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What’s the best way to say thanks to a customer?

“No matter what happens, I just want to say thank you for introducing me.” said the the email, and just like that, I was jarred out of my analytcal headspace in the midst of editing a tech document . How often does one hear an authentic piece of gratitude nowadays? I decided to pass on the goodwill by writing a belated email myself, saying my thanks and paying it on forward. I also wondered how well most people hear a simple thank you from those they work with. What about your customers? Do they hear thanks from you?

thank you note for every language

Image by woodleywonderworks via Flickr

Facebook quantifies its gratitude and then makes it competitive, tracking the number of friends you’ve brought to the social network and rating your recruitment efforts. Is gratitude a sport?

Verizon is saying thanks to their customers, too, using the opportunity of the iPhone’s release on their network. Of course, the implied sale there makes the gratitude feel a bit tainted.

Amtrak thanks customers too, at least when they are stuck in a broken-down train. This is disingenuous also–it uses the social convention of gratitude accepted gracefully to paper over a deficiency in service.
Zappos thanks customers when they screw up too–even when it costs the company over $1 million to do so. But Zappos’ culture is well known for putting customers first, even when the customers get a very, very nice windfall at their expense. Did they need to say thanks? I am impressed that they claimed it was their fault and took their lumps rather than scrambling to make a bill adjustment–saying “thanks for being great customers” is definitely over the top.

What’s the best way to say thanks to a customer?

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