Goulet Thank You Notes Get A New Look

 If you’ve ever ordered from the Goulet Pen Company, you know how passionate we are about our shipping process. Not only do we put a slightly ridiculous amount of care into making sure each fountain pen, ink, and notebook fits snugly into the box, but we also include a tootsie pop and a handwritten thank you note on your packing slip. From the way we pack, to these added little extras, we’ve given a lot of thought to the experience you have as our customers when receiving each lovingly packaged shipment.

This level of care and attention to detail has been crafted very intentionally since our “garage days”. In fact, Brian used to hand write and wax seal a separate letter in every package when we first started out! In order to accommodate our growth, he switched to handwriting a thank you message directly on each packing slip. Of course, Brian couldn’t sustain this task by himself as we grew, so he invited others on the team to help. Today, the handwritten notes continue on and are written by our Customer Care team. They spend a good portion of their day signing your packing slips as a way of living out our value Express Gratitude. It’s quite a commitment to keep this up. It’s about the equivalent of one full-time role just to do these thank you notes!

As we’ve continued to grow and approached the 2016 holiday season, our busiest time of year, it was important for us to evaluate the practicality and sustainability of our handwritten notes. It’s a personal touch that we want to continue as long as we feasibly can! We’ve come to realize that signing the packing slip itself is making it difficult to scale our shipping process while maintaining the high level of speed and accuracy our customers have come to expect.

Normally when we process your order after you place it on our site, we print out the packing slip, sign the thank you note, and then it’s ready to go to our Fulfillment Team to pull, pack, and ship your goodies. The big logistical challenge for us has been that we work Monday-Friday, though our site is open 24/7. That means early in the week, we’re playing catch-up — not just on orders, but with email, voicemail, Live Chat, social media, etc. The handwritten notes as we do them now have become a bottleneck, consuming our Customer Care team’s time from responding to you from over the weekend, and holding up preparation for your orders to be fulfilled by our Fulfillment Team. It’s all been with the best of intentions, but it’s bogged things down for us for some time now.

With all this in mind, we came up with a solution that we believe will allow us to include the best of what these notes offer while still providing a quick turnaround time for fulfilling your orders. Effective immediately, instead of signing the packing slips as we print them, we’ll be signing newly designed postcards that will be included with your order. Each card is designed with care by our talented Media Team and features prints of some of our past Monday Matchup art. They are printed on fountain pen friendly cardstock so you can see how nice the inks we use can look. We tested over 30 types of paper just to be able to find the right one!

There will be a host of other benefits to this change, as well. By physically separating our thank you notes from the packing slip itself, it will allow our Customer Care team to focus on responding to your emails, phone calls, and Live Chats even faster. They will be able to write these notes during slower times (like afternoons and towards the end of the week) so that when we’re in crunch-time, there won’t be a bottleneck in fulfilling your orders. And as a benefit for all our team, since these notes won’t be restricted to an order-in-process, other members of our team across the company can write thank you cards to be included with your order! This will be a huge morale booster for them to be able to participate in this expression of gratitude, and you’ll get introduced to other members of our team.

We know that any change to something we’ve been doing for seven years can feel like a big deal. We’ve given it a ton of thought and we truly believe that this is going to be beneficial to both our team and to you as our customers.

What do you think of our new thank you cards? Have any ideas for designs? Leave them in the comments below!

Write on, 
Brian & The Goulet Pen Company Team

2017-10-11T14:34:13+00:00 November 22nd, 2016|A Goulet Life|90 Comments
  • Christine Slocum

    So what I’m hearing you say is that instead of writing on our packing slips, you’re giving us something beautiful we can pin-up in the office. I like that 🙂

    • That is correct 😉 And we’ll rotate out the designs, too!

  • Davidson

    So are these going to shift to just generic thank yous rather than the order-specific thank yous (e.g. “Hope you enjoy your Noodler’s ink!”)?

    • Yes, that’s the tradeoff. By separating notes from the packing slips themselves, we won’t be seeing what you’ve ordered when we’re writing the notes. We feel the tradeoffs will be worth it, though.

  • Matthew Spencer

    I guess i need to order something so i can see the new cards!

    • Haha! Starting on Friday we’ll be shipping them out 😉

      • Tom Johnson

        I thought Goulet Pens was closed Friday for Thanksgiving.

        2 hours later – I read today’s Communiqué and see that you will have a skeleton crew working Black Friday.

  • Caroline Niziol

    Sounds good y’all!

  • Shalyn

    I’d love to know what card stock y’all settled on. There are a lot of great paper options on the website, but cards are harder to find.

    • MP

      I’d love to know this as well. I’ve been wanting to ask about note cards as well. (Hint, hint: Goulet you should sell fountain pen friendly note cards.)

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      We had these printed at a local printer. The cardstock is 11×17 bright white woven 88lb. cover stock.

    • It’s Strathmore Bright White Wove, not a product we sell but one we’re getting through a local printer, like Lydia said.

  • Beth

    Would love to know what ever elusive fountain pen friendly cardstock you found. Been looking for some myself.

    Also, is this a permanent change, or just to get the Goulet team through the busy holiday season?

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      We are using 11×17 bright white woven 88lb. cover stock 🙂 If all goes well, this will definitely be a permanent change. Do you have a favorite Monday Matchup? We’d love to hear suggestions for new editions of the cards.

      • Bethany

        I’d like to jump in and suggest #54 (with the mountains) and #60 (with the moon)

        • Lydia At Goulet Pens

          I will definitely add those to the list of suggestions!

      • Kathleen fowler

        How about a still from your 12 Days of Goulet video for the holidays?

  • yawningreyhound

    That’ll be super! Any personal touch you guys add (or alter) is always appreciated. I write on every order that I fulfill for our businesses, too! And I send a free sticker to people who order certain electronics. I never knew this was appreciated until one day I got an email on the bottom of an order that said, “My friend ordered a 2+ from you and he got a free decal…..could I have one, too?” Word travels. And I have Goulet’s bookmark taped to my computer “if your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.” Inspires us every day!

    • That’s awesome! Yup, this stuff makes a difference, which is why even a slight change like we’re doing requires a lot of consideration.

  • Robby Powell

    Though I have only found your company in the past few weeks, I have found that I enjoy receiving the personal touch with the handwritten messages. IMO, if you change from writing on the packing slip to a postcard, it will not change the feeling of getting a handwritten personal message from a retailer, which happens rarely in today’s fast-paced world.

    • That’s really good to hear, thanks Robby 🙂 We always want to be sensitive to any changes we make. We thought the tradeoffs would be worth it here.

  • Paul Girbow

    Anything you do is greatly appreciated, most other orders I get from other online vendors only just manage to arrive in one piece. Thank you and the team for your attention to detail and your honest and up front presentation of the issues you need to deal with as a business day to day.

    • You’re welcome Paul! Thanks for the kind words, we try!

  • Teresa Widdowson

    Love this idea! I know I will look forward to being surprised and delighted by the artwork on the cards and getting thank you’s from all the members at Goulet. What a deal! It’s so nice to know that a company appreciates their customers, and values their employees as you seem to.

    • Definitely let us know once you start seeing it for yourself. I think you’ll like it, they came out really nice. And thanks for the kind words 🙂

  • Joanna

    I love how much work you put into coming up with a way to continue the lovely tradition of handwritten notes, but in a way that’s less disruptive to the flow. And also that other team members can join in too!

    • We’re trying 😉 Most other business owners I talk to look at me like I have lobsters crawling out of my ears when I tell them we do a handwritten note for every order…but we’re still doing it!

      • Kathleen Fowler

        I doubt those other businesses inspire the degree of customer loyalty
        that you at Goulet Pens do–lobsters and all! It’s the personal touch
        and the dedication to customer service and quality that make you unique
        and beloved. You deserve all the success you have enjoyed, and more! I
        look forward to seeing my next thank you note on a lovely card.

  • Ben

    I think you guys go above and beyond signing anything personally, and I definitely appreciate it. And please do whatever you need to do to keep growing and to be successful. The cards sounds like a great idea. On the “I’ll miss it” side, however, I have enjoyed typing comments onto my order and sometimes getting a reply from someone in your office. It sounds like that will no longer be possible with the new system, but WAY more sustainable.

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      Thanks, Ben. We will definitely still be checking order comments so you can still send us messages, we just won’t be able to write responses on the invoice. Thank you for your support of this transition! I hope you enjoy the new cards!

  • Dawn Tack

    I like the personal touch of the thank you notes, but I love that you care about your customers enough to take the time to let us know in advance that a change is coming and why it’s needed. 🙂 You guys are awesome!

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      Thanks, Dawn. I think it is much better to give a heads up than to take people by surprise. 🙂

  • Kathy

    I love the handwritten notes, and will miss them. However, I certainly understand how this creates a bottleneck for your operations, and takes so much time from your Customer Care team. With a team of 40+ people, it is hard to justify one full time position to sign invoices. I agree with the comments below….do what you have to do to keep providing the outstanding service. I’m a customer for life.

    I wish you would carry the card stock. I like to make my own cards, and it’s hard to find FP friendly paper for them.

    • farmkiti

      I second that motion! I make things with card stock, and I would love to have a little of that fountain pen-friendly card stock available.

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      That is definitely something we can suggest and look into. For these cards, we are using an 11×17 tabloid size 88 pound cover cardstock in bright white wove if you would like to find some, Kathy. It’s a pretty standard thing you could find at your local office supply store.

  • farmkiti

    I love your new idea! It still gives the customer a beautiful expression of gratitude, while making the completion of their order go faster. Plus, you’re still promoting the handwritten word. What more could I ask for?

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      Thanks, farmkiti. I think it’s pretty exciting too. I mayself will certainly be keeping and saving my order cards from now on! They have so many great uses: art for the walls, a beautiful bookmark, cards to collect, etc. Pretty exciting!

  • Tom Johnson

    Such a grand idea, I love it. Images from Monday Matchups or Thursday things would be great! Also, how about photos of team members? “Hey, I have 2 cards of Brian and 2 of Lydia. How about you trading me one of your ‘Drew’ cards and a ‘Madigan’ card for one of each of mine?” The gallery of photos of inks swirling in goblets of water too, some fantastic photos in that collection. The idea of signed cards is a great compromise, anything that helps you all continue being the best.

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      Haha that’s a whole new level of awesome, Tom! I’m not sure I feel cool enough to grace a trading card but that would be amazing. haha. Thank you for the hearty support of this swap 🙂

  • Alex

    I actually like the idea. A more efficient process allows the company to provide excellent customer service, keep costs low, and still provide the “Goulet” touch.

    It also lets me file my package receipt with receipts and put the thank you note with art on display, or at least with my ink swatches. It’s a win-win-win!

    • MP

      Because of the handwritten notes, I keep my packing slips too. These will perhaps be easier to save.

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      That’s a great point, Alex. I’m so glad you’ll be able to display your notes proudly now. 🙂

  • Melissa Hogan

    Very nice!

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      Thanks!

  • Uniotter

    I’m for whatever makes it easier on your team! Just a thought in that respect: Maybe you should have the most popular ink names made into stamps (or as part of the printing), so your team doesn’t have to write them out all the time? We can still see how the ink looks when they write the message portion and sign their names. But that way they won’t have to keep writing “Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses” over and over. 🙂 Thanks for all you do, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      That’s a very interesting idea, Uniotter! I will definitely share that.

  • Mari Ferch Rathyen

    Sounds like a great idea. I think the cards will be just as rewarding as the notes on the packing slips, probably more so because of the special card stock and getting more of the Goulet crew in on the activity.

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      Thank you, Mari. I think some of our team is very excited to be able to help out signing these as well. Maybe someone will manage to collect a greeting card from every team member one day!

      • Starchix

        And will there be a special prize for that? Maybe a pack of bubble gum?
        😉

  • Thudthwacker

    Wow — what a fantastic idea. I confess that, because of the time someone on your team took to write it, I sometimes felt bad not keeping the packing slip. I’m looking forward to collecting the note cards. The Monday Matchups feature some really wonderful (and often whimsical) work; the cards are going to look great on my office bulletin board.

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      I greatly appreciate you sharing your enthusiasm. That is exactly the reaction I was hoping to hear. They will be great collectables and we’re always open to new suggestions for Monday Matchups to feature if you have any you’d like to see!

    • Starchix

      ha — I actually save the packing slips. Now that is nerdy.

      • Tom Johnson

        I too save the slips, all the way back to my first order in June, 2012. I think Katy wrote on the slip.

        • Mike Winn

          I have 5 years of packing slips signed and am a little sad to see them go. They turned something prosaic into something personal and artistic. But I am excited at the prospect of a new kind of collectibles from Goulet Pens–and they will be more robust and of a size to be framed or pasted as tiles. Any idea how many different patterns you will start with? (And now what to order…?)

          • Tom Johnson

            Mike, you need to ask Goulet Pens about the patterns they are starting with. I’d like to know that too.

      • MP

        Me too!

  • Andrea England

    A wonderful idea! I love the personal touches you give (one of most special reasons I order with you from the other side of the planet). Cards are something that I’ll keep and enjoy- a worthy outlet for your efforts, and it will be great to hear from the behind-the-scenes team too!

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      Thank you, Andrea. We are pretty excited about the cards, they are gorgeous and will be so much nicer for customers to hold onto and collect if they so choose.

  • Karine

    I do love the personal touch of a handwritten note (in fact it was even one of those notes that introduced me to one of my current favourite inks, Lamy turquoise!), so I am very glad to hear that you have found a way to keep doing them!

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      That was one of our hopes with the notes, Karine, to expose people to new inks and see them in action! I’m glad we were able to help you fall in love with a new ink!

      • MP

        Yes, one of my invoices had J Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre, and now I must have it!!! 😀 Wouldn’t have ever really thought about it otherwise.

  • Jennifer Forsythe Holsonback

    I think it’s a great idea!!

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      Thank you, Jennifer!

  • Anne Lahr

    Great idea. Would you consider some sort of customer contest where we could submit thank you postcards that you would then use?

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      Thanks, Anne. That’s an interesting idea. I can certainly suggest it.

  • Starchix

    I love this idea. And now I know what job I can apply for at Goulet Pens: scribe! Calling on all those lifetimes as a monk in the Middle Ages, I will head east with my quills and best reading glasses. Will you have the gold leaf ready? 🙂

    • Tom Johnson

      Don’t forget the tallow candles. Maybe we can find a monastery with a scriptorium near Richmond so you can perform your labor of love in the right atmosphere. “G” is for Goulet.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ae483784eeda87e278742c63dc57c6d0d8f5a4d710f76c50eecd8c5e37c9198b.jpg

      • Starchix

        haha! my last name also begins with ‘G’ so I should be good at it, right? That is beautiful — something of yours?

        • Tom Johnson

          Oh no, I’ve never gone into anything like this. I just did a search for illuminated letters and found this image. I think it was on a Flicker site, but it looked good and very few “G’s” showed up in the search. Do you do illuminated letters? I have several calligraphy books and one of them has a section on doing the gold leaf and all. I’m OK just doing cursive writing with stub nibs. Someday I would like to master a simple uncial font, but I usually play with my pens and inks, writing cursive and such, instead of serious practice.

          • Starchix

            No, I don’t really have the patience to do anything like this, or the artistic talent. I am happy with my italic/stub nib and the many-splendored ink choices from Goulet Pens. I took a community education calligraphy class many years ago, and my everyday handwriting has morphed into kind of a cursive/italic hybrid which serves me very well. But who knows. Maybe if I ever get to retire I will take up calligraphy seriously. A cousin of mine was a world-famous calligrapher and perhaps a few of the art genes slipped through into my DNA…..

          • Tom Johnson

            I would love to find a calligraphy class around here. I’ve morphed my writing a little like you. Stub nibs makes it look good. I am retired, but I need something to jump start me like a class. Meanwhile, back to inks & pens, courtesy of Goulet Pens.

  • Jim Cavanaugh

    So you are just printing them out now? Is there really any handwritten notes?

  • Donna True

    The thank you cards look cool. You have such a creative team that I’m sure you will come up with lots of designs. I was just thinking, reading all these comments, that one of the reasons why I like Goulet Pens so much is that I feel that I almost KNOW the people on your team. It’s not like ordering from someplace else – I can visualize Brian & Rachel and at least some of the team. If I lived closer, I’d be bringing you over holiday cookies…

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      Awww thank you, Donna. That’s so sweet. I love that we can get so close and connected with everyone. We’ve got a special community here for sure.

      • Tom Johnson

        Happy Black Friday Lydia, I see you are one of the skeletons working today. And your community at Goulet Pens is very special to us, like a wonderful family.

        • Lydia At Goulet Pens

          Thank you, Tom! Colin and I are both here holding down the fort on the social media channels. Very quiet day at Goulet. Thank you very much for the kind words. Definitely feels like family every day. 🙂

  • Caine Steele

    I can see where some folks would say it’s more impersonal than signing the packing slip, but the packing slip was a casual- but friendly and welcomed!- informal personal touch. I think this new shift is really going to boost efficiency and make it even more personal than before. I really like these changes and believe it will benefit Goulet greatly and keep things working smoothly. Congrats! 🙂

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      Thank you, Caine. That is our hope!

  • Alyx Walker

    Love it! Thanks for thinking of us even in the face of growing your business! Now I need to place an order to get my new card! 😀

  • monoolho, o Uszacki.

    While I do get a bit sad that the very personal card is going away, they’ll feel like collectors items now!
    And really awesome idea to let other people in to sign them for you. Oddly enough, I didn’t see this blog post before, and coincidentally, my latest order will be arriving with your new system in place. So I’ve enjoyed both worlds and, well. Can’t say it’s bad!

    Really, and it feels SO GREAT to know that you guys are growing. You have absolutely no idea how I feel like I should give up law school, forget my letters and arts degree and just open an almost-goulet’s-copyright-infringement-online-fountain-pen-store store here in Brazil, and be merry making mead and wine in the free time, but I see how hard you guys worked and I doubt i’d be as lucky and dedicated as you are without outright copying you hahahaha!

    But this is actually great news. There’s no harm to anyone this way; your choice was very wise, and much less stressful. Well played, my good people, well played.

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      Thank you very much! You know what they say, imitation is the highest form of flattery. 😉 Thank you for your kind words. I wish you immense luck with your degree and hope that you still find time for merriment soon. 😉

  • There are way too many things to list that I love about shopping at the Goulet Pen Company, but the handwritten thank-you notes have got to be pretty high up my list; my daughter’s quite fond of the tootsie pops too. They’re such a lovely, personalised touch, and something that so few companies do nowadays, especially here in the UK.

    You speak often on the blog and on social media about the Goulet Family, and the thank-you notes really are, for me, a reflection of this, as are the, “Your order was packed by…” business cards. I presume they’re new too as I don’t recall seeing one prior to my most recent order. I think they’re a great idea. I can’t imagine a UK-based company doing this. The ethos here seems to be, “admit nothing!” in case things go wrong, rather than to celebrate a job well done, as you do.

    Goulet must be a great place to work, a place where all the employees are truly valued and are, a family. If anything, the changes to your thank-you notes reinforce this feeling and I’m very much looking forward to meeting more members of the family.

    There’s something quite special in this day and age in receiving a package and being able to put a name and a face to the person who packed my order, or who I LiveChatted with, or who answered any questions I might have had trying to choose my next fountain pen, and it’s nice once in a while, to come across a company that truly cares about its customers, and considers us part of the wider family too.

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply, Sam. It truly is a family here and I am glad that we can include our customers around the world in this special group. I hope we are able to have many more interactions through, LiveChat, packages, and other means in the future. 🙂

  • Brian, Rachel, it’s amazing to see the kind of challenges you are facing as your winning formula rewards you both with growth. I do really enjoy the transparency with which you share the thought process behind some of these tougher decisions. I wonder if you’ve read the book “2 Second Lean” by Paul Akers. It’s a free ebook, and it’s a remarkably quick read. But I think you’ve probably reached the point with your growth where it may do the most good. Something tells me you’ve already had some Lean coaching.

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      Thanks for the suggestion, Magnus. I will definitely share it with them 🙂

  • Karen E Jeffrey

    I think they’re fine. The use and identification of inks on correspondence is a treat. It’s also a temptation that I’ve succumbed to more than once.
    As far as the Tootsie Pops go – I popped a couple in my glove compartment and shared others with my brother who has diabetes and needs to carry a little something for a boost once in a while.
    You treat your customers so well that I think many of us feel emotionally invested in the employees’ and company’s success. The continuing success and growth – hooray! We share in that.
    Several times I’ve referred to Goulet Pens on my Facebook page as an example of a company that provides good, personal, and informative customer service. I’ve described it as the Internet version of a local store and we all need to support local businesses. Also, Brian’s video comments about the business, how it began, your visits with industry people, etc. are like a primer for starting and increasing a business. These also provide others with a peek into the fountain pen business and who the heck doesn’t enjoy being in the know. Makes me feel (to say it as we do in Boston) smahhhht when I pass on this kind of information to friends.
    And, I urge friends and family who wistfully say “I used to have a fountain pen,” to check out the videos and blog for the same reason.
    I hope the switch to cards eases the early week crush for all of you. But I also hope you continue to grow!
    An early Merry Christmas to all of you and your families.

    • Lydia At Goulet Pens

      I am so glad to hear you’ve found great new inks from our notes! That’s so exciting. Thank you for the positive comments and glowing support, Karen. I hope you are able to reintroduce many more friends to fountain pens.