Thanks for everything!

Thank you, we appreciate your business and please come back.

Thank you, please come again. 

We all want to be appreciated. A sincere, well-timed thank-you supports strong relationships with clients and employees. In fact, a study reported in the Harvard Business Review found that receiving more frequent appreciation from our colleagues and managers does more than make us feel respected; it's also linked to better performance. Showing gratitude can reduce turnover and improve productivity, according to several recent research studies. When something as simple as a sincere thank you can make your employees more loyal, what is there to lose?  

To add impact to your thanks, follow these three suggestions: 

Thank people by name.

Whenever you can, use the person's name in your acknowledgment. "Janet, thank you so much for your help on the quarterly report" goes farther than a simple "Thank you for your help." When people hear the dulcet tones of their own names, they know that the thanks are not generic but are directed at them as individuals. Who doesn't love that? Just for heaven's sake, be sure to spell the person's name correctly!

If you really want to wow your colleagues -- and important clients -- sending hand-written thank-you notes is an excellent idea. It shows you went out of your way to thank them. You picked up a pen, wrote the message, sealed an envelope, and maybe even sprang for a stamp. By putting in those efforts, you demonstrate that you value the person as an individual. Seer Interactive, a Philadelphia-based digital marketing agency, keeps stacks of blank thank-you notes by the elevators so that employees can grab a few and "make people feel seen," according to founder Wil Reynolds. 

Thank people specifically.

"Thanks for everything" is tantamount to "Thanks for nothing." If you've slaved all week over a presentation, meticulously choosing the images on the slides, syncing the handout with the PowerPoint, and triple-checking your facts, your manager will probably (alas!) say something like, "Thanks! Great job!" Imagine the pleasure you would feel if she said, "The slides were really clear; I love how every image supported the message -- and thanks for making sure that the 2021 stats were up to date." Would you feel more motivated to put in your best efforts for this manager in the future? 

Being specific in your expressions of gratitude makes your reader feel you are sincere. Throwaway phrases like "Thank you for your business" are hackneyed to the point that they lose impact. If you want to impress your colleague or client, take a moment to think of a new way to express your gratitude. Your clients will notice. In fact, a study by NewVoiceMedia found that feeling unappreciated is the top reason that customers switch companies. The effort of finding a new way to show your appreciation may prove fruitful.

And here's a hint for the dinner-party crowd. Do not sail away from a soiree saying, "Thanks! Everything was delicious." Instead, think of one or more parts of the meal that you especially enjoyed and comment on them. "The seasoning in the mushroom soup was so subtle, it was divine. And the pasta was exactly Al dente. If you can't summon the nerve to say Al dente, just say it had the right amount of crunch. Your host or hostess will beam, and you will be invited back that much sooner. 

By telling people what we are thanking them for, we encourage them to repeat their behavior.

Thank people promptly.

Don't let your gratitude go stale. Within 24 to 48 hours after a positive experience, deliver your words of appreciation to the people who deserve them. You will sound more sincere, authentic, and enthusiastic than if you remind yourself a week later that you had neglected to say thanks and then try to summon the memories of the happy occasion. 

We know that people who receive thank-you's feel happier. But what's in it for you? The real benefit of expressing gratitude frequently, however, is that it makes you a more grateful person. And the data is clear that grateful people are more likely to be happy people.

Thank you for reading this post!