The Value of a Sincere "Thank You"

Tracy Borreson on October 12, 2017

Our parents (and/or cheesy kids shows) taught us repeatedly that “Please and Thank You are magic words." And, if you think about it, you probably thank people in your personal life all the time; but what about our customers? We owe our entire business to them—are we really doing our best to thank them for what they’ve done for us?

With Canadian Thanksgiving having just passed this week, and with our American friends' holiday of the same name still to come, we thought we’d take the time to remember what a true Thank You looks like.

The Purpose of "Thank You"

The entire reason behind saying Thank You is to show appreciation for what someone else has done for you. I would like to focus around those two words: showing appreciation. If you are familiar with Dale Carnegie, you will know about his different levels of showing appreciation and consideration; and if not, I will do a brief overview here, including a value rating of each level with regards to giving thanks.

Level One: Something they’ve done (i.e., a $1 Thank You)

Examples in this category include things like thanking a co-worker for her help, thanking your mom for your birthday present, or thanking your customer for his purchase. What you are recognizing is THAT someone has done something; and what this level is missing is any other type of recognition—a sacrifice they’ve made, or a reason why they’ve participated. As we move up the scale, you may notice that this is where you live, but don’t worry! There’s always an opportunity to step it up.

Level Two: Something they’ve done and the associated sacrifice (i.e., a $5 Thank You)

A great example in this category is to thank your co-workers for their help today, because you know that it impacted the other priorities and tasks that they were going to tackle by end-of-day. You're recognizing THAT they've done it but also WHAT it cost them, in terms of time, money, etc. Let’s look at this from a customer perspective: your customers always have the choice to go somewhere else, and they may be sacrificing convenience or even price to do business with you instead. Do you know what they are sacrificing? If you do, then it’s a great piece of info to include in your Thank You's. WestJet Airlines does this on EVERY single flight, “We know you have a choice when you fly, and we appreciate your business.”

Level Three: Something they’ve done because of who they are (i.e., a $20 Thank You)

This is the king of all Thank You’s – at this level, you are thanking someone for WHAT they did, but also WHY they did it. And these why’s don’t include things like, “it was on sale”, they include things like, “because you believe in supporting local businesses.” This is a tricky one to get right on the corporate level, but when you do, it can help you build an amazing relationship with your customers; one that’s going to withstand the test of time.

The best group to start with at this level? Your Opt-Ins! These customers have already agreed to an ongoing relationship with your brand—don’t you want to make the most of it?

Bringing It All Together

Now, if I asked you if I should give you $1 or $20, you would likely tell me that you would prefer $20 (wouldn’t we all?) Thank You's are equally valuable – why give a $1 Thanks when you can give a $20 one? It’s a simple value proposition that you should always consider when drafting your customer communications—don’t your customers deserve your sincere appreciation?