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10 Ways to Say Thank You Peggy Carlaw

gratitude thoughts 02 10 Ways to Say Thank YouIt's that time of year—time to count your bless­ings. And after the last few years of the reces­sion, I'm sure you have a lot to be thank­ful for. Your cus­tomers and your employ­ees prob­a­bly top the list.

But how to show your grat­i­tude in this post-recession econ­omy? Here are some no– or low-cost ways to say thanks.

Your cus­tomers

Your cus­tomers want to be val­ued as indi­vid­u­als, not just as peo­ple who sign pur­chase orders. So make your thank you's personal.

  1. Send cards. Send a per­sonal, hand­writ­ten note let­ting cus­tomers know how much you appre­ci­ate your rela­tion­ship with them. Hand­writ­ten is the key! This is not the time for e-.mail.
  2. Pick up the tele­phone. Make a spe­cial phone call just to touch base and thank cus­tomers for their busi­ness. No strings attached, no sell­ing, no spe­cial offers. Just a warm, heart­felt thanks.
  3. Write a let­ter of rec­om­men­da­tion to your contact's man­ager high­light­ing how much you enjoy work­ing with your con­tact. Be sure to men­tion your contact's strengths and what, specif­i­cally, you enjoy about your interactions.
  4. Cre­ate some­thing per­sonal like a cus­tom label for a bot­tle of wine, a piece of pot­tery designed by you at the do-it-yourself pot­tery shop, a screen saver you cre­ated from pho­tos of your locale, or a big bot­tle of root beer you made and bot­tled at the local brew­ery (private-labeled, of course!).
  5. Send a video. Cre­ate a video thank you from all the employ­ees who work on each customer's account. Have some fun but keep it professional.

Your employ­ees

Good cus­tomer ser­vice stems from happy employ­ees who want to do their best for cus­tomers. Your front-line employ­ees make you and your com­pany suc­cess­ful, so don't for­get to rec­og­nize them, too.

  1. Send per­sonal, hand­writ­ten let­ters to your employ­ees point­ing out each employee's strengths and telling them how much you enjoy work­ing with them. Send it to their home for a nice surprise.
  2. Make some­thing. What's your spe­cialty? Cook­ing? Serve them lunch. Pho­tog­ra­phy? Snap some can­did pho­tos and pro­vide prints. Singing? Cre­ate a song of thanks and belt it out dur­ing break.
  3. Donate money or time to their favorite char­ity in their name. Let them know this is to thank them for the top-notch ser­vice they pro­vide your customers.
  4. Give a few unex­pected hours off to go hol­i­day shopping.
  5. Just say thanks. Call employ­ees into your office one at a time, ask them to sit, close the door, then tell them how won­der­ful they are. Period. No sug­ges­tions on how to improve. Just let them bask in the glow of your praise.

The big hol­i­day bud­gets and bonuses of the past are mostly gone. Tak­ing their place are thought­ful, cre­ative ways to express your appre­ci­a­tion.  It doesn't mat­ter how much you spend. What mat­ters is that you let your cus­tomers and employ­ees know how much you appre­ci­ate them.

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