“THANK YOU”, the Most Important Words in Human Language?
“Thank you for reading this article, it means a lot to me.”
“Thank you for visiting, I hope you find it useful and informative.”
See what I mean, it just feels good to be thanked. No matter where you are, a sincere thank-you means a lot to your friends, family, co-workers and customers.
But as with most things, there is a right and wrong way to say thank you. In this article, I hope to give you tips and ideas that will take your thank-you message to the next level.
Start with being grateful for what you have.
If you are truly grateful for what you have, saying thank you is easy. For many of us, your job includes the task of going out and thanking customers. For some, this task is a chore. The result is a half assed thank you message, honestly you are almost better off not talking to the customers at all.
For example, when Moe’s Mexican Restaurant first arrived on the scene, the entire staff yelled “Welcome to Moe’s” whenever a customer walked in the front doors. Giant smiles, a real welcome. But if you walk into a Moe’s today, they still welcome you, but it sounds like a tire deflating. They don’t even look up. The employees don’t believe a warm welcome is important. No enthusiasm because they don’t mean it, the bloom has fallen off the rose.
Now I’m not just picking on Moe’s, I’m picking on the corporate policy that forces employees to say things when they don’t mean it. Corporations should understand that what they should be training, an appreciation for the customer. So, the team understands, why they’re welcoming the customer in the first place.
If you think about it, your customers are one of the main reasons to be thankful because their buying power makes or breaks your business. Even if you just work there, it’s the customers who are paying your paycheck, not your boss. If there’s anybody to be grateful for, it’s your customer. So smile, make eye contact, and thank them for coming.
Be sincere in your “Thank You”
The best “Thank You’s” are a sincere and grateful sharing of positive attention. Looking up from your work, or your phone, making genuine eye contact. Let the smile form on your face and especially in your eyes. People notice when you don’t smile with your eyes. All of this is easy — if you actually mean it.
I suggest that you do the following:
- Before you begin to say thank you, think of why you are saying it. Then share why with your customer, friend, or co-worker.
“Ted, thank you so much for coming in today, we really hope we have exceeded your expectations.”
“Nancy, thank you for joining me for dinner, your dress looks spectacular.”
“Oh my gosh, Emily, thank you for being here, it truly means the world to me.”
- Shake hands or hug, then hold eye contact while saying thank you.
If you shake hands, shake it firmly, and keep looking into their eyes as you welcome them.
If you hug, hold it for a moment then pull away, and make eye contact while still holding them, then say thank you.
“Laurie, you really did an outstanding job on that presentation. Thank you for making my job so easy, you are such an important person. I’m lucky to have you on my team.”
“Mom, thank you for coming over to our new house, it means so much to us. See, here is the first baseball glove you bought me for Little League. Thank you for coming to every game.”
- Listen to them after the thanks.
This may sound basic, but I constantly see it at restaurants where the manager is required to say thank you, but then does not stick around to actually listen to the customer’s concerns.
Giving the recipient of the thanks an opportunity to acknowledge the compliment is as essential as the complement itself.
“Thanks for coming to Freddie’s Steakhouse, are you enjoying your dinner?”
Then pause, make eye contact, and respond to whatever they say next.
“Marco, thank you for telling me about the issue, I’m so glad we could correct that for you. I mean it, without you telling me, this helps all of our customers.”
Say Thank You in Public.
Saying thank you in a meeting or at a party, in front of the whole group, is ten times more powerful than saying it in private. It feels more genuine. Positive peer pressure is ten times more effective than negative. Great managers “reprimand in private and congratulate in public.” The same holds true at family gatherings.
“Everyone, I just want to say thanks to my wife Mary for preparing this wonderful meal. She has a knack of whipping up a dinner for 20 without breaking a sweat. Thanks, sweetie.”
“Gather around team, I just want to take a moment to recognize Michael. Michael scored his first touchdown in the fourth quarter of last Monday’s game.”
It is Never too Late to Say Thank You!
When weeks go by, it feels weird to send a thank-you card, but in reality it is never too late. I recently received a thank you after a year, and quite frankly it was a relief because I was feeling a little under-appreciated. You simply start by saying things like:
“This thank you is long overdue, what you did for my family in May was over the top.”
“A month has passed since you visited me in the hospital, and upon reflection, your visit saved me, gave me hope and made me feel special. And for that, I send my heartfelt thank you.”
You get the idea.
Saying thank you is good for your soul
Thanking people for the work they do, for the kindness in their heart, for the way they treat you, is good for you. When you say thank you with genuine love in your eyes, you’re giving a piece of yourself, and that is love.
Giving love to others is good for your soul, is good for you as a person, and makes you more likable.
In this world where everybody’s complaining about everything, being grateful is a superpower.