The new year is fast approaching and with it, a time for fresh starts and resolutions. Gratitude can be a great way for businesses to build a better relationship with the customers and clients that contribute to their successes in 2014. It just so happens that January is also National Thank You Month, meaning there is no excuse not to express some kind of appreciation to the people who matter most.
Say it simply
People say it all the time, whether someone holds a door open or passes the peas. Everyone appreciates a little recognition for a thoughtful deed, and simply saying thank you is one of the easiest ways to give some. National Thank You Month is built around that concept of simple acknowledgment – it's just a time to let others know that they are appreciated.
Companies can learn a lot from the concept of the simple thank you. According to Entrepreneur, a little gratitude can be a powerful tool in business, and finding ways to express it can encourage customers to spend more on a particular company and even spread word about the business. One of the easiest ways to give thanks is just by reminding employees to say it to customers after a transaction. Basic courtesy can go a long way in sales.
Thank you doesn't always have to be said. Personalized Christmas cards may be perfect for December, but the thoughtful card is invaluable the whole year round. Receiving a card in the mail is something of an event thanks to e-mail, and customers receiving a letter just for the sake of having provided business can have a positive impact. The gesture may even resonate more, given that the customer didn't even have to go to a store or be in the place of business to receive some form of acknowledgement.
While saying thank you is a nice gesture, businesses can really drive the point home by offering a small token of appreciation. Corporate thank you gifts that consider the recipients' interests show that the giver has put some thought into the item. Personalized coffee mugs are great for avid caffeine consumers, while water bottles might be better for the fitness obsessed. People who spend a lot of time on their computers may appreciate promotional flash drives or even new laptop bags. Particularly handy or outdoors-oriented people can get a lot of mileage out of a promotional pocket knife or a personalized magnetic screwdriver. In addition to the satisfaction of having given a thoughtful gift, businesses can also take comfort in the fact that the more the gift is used, the more the recipient will be reminded of the person who gave it.
Saying thank you isn't just about building relationships with customers and clients. The importance of a positive work environment to a successful company has been reiterated by business journals time and time again. There are more than a few ways to cultivate such a work environment, according to Forbes. Among its recommendations, Forbes suggested developing clear expectations for employees, a solid training and support system, transparency, a reward system for good performance and an interest in employees. Thank you gifts are a good start to demonstrating to employees that their company values them. Of course, tokens of appreciation don't need to be limited to one month out of the year. Offering small thanks yous in the form of food or personalized items can become an integral part of internal events and activities throughout the year.