Business Birthday Cards, a Funeral Home, and the Perfect Sentiment

As many people who work as customer service representatives know, dealing with the public can occasionally be quite frustrating and stressful. Sometimes their demands are unreasonable. Sometimes they are angry or verbally abusive. But every so often they can be quite amusing – the “you can’t make this stuff up” kind of amusing.

I work for a company that offers customization on numerous office supplies and stationery. Among the items we offer are business birthday cards. Taking an order for the perfect cards is usually a relatively simple task. You listen to the customer, offer suggestions for wording a desired message or sentiment, and maintain self control under all circumstances. Describing the card design chosen by the customer is always a must and recommending appropriate ink or foil colors is also very helpful. Our goal is to produce the best greeting cards money can buy – ones that you could confidently give to your clients or customers; cards you’re proud to present and ones that they will be honored to receive. But some days just never go right…

I was taking an order for birthday cards that required a customized sentiment. The customer wanted to express his gratitude to his cherished clients while mentioning his desire for them to share a long term business relationship. After exchanging ideas he finally decided on the following wording for his greeting: “Thank You for being such a valued customer and contributing to our success. We look forward to serving you again.” At this point I asked what wording would be used as a signature or personalization which would be typeset underneath the greeting. The customer indicated that a simple imprint of his company name would suffice. Agreeing with his decision, I asked for the company name. “McHenry’s Memorial Home and Funeral Service,” he replied. “Oops!” I thought, but couldn’t think of a delicate way to point out how awkward it sounded. I guess the birthday cards worked out okay though. McHenry’s has been a loyal customer of ours ever since that order was placed.

4 thoughts on “Business Birthday Cards, a Funeral Home, and the Perfect Sentiment”

  1. Holy cow, that is very funny in a odd and morbid kind of way! It seems odd to say “We look forward to serving you again” when you are a funeral home. It’s defininatly not something you want to think about!

  2. Very funny! I guess the customer felt like he’ll have many repeat customers….that’s for sure!!

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