Giving thanks in the business world to your clients, suppliers and support staff is important all year long but even more so at Thanksgiving.
After all, it is a holiday created TO GIVE THANKS.
Here in Canada, we are quickly approaching our Thanksgiving Holiday Monday, October 10, so we have compiled a list of 10 quick tips we all need to remember when saying Thank you in our professional lives but also a few creative ways of delivering your appreciation to all the VIPs that matter the most to your business and that help make your successes possible month after month and as well as year after year.
Expressing your gratitude not only creates goodwill externally but also increases company morale internally. So remember your support staff and suppliers as well as our valued clients and customers during this special time of year.
The key to expressing gratitude is sincerity. If you or your employee isn’t sincere and authentic in the delivery of your appreciation, it will fall flat and not be received as intended. And truly, between you and me, don’t even bother then.
Remember that EVERYONE has a choice where they spend their money, time and energy. We all have competition and your clients chose to work with you and spend money with your company. Your employees have a choice where they work… your suppliers that rush through a last minute order for you or deliver product to you directly on the weekend or after hours, CHOSE to do that.
Remember everything that these people do for you, out of the kindness of their hearts, so let’s show them alil gratitude and sincerity when letting them know how much it means and what a difference it and they mean to us.
Day 2 Tip when saying Thank You. MAKE IT SPECIFIC.
We Canadians say ‘I’m sorry’ too much, you can also run the risk of diluting the power of Thank you if you say it for every tiny little thing or generically.
When you are expressing your appreciation to someone tell them EXACTLY what it’s for, and what you appreciate. (letter samples are from here)
Although nice, here’s a generic thank you:
Dear Dan and Renee,
Thank you for being our valued customers. We are grateful for the pleasure of serving you and meeting your printing needs.
We wish you a beautiful Thanksgiving and a joyous year’s end.
But here’s how to make them FEEL it by being SPECIFIC.
In this time of Thanksgiving, I must express my thanks to you. Working with you over the past two years has been an amazing opportunity for me. I appreciate your high standards, consistent focus, and fun sense of humor.
Thank you, Carlos, for the pleasure of continuing to work with you. I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with all good things.
Let them know that your note of appreciation was created will only them in mind.
We have given you a couple tips to run with but thought today, we giving you a suggestion on how or what to do to say Thank you.
The age old tradition of hand -written notes of any type, but especially thank you notes, will never get old and tired.
Actually, nowadays it is appreciated even more since most of our communication is done electronically.
The effort and time will not go unnoticed and will make the recipient feel amazing.
Day 4 is another Creative suggestion on how to say Thank you. Do it publicly.
Do it publicly. Send them a tweet, post an image on Instagram, tag them on your Facebook page or do a periscope video about them or their product… does it exceed your expectations, does it make your life easier, did they do something over the top you want to acknowledge or just want to simply say Thank you. Give them a shout out on social media.
I was so tickled when a client recently did that for us, I created a whole blog post about it in our Testimonial Tuesday section. I truly felt her appreciation and his joy… I loved it all.
I do this alot for retailers I visit that go above and beyond…ok, it’s usually Starbucks (yep typos mean its authentically ME), but I personally feel there can be alot of negativity on social media so I am always happy to spread some joy and gratitude when someone does something that makes me smile.
Thank a client with a tweet or send some love and joy by making the 3rd Friday of every month customer recognition day and highlight their business on your own social media page. They may get some referral business out of it… and that is an AMAZING way to say Thank you.
Day 5 is a Creative suggestion on how to say Thank you. Throw a party.
Most party giving and going is centered around the holiday season but why not stand out from the crowd and throw an exclusive Thanksgiving event to acknowledge your top clients or customers. After hours at your office can be a small wine tasting with cheese boards and appies, a catered affair at a unique and unusual venture like a pumpkin patch for Thanksgiving or even a ‘get to know you better’ potluck at your warehouse where everyone brings their own specialty or they own favourite dish from a local deli.
To get your message across of sincere appreciation and gratitude, think outside the box when it comes to party planning.
Day 6 is another creative suggestion on how to say Thank you. Give them a deep discount just because.
Give them a deep discount just because it’s Tuesday, Just because you just realized you have been working together for 5 yrs… and want to say “Happy Anniversary”, just because you saw on Twitter that your client was having a bad day and just because you wanted to say Thank you!
If they pay monthly for a specific service, perhaps you could send them their next bill with a post-it on top of the bill/invoice saying “We took off $50 this month…just because we really appreciate YOU. Thank you for being one of our favourite clients”
Thanking employees for their dedication, hard work and extra efforts should be a year round event however it may be especially appreciated during the holidays.
Offer those invaluable people more flexible work schedules for the week, giving them a paid half day (or full day off) unexpectedly to get errands done, go to the spa, to enjoy a long lunch with friends in the middle of the week or to start shopping and preparing for the weekend’s big meal before the crowds hit the store.
Day 8 is another Creative Suggestion on how to say Thank you with an Exclusive SALE
Have an exclusive sale for your existing clients only with giveaways or extra perks like FREE SHIPPING. Let them know how special they are by offering incentives and deals that aren’t available to the public. Clients that choose to continue to work with you and your company are a very precious commodity and deserve to be treated that way.
Day 9 is another Creative Suggestion on how to say Thank you to the everyday customer to comes in and out of your shop without you even knowing their name.
If you have a brick n mortar store location, provide coffee, flowers, baked goods or some other small gift or treat for customers who come to the store on a regular basis to say Thanks for their patronage.
Unlike most businesses, a retail outlet may not get to capture the name and address of all your clients. You may not know who is a constant repeat visitor so if you offer something unique and thoughtful regularly you will ensure that you definitely do something special for each of these special people.
My favourite local donut shop offers samples of the flavours they are trying out for the upcoming season and we can vote which ones we like. I feel like they genuinely care about our input; they value our thoughts. Another grocery store I visit has FREE coffee for us to enjoy while we shop. The coffee is all different varieties that they sell so we can try before we buy.
Day 10 is way to say Thank you is to provide EXCEPTIONAL Customer Service every single day.
Whether you have an online shop like me, a consulting firm, small boutique design company or work a large corporation exceed customers expectations every single day.
Have real people answer the phones and deal with customer service issues directly, empower your staff to deal with issues and concerns themselves so they don’t have to make the customer wait to get approval to fix their problem, remind them that the customer is the reason you are in business… no matter what business.
We all embrace technology, ‘systemizing’ and automating processes in our work, however remember that people like to work with other people so instead of giving scripted or automated responses to emails, or social media outreaches, perhaps put someone in charge to personally respond to customer queries or if staff numbers are low, then as the business owner dedicate 1 hour a day to personally acknowledge these inquiries or concerns. Send a note personally yourself. I want to know that someone cares about my problem and wants to help me get it fixed, that alone sometimes makes me feel better.
I also want to know that there is a genuine person on the other end of my credit card transaction that sincerely appreciates my business.
After all, isn’t that what we are all looking for … to do business where we feel appreciated and valued. Sadly, exceptional customer service is so rare now a days that people really take notice when it is present. Providing this type of customer service is all the thanks I need from a business or company I am working with… how about you?
well, that’s it and THANK YOU so much for taking this daily ride with me of the last 10 days going through suggestions and tips for saying THANK YOU to the important people in your business. YOU are the important people in mine and please know, that I am grateful for you everyday. I am filled with gratitude every time you give us the privilege of being part of your daily and special occasion gift giving and allowing us to send out your messages on your behalf.
Thank YOU, and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating this weekend.