Typical transaction, happened to me yet *again* today:

I buy something in a store, I get to the end of the monetary transaction, I’m told to “have a great day!”

Where the hell is the “Thank You”?

“Thank” immediately followed by “you” are far and away the two most important words you can say to express gratitude to someone who is supporting you. Whether they are buying a widget off the shelf, a service for their business, giving them a recommendation and everything else. Thank you is the gold in them thar hills. It’s telling of people giving a damn.

When I don’t get a thank you, I say “You’re Welcome” regardless. It irks me this is not thought of, perpetuated and simply ignored as the two most important words in business.

When’s the last time you told someone thank you – for their business, for an insight, for a suggestions, for a complaint? Well managed complaints and returns, by the way, are some of the most powerful exchanges to build patronage, loyalty and return business. Yes, it’s a fact.

Think about it.

Make a Difference. Say "Thank you."

Make a Difference. Say “Thank you.”

When you last returned something, what kind of experiences did you have? Was it pleasant? Did you look forward to returning the item, either in person or online? Likely not. So if that person handled it with empathy, confidence and friendly professionalism it made an impression. Most likely an unexpected one at that!

I learned this when I was new to retail, in the retail hardware environment. My superiors, rightly so, taught me this message and I still strongly subscribe to it today. I do so because I know it works.

So bring that thank you home to roost: make sure you increase the phrase use by using it yourself, often, where appropriate and genuinely. Give a nudge to those who tell you to have a nice day – say “you’re welcome” with a smile on your face whether you hear thank you or not.

In a world gone made with speed, faster everything, and the false “connecting” via technology, the human interaction will still always be Queen.