or sending a handwritten thank you card to your customers, you don’t just look better than most other body shops, you look better than most other businesses.
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