A Simple Way to Show You Care

By Don Minner, Senior Consultant

When was the last time you thanked your customers for their business? I’m not talking about the “thank you” expected immediately after winning an order or assignment. I’m talking about the last time you proactively went out of your way to thank your customers for doing business with you.

I would guess that it’s not a regular part of your business plan. If it is, then congratulations on recognizing the importance of pausing for this simple act that carries so much weight. Of course this practice should carry into your personal life as well. So when was the last time you thanked service providers, retailers, coffee shop employees, and, yes, your family members?

A holiday card doesn’t count. I’m talking about a truly personalized call or hand-written note that shows you care.

As children of any culture or faith, we’re all taught some form of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Around the world, surveys measuring employee satisfaction-even happiness-consistently show that how people are treated is more important than how much they make or how generous their benefits are. Surveys of why people buy from certain companies often point to the importance of “relationships.”

What are you doing to say, “Thank you”?

These two words pack a powerful punch and when said genuinely they can make transformative changes.

Look at John Kralik, author of the recent book 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life. At 53 he found his life in shambles: a failing business, a divorce, losing touch with his children. His days were becoming darker and darker. His epiphany was to focus on others and not wallow in his own self-pity. He decided to start sharing at least one sincere hand-written thank you a day and his life started to quickly turn around.

I have a friend named Mike O’Mary who has started The Note Project, a global movement to make the world a million times better by inspiring people to share personal notes of appreciation. Mike has said, “A simple note of appreciation can change a person’s life. Equally important, writing a note of appreciation can changeyour life.”

Jewish philosopher Abraham Heschel said, “When I was young, I admired those who were successful. Now that I am old, I admire those who are kind.”

What are you waiting for? There’s no time like the present to send a simple note of grateful appreciation to your employees, your vendors, and your customers.

And one more thing. Thank you for reading this.

Don Minner is a senior consultant for Productive Strategies, Inc. He can be reached at dminner@productivestrategies.com

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