Being Personal while being Virtual…

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on February 16, 2010 in: Working Virtually

I hear it all the time…

“Virtual is about efficiency and streamlining…”

“I prefer email to telephone calls or snail mail…”

“We don’t even order stationery anymore…”

“Of course I told my clients Happy Birthday, I sent them an ecard…”

“Of course I have not forgot the need for a personal note card here and then, that is why I subscribe to…”

I work in a primarily virtual environment, so I don’t dispute everything above.

I too utilize the virtual world to be more  efficient and streamline.

I too prefer email to telephone calls or snail mail.

I too have not ordered stationary in quite awhile (but I do still have some).

I don’t always know my clients’ birthdays, but if I did, I imagine I would send more than just an ecard.

I too subscribe and utilize

This is the world evolving as we know it. As a matter of fact, I only check my postal mail once a week, so I am used to it. My utility bills come via email, my credit card bills and student loan statements come via email, the only thing that ever comes via the USPS is direct mail pieces (catalogs, etc.) and a few bills that I have forgotten to activate e-statements on. Anything I order or purchase normally comes Fed Ex or UPS, so that poor postal mail just builds up in a basket, until I check it the end of every week and sort it into four piles:

  • scan & shred
  • put in the to be paid bin
  • trash
  • this looks interesting (normally a catalog or magazine)

However, this past week when I was checking my postal mail, I received a handwritten envelope, a card. I thought to myself – well my birthday is this month, but it  is still kind of early, so I opened it up.


It was a flat card (a non folding card) inside the most gorgeous flat card sleeve I have ever seen – and it was from my client – and it was for no other reason than to tell me that she appreciated our services!

Okay I have a couple of things to say here:

  1. I reached out to her via email to thank her – what a schmuck I am! While, I am sure she appreciated the acknowledgment, and at the time it seemed like the best thing to do (I wanted to thank her quickly), I soon realized part of the wow factor is that she took time out of her busy schedule to write me a short note. The least I can do is write her back (which I plan on doing in a handmade card I purchased awhile ago off of Etsy!)
  2. It was the prettiest sleeve I have ever seen, those red vines are velvet, so of course I had to track down the maker – her name is Anna Griffin, and I WILL be purchasing some things from her shortly. (FYI: It is a ‘Flocked Invitation Sleeve’, the flat cards have to be purchased/personalized separately).
  3. She is MY client, I should have been thanking her in this way, not vice versa (although I appreciate it!).
  4. Even though we have a 100% virtual relationship, she just made our relationship more personal.

The moral of this story is… don’t forget the basics… a handwritten note will go a long way, and on unique stationery, will leave an everlasting impression.

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