Gratitude: Yeah, it’s a thing.

Screenshot of an actual text from Raphael F.

Raphael is a dear friend. He’s homeless as I write this. The power and example of his daily gratitude effects me deeply.

Gratitude in business is more effective when it comes from an authentic place. When we add the words “thank you” to our messaging, we’re often doing it reflexively, as a matter of course. But showing our gratitude can build brand loyalty and positive word-of-mouth.

a gratitude policy

We might ask ourselves what we’re personally grateful for from time to time, but we rarely ask it in business.

We might start by thanking our colleagues, employees and vendors. After all, they’re an integral part of the machine that turns a profit. “Thank you for all your hard work,” is worth more to some people than their paycheck sometimes. Subordinates might thank their managers for setting the course and steering the ship. Recognize the invisible worker. Vendors, especially smaller ones, can be thanked by prompt payment. Building a culture of gratitude from the inside out will help prime the pump for expressing it outside of the company. It also helps build an environment that people want to show up to every day.

I love to cook. I subconsciously turn out better meals for people who appreciate the effort.

expressing thanks in digital marketing

Our digital media channels are very powerful ways to express gratitude to our leads, prospects and customers.

Leads. Don’t just say “Thank you for your interest,” on a signup form. Send them something they might not be expecting, such as a comical or poignant quote, or anything that might brighten their day and demonstrates that you value them for more than their money.

Prospects. Prospects are often deep in consideration of your good or service. They are usually comparing your offer to someone else’s. They can be extraordinary sources of competitive information, including pricing, features, and terms. Before you counter such information with sales blah-blah, stop to acknowledge the fact that they shared it with you, and its relevance to your business. Even if they ultimately choose your competitor, they’ll be more receptive to considering you again in the future. Also, they’ll probably be more willing to refer you to other leads that they might think are better suited to you.

Customers. A very powerful technique is acknowledge customer feedback and its impact on your company. People who complain on Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, et. al. are often doing you a great service. If you make changes based on their feedback, let the community know how about their impact. Some companies are afraid this will encourage the “squeaky wheels”. In fact, it will likely turn more people into evangelists.

This article by Cheryl Connor on lists myriad other ways you can deliver gratitude on your social media and other digital channels. You might also enjoy this article about customer loyalty versus gratitude from the Harvard Business Review.

Gratitude has a way of enhancing our everyday lives. When business is part of our everyday lives, it will enhance that, too.

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