On Being Less EfficientThursday, March 28, 2013
Everyone is arguing that we need to be more efficient so we can get more things done. I would like to argue that we may need to be less efficient and that we should spend more time on the things that matter and less on the things that don’t.
For example, there are online card-sending services where you can type up a note and it prints it out (but it’s in your handwriting!) and mails it out (but it’s the thought that counts!). No. Both are terrible. It is clear to the recipient that expressing gratitude is no more than a checkbox on your to-do list, not a genuine act.
Sending holiday cards is the same way. If you’re not going to personally sign your holiday cards, please don’t send them at all. It doesn't matter how pretty the design is -- it’s much better not to receive a card than to receive one that is essentially the middle finger dressed up in holiday cheer. Nothing is more impersonal than receiving a card you put no thought into. We really value you as our client! So we decided to spend money on spamming you this year rather than just mass-emailing for free! You’re worth $2.44 of our photo lab’s time! Happy holidays!
When it comes to building relationships for your business, spend the time necessary to do it right. Let your competitors beat you on efficiency while you trump them on true customer service.
PS: this post isn't about holiday cards.
Originally published May 2011