Five Best Times To Thank Your Customers

We’re all taught at a very young age the importance of being polite and saying, “thank you,” when someone has done something nice for us. That acknowledgement of gratitude becomes one of the first habits we learn as kids.

Yet in business, saying “thank you” is so often forgotten or undervalued.  

My wife, Deb, and I recently had some remodeling work done on our home. We hired a contractor who was referred to us to head up the project. He was a nice guy who only stopped by our house on occasion to check on his crew of guys who managed the sub-contractors that did most of the work. A great deal of his personal responsibility to us was to assure that we stayed on budget (we didn’t) and to keep us on schedule so the project would be completed on time (it wasn’t).

My only disappointment is that it’s now been quite some time since the remodel was completed and we’ve not received any sort of thank you for having chosen his business over countless others or for all the money we spent in the process of doing business with him. He never even scheduled a time to come see the end result of the project. He sent his assistant to take photos instead. Beyond making my wife and me feel unappreciated and disrespected as consumers, it ticks us off that he’s made us feel like nothing more than a transaction.

Sadly, the contractor wasted what could have been a lasting, referral generating relationship.

All because he hasn’t taken the time to offer two simple words—“Thank you!” Worse yet for him is that my wife wants to remodel our master bath. Since she doesn’t feel a sense of loyalty to him or his business, she’ll be looking for a different contractor.

You may be thinking that I’m over reacting. “C’mon, Ron. The guy just forgot to say ‘Thank you.’ Get over it. Move on.” If you really think that’s how I should deal with this situation, then you may not appreciate the power of saying “Thanks!” in your own business.

In this age of informality, manners often seem like they’ve gone the way of the Model-T.

But saying “thank you” in the business world may be more important and powerful than you think. Sure, it’s a polite gesture, but it can also make or break a deal or business relationship. Research indicates that when you say “Thank you” to your customers, they’ll spend more money and enthusiastically tell their friends about the exceptional service and products you delivered.

For the past few years I’ve been writing articles about the value and benefits of delivering “WOW!” customer experiences. Those experiences make your customers feel valued, special and as though the experience was designed solely with them in mind.

Showing appreciation is a vital element of the customer experience.

Without it, your clients are not going to feel beholden to you or your company. Customers don’t choose who they do business with based solely on products and what they cost, there are other things at play. As a matter of fact, 68% of customers say that businesses lost them as a customer because they felt unappreciated.

Not taking the time to say, “Thank you!” to your customers is one of the worse reasons ever for losing business and revenue.

It’s everyday etiquette and such a simple courtesy that takes just a moment. It costs nothing, not even effort. But, the rewards to your business are greater than you ever imagined.

Five Best Times to Thank Your Customers:

1.) It all begins with first contact.

When a potential customer calls you, emails you or stops by your place of business, begin your side of the conversation by thanking them for reaching out to you. They may have reached out to any number of other businesses. A simple show of appreciation could automatically set you apart from the others. And, don’t forget to thank them, again, at the end of your conversation or correspondence.

2.) If you’re like me and ask for an appointment, make certain you thank your prospective customer upon their arrival for taking the time to meet with you.

I also send them an email the following day with another note of appreciation to them for taking the time from their busy schedules to meet with me. Although I remind them I am always at their service should they have additional questions or a concern, this particular note is not a plea for their business. In my opinion, that would dilute the sincerity of my gratitude.

3.) Offer thanks at the time a customer purchases your product or service.

Each time they contact you, your reply should always begin with a “Thank you” to let them know you’re never too busy to be of assistance. Without that demonstration of gratitude you take a chance on them avoiding communication all together. If that happens you could lose valuable insight into how you can better deliver the experience you want them to enjoy.

4.) Send a personal note of thanks when the job is complete.

Studies have shown that almost half of customers attribute a good customer experience to a personalized experience, and a good customer experience is what will keep delighting your customers.  When your customers are happy, they’re bound to come back to your brand. And since customers will pay more for a product of service from businesses that provide a better experience, the personal touch you deliver through politeness also adds to your bottom line.

So, when the job is done, don’t thank customers “for your business.” Above all, do not send a form letter that addresses your customer as “Dear Customer.” Over used sayings like “Thank you for your business,” or “We appreciate your patronage” don’t reflect a true appreciation. Think about it. As soon as you say “business” you have just made a customer realize that, yes, despite what rapport you might have, at the end of the day, they represent a business transaction. That immediately diminishes the experience and relationship you worked so hard to build. Instead, acknowledge each of your customers individually and make your appreciation personal by addressing specific examples of what you’re thanking them for.

When it comes to the final correspondence, write it by hand and don’t use company stationary or include a business card. Use a thank you card that reflects your personality and that won’t be confused as a marketing piece. It’s far more personal than an email and may be something they share with others.

Studies have shown that almost half of customers attribute a good customer experience to personalization, and a good customer experience is what will keep delighting your customers.  When your customers are happy, they’re bound to come back to your brand. And since customers will pay more for a product of service from businesses that provide a better experience, the personal touch you deliver through politeness also adds to your bottom line.

So, when the job is done, don’t thank customers “for your business.” Above all, do not send a form letter that addresses your customer as “Dear Customer.” Over used sayings like “Thank you for your business,” or “We appreciate your patronage” don’t reflect a true appreciation. Think about it. As soon as you say “business” you have just made a customer realize that, yes, despite what rapport you might have, at the end of the day, they represent a business transaction. That immediately diminishes the experience and relationship you worked so hard to build. Instead, acknowledge each of your customers individually and make your appreciation personal by addressing specific examples of what you’re thanking them for.

When it comes to the final correspondence, write it by hand and don’t use company stationary or include a business card. Use a thank you card that reflects your personality and that won’t be confused as a marketing piece. It’s far more personal than an email and may be something they share with others.

5.) In reality, show appreciation to your customers often. I’ve never known anyone to say “That person was just waaay too appreciative.” On the flip side, forgetting or neglecting to say “Thank you” is looked upon as bad manners. Not only does it upset people, it makes your business look bad. The act of saying “Thank you” is more than a statement of gratitude. It is a sign of respect to the other person and proof that you do not take them for granted.

We can forget how easy it is to make someone’s day. A simple thank you or personal note can have a powerful, lasting and meaningful impact on a customer and help create an emotional connection they won’t soon forget.


This article authored by: Ron Ruth  |  Keynote Speaker, Customer Experience Design Consultant & Coach, Founder of the #Inspiramaginativity Institute.

Learn to speak fluent “WOW!”—the language of high-paying customers who will also become your most loyal, raving fans. Contact Ron to speak at your upcoming event or to provide a special, Customer Experience training session for you and your team – email ron@ronruth.com or call (816) 224-4487.
“Ron’s presentations are full of the kind of energy and enthusiasm that keeps audience engaged and wanting more. And, his inspiring, imaginative and creative ideas for helping business owners and their teams ‘WOW!” their customers and remain top of mind, makes him a highlight of every conference.” – Rick Brewer, WeddingBusinessMarketing.com
“Ron Ruth has been an industry advocate and trainer for small business owners with our training team for nearly 10 years. Ron has shown a great grasp of understanding what it takes to move a business to the next level with engaging sales approaches, creativity, and customized outcomes based on the clients. ” – John Young, Publisher, Disc Jockey News

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