Tomorrow is World Gratitude Day. For many of us, it just being a Friday is a reason to be grateful.
Being thankful is an amazing thing for making people feel noticed, appreciated and valued. Just think of how the opposite makes you feel. If you’ve got teenagers, you might be used to this scenario, where very little can warrant a thank you. Doesn’t take long for it to make you feel very underappreciated.
The power of thank you
If you could get a 50% improvement in productivity tomorrow, would you take it?
I think for most businesses the answer is yes.
According to research from Harvard Business School (so not too shoddy), just saying thank you to staff increased productivity and output by 50%. All that from just two words.
And yet how often do we remember to say it?
When did you last thank your customers?
I mean, really thank them?
The story of your thanks and gratitude could do great things for you and the customer. It’s possibly easy to think of the benefits to your customers of being thanked. The research says the customers would feel a mix of things. In fact, it does quite a range of things:
- generates higher levels of self-worth
- triggers greater desire to help the person doing the thanking
- triggers generally helpful behaviour towards other people
- appreciation of being needed
- feeling more socially valued
That’s a pretty good result from two words.
What’s the benefit to you?
The other thing that the research showed is actually the person doing the thanking also gets something out of it. This includes:
- Producing a positive emotional state
- Increases your sense of wellbeing
- Triggers “feel good” hormones
- Re-enforces virtuous cycle in the brain
Well, that’s not a bad result either.
What to do about it
You might be used to customers sending you thank you notes, or testimonials, or positive reviews. It’s nice, isn’t it?
Imagine how it might feel the other way for your customers? And how refreshingly unusual?
Instead of telling your story, tell the story of your customers. It could be about how they found you, or what they do with your product or service. It could be just as powerful to talk about them as a person. A person that you are grateful to have met through your business.
Someone you are thankful for.
Why small businesses can win on the thank you front
Imagine if you’re the world’s biggest brand. How close are you to your customers? They are numerous, but not individuals. It’s hard to write thank you stories to people when they are a big mass, not individuals.
You as a small business have a huge advantage here. You are so much closer to the customers, and to finding and telling their stories. They’ll possibly be happy to tell you their stories, in a way that they might not be happy to tell a bigger business. They might already feel a much greater connection between you and your business, which is why they choose to spend their money with you.
Out of everyone they could choose, they choose your business. That is definitely worth a thank you.
So, what are you grateful for?
Saying thank you in the moment is more powerful than waiting for the perfect moment, or until you’ve crafted the perfect piece of content. Don’t wait, say thank you now. Or send flowers.
Though a tweet is cheaper and, done well, could be just as effective.
Say thank you now. Don’t just do it on World Gratitude Day. Remember, there’s something in it for you too.