Although the above paragraph is sincere, you might feel that it is a bit disingenuous since “thank you” gets tossed around by sales clerks who really didn’t seem to care about you when they were ringing up your purchase. “Thank you. Have a nice day,” is sometimes thrown around a bit too loosely. It is expected.
Don’t Use Thank You as a Chance to Up-sell Me
Also, you most likely often get directed to a “thank-you” screen after filling out an online form or purchasing an item. If you are like me, you view these thank-you messages as a necessity to let you know that your submission was successful and sometimes as an irritation when it is obvious that the sole purpose of the thank-you page is to get you to purchase something else. Those almost seem like a slap in the face. (Thanks for giving us your business, but we’d really like to take more of your money sooner rather than later.)
Finding a Real Thank You
However, if you are paying attention, you can often tell the difference between an obligatory thank you and a sincere one (or at least the perception of a sincere thank you). In a store, it might be when the clerk – who was already polite and engaging throughout the purchase process – smiles, looks you in the eye and says, “Thank you.”
In public, you may feel the sincerity of a thank you when you hold the elevator door for someone with an armload of packages who is scurrying to catch it. In most places, those people are truly appreciative since many others would have let the doors close (or even pushed the “door close” button so they didn’t have to wait.)
Making Your Thank You Count
There was a time that a business-related thank you really made a difference to me.
Here’s the thing – I typically buy my sneakers (aka tennis shoes, walking shoes, running shoes, or whatever you call them) online or at an outlet. [Read: "somewhere that I can get a deal."] However, I had won a gift certificate for a specific New Balance store when I attended an expo day for The 3-Day for the Cure in San Diego, so I took my “free” $100 to the Cardiff-by-the-Sea New Balance store.
The staff at New Balance had been very helpful and I got a great pair of running shoes for about $25 out of pocket. However, since the Cardiff-by-the-Sea New Balance store is about 25 minutes away from me and if I really wanted to go to a sports-related shoe store there are many around where I live (see Google Map graphic above), that probably would have been the end of my New Balance story.
But Wait! There’s More!
About a week after I got my practically-free shoes from the New Balance store, I received a hand-written thank-you card from Nathan, who I am assuming is the manager of the Cardiff-by-the-Sea New Balance store. While I am sure that Nathan sits at his desk and writes a stack of almost identical thank-you cards at the same time, the fact that he took this little extra effort made an impression on me.
I put the thank-you card on my bulletin board, so I would remember what Nathan did. Putting it up there reminded me that I need to take that extra step more often. It also served as a reminder that I was going to head back to the Cardiff-by-the-Sea New Balance store.
Don’t get me wrong – I still look for a great deal and I still buy my sneakers online. However, I knew that I wanted to buy at least one (of my typical three to four) pair of sneakers this year in a store, so I could try them on and ask questions. Instead of hitting one of the many stores near me, I jumped in my car, used extra gas (which is a big thing with gas in Southern California costing over $4 per gallon), and drove to the New Balance store.
Because of a thank-you card that most likely cost less than a dollar (plus a few minutes of time), I spent over $150 at the store and even brought a second person with me, who also spent at least $100 at the store.
That was one powerful “thank you.”
Do you take the time to truly say, “Thank you,” to your clients? I know that I don’t do it as often as I could, but I will now be working on a plan to let my clients know that I appreciate their business.
So once again, thanks for stopping by my blog. I really do appreciate it!