Yesterday I was in my local branch of TK Max, the clothing retailer that specialises in selling premium brands at discount prices. I have a penchant for French cuffed shirts, and as I was flicking through their selection, a sign caught my eye: "Thank you for not opening our packaging."
At first, the phraseology of this sign sounds a bit strange. But on reflection, when you think about the wording, it actually makes perfect sense.
Why do some companies arrogantly dictate instructions to their customers? "Do NOT do this. Do NOT do that. Do NOT touch. Do as you are told."
For goodness sake, these people are your customers! They are giving you their money! They are the very reason your company is in business!
Many people who run businesses forget to thank their customers, and to show an 'attitude of gratitude' to the very people that keep them in business. Yet it is so important to make your customer feel special by thanking them. And it needn't even cost you anything to show your appreciation.
Research by Francis Flynn, Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Stanford Graduate School of Business in the USA, showed that the relative value of thank you gifts made little difference to recipients. Small gestures of thanks were proven to be just as much appreciated as large gestures. Flynn's research showed that it is the actual gesture of giving thanks that is important, not its value.
A well-known example, quoted in Forbes magazine (May 2014) is that of 'Hex', an American accessories company, that wrote 13,000 personalised handwritten thank you notes to purchasers of its products. This cost them very little, but had a massive impact on customer satisfaction and retention.
Let's face it; your customers are human beings. Like all humans, they like to feel appreciated. They like to be thanked. Make sure you always show the 'attitude of gratitude' to all your customers, and it will pay for itself many times over.
Flynn, F, (2008), 'It's the Thought That Counts', Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford, California, USA