Thank Yous In Retail: Add This One Word To Make Yours Meaningful

By Bob Phibbs

how to encourage employees in retail storeFrom the time I was in seventh grade until I graduated Glendale High, every summer I toured with my church's youth choir.

To make it financially feasible, we stayed in host families' homes for the night before we went off to our next destination.

On my first trip, about to find out whether I’d hit the jackpot like the hosts who had a pool, or going bust and sharing a pullout couch with someone, I stepped off the bus.

Our youth minister pulled me aside, "Did you pick up your host gift yet?" I sheepishly answered, "No."

He replied, "That's OK, you're new. Here it is - a wrapped set of note cards and here is a card and envelope. Fill out the card and thank them for hosting you tonight. Add one specific thing about their house, their hospitality or even a good breakfast. You can either give it to them when you leave their house or on the bed but don't forget to do it."

I asked, "Do they really care about note cards?" He laughed and said, "No, they don't. But everyone wants to be noticed and appreciated when they have done something you benefited by."

That youth minister knew the power of making the effort to say thanks. He even gave me the word for thanking customers or customer appreciation: for.

When you thank customers, employees or vendors, you have to specify what it is you are thanking them for doing.

Here's a partial list of who to thank to get you started:

  • Your best customer who just makes your day, who appreciates you and your style of doing business.
  • Your best supplier. Sure you do it when they go out of their way but what about the job they do for you day in and day out?
  • Your UPS, FedEx, or other delivery drivers for their efforts.
  • Your employees for the job they do with a note to their home, rather than in passing.
  • Your Association for the specific educational opportunities their conventions bring you.
  • Your partner, family, children for their understanding.

You get the idea...

See also, 5 Critical Skills How To Coach Retail Salespeople

In Sum

Again the magic word to use when thanking is to include a specific service they have done that you genuinely feel stands out.

It usually starts, "Thank you for...."

Retailers can make the world a more civil and hospitable place through a lot of customer service efforts, this is just one. 

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