Along with the business cards and letterheads, the compliment slip is considered a business staple. It is the means by which you essentially shake the hand of your customer and is an informal means of doing so.
However, this familiarity means that many businesses simply print them because they have always had compliment slips, and they have always used them. But, like many other business staples, the compliment slip may not be being used to its fullest advantage.
The compliment slip is a standard size in most cases – usually a third of A4 - and is used in all kinds of ways. Some businesses slip them into brochures or place in an order with a handwritten thank you note. The ways in which you can use this slip of paper are almost endless but they all have one end game – to connect with customers and partners, to maintain and build on this relationship.
With this in mind, here are five steps to making sure the next time you create your compliment slip that you make sure it ticks all the boxes… and more:
#1 Use as a branding tool
Your brand is important. It is how customers see you brand and how they feel about buying from you. It is also about the feeling trade partners get about doing business with you. You want people to trust you, feel that you can be relied upon and you want your product or business to be synonymous with quality.
A compliment slip in with an order, or inside a brochure and so on is likely to be read by a customer. It may be the slip of paper they keep to remind them to order again. Or, it can be the slip of paper on which you write a short note or thank them for their order. It can also be used to offer money off their next order, or ask them to connect with you on your Facebook page or on Twitter.
It needs to contain all the information the customer needs to contact you, from your phone number to your email, to your website to your social media accounts – and not forgetting your logo and tagline!
#2 A professional finish
Any transaction a customer has with your company should be flawless and flow from beginning to end. But sometimes, a company will spend a lot of time and effort on the front end of the buying process – capturing customers and hooking hem to buy – but once they have done this, very little happens after that.
The end of the transaction is important which is why many companies are including compliment slips as a means of thinking or connecting with customers. It might be something as ‘tell us about your purchase on Facebook’ and so on, but the message is simple – you still want to connect even though the transaction is now technically finished. Re-connecting doesn’t have to be about buying more.
#3 A personal touch
For many customers, their expectation of customer service is low. They order; they stuff arrives. But for many companies, going that extra mile and writing something on the compliment slip can make a huge difference.
There is one thing that makes a huge difference – addressing the customer by name. If you can, why not thank the customer for buying your product by writing a message on your professionally designed and printed compliment slips?
#4 White is the right colour
Coloured compliment slips are a rarity and there is a reason for this…
These slips are the simple, yet effective means of communicating a message to your customer. Handwriting a message, or even printing one on coloured paper is not as effective as writing one on white paper. Light cream or beige can be just as good but there is nothing as crisp and delightful as a white compliment slip.
#5 Be creative
You would think that there is a set design for a compliment slip, mainly because the ones you see are all the same. This is more about lack of imagination and creativity than having a set design that all must follow.
You can ring the changes by keeping all your information listed down the short edge, or keep it running along the top or bottom long edge of the slip. You can really ring the changes by changing the orientation of your own compliment slips from landscape to portrait…
Whatever design or format you decide on, ensure you keep a large section of it blank, ripe for writing a personal note or thank you to a customer. And one final point, don’t compromise on paper quality either.