The awesome power of "Thank You"
I sent my mother some flowers for her birthday recently. Being at the opposite side of the country from her means I have to put all my trust and faith in her local florist to deliver the goods, but let's be honest - Moms appreciate any flowers at any time, and it's hard to get flowers wrong.
On this particular birthday, however, the flowers lasted extra-long and she was quite impressed with the selection. So I was grateful to the shop for creating a fresh, healthy bouquet that Mom could enjoy for a few extra days. I even thought of writing them a Thank You note.
Then, I was floored when I received this in the mail a few days later:
At work, we often talk to companies about how they're communicating with employees as they launch/execute large-scale innovation programs. One of the simplest yet most important lessons is to have a high-level executive - preferably the program sponsor - thank each employee individually for their contribution of ideas in solving business challenges. Often, this is done with a short e-mail - nothing fancy, yet something sincere that makes them know everyone has a voice, and that voice is being heard. Something that encourages people to want to contribute.
It's a simple thing to say "Thank you," and when that culture is reflected in your customer service, you're going to lock customers in a way no amount of Tweets and status updates ever will.