Like most people, Thanksgiving for me has always been about being thankful for what I have; Family, friends, my health, a roof over my head and food on the table, the obvious basics that are not so obvious for many less fortunate others. It’s good to be reminded how lucky I am.
But, ever since I started OwnerListens, thankfulness has taken on an additional meaning. While we started the service to make it easy for customers to privately lodge a complaint, a significant percentage of customers use it to send compliments. Not just the offhand “awesome” or “great”, but paragraphs of heartfelt appreciation elaborating how much they enjoyed a service or a business.
“Simply perfect. Tommy is the best bartender. I feel at home here when he’s on shift.”
“Joan is awesome. She helped us buy shorts and my husband is not the easiest to shop with. She was super patient and we are so happy with our purchase.”
“Tessa was a real star. She is the best server!!! She made a good experience, excellent!!!”
Of those complimentary messages, the best ones are those that show appreciation to specific service providers. The highly attentive bartender, the sales associate who went the extra mile to find an out of stock item, the concierge who located a last minute babysitter. People making an effort to do a great job even when there’s nothing glamorous about it, even when they could keep their position by just doing a mediocre job.
Great things happen when we take the time to send such messages. Acknowledging people who aren’t used to heartfelt thank you notes, may take you 2-3 minutes but it leaves a lasting impact. A few sample reactions:
“Most days, I’m invisible. No one ever says anything other than a cursory “thanks”. To know that someone noticed and took the time to write, it keeps me going.”
“I’m never going to be a big shot manager or CEO but I like to do a good job. I like the service industry because I like people and I enjoy making them happy. Smiles and thank yous are awesome but it’s hard to know if I’m doing a good job. A thank you note like this makes me happy for weeks.”
“When my manager came and showed me this message, I couldn’t believe it. He gave a gift card as a reward but more importantly I felt like he was proud of me.”
This Thanksgiving I’m thankful for those employees that day in and day out endure long hours and demanding customers, and do so with a smile. The ones that treat service as a mission and not just a job.
This Thanksgiving I’m also grateful for customers that take the time to express their gratitude. It’s so easy to ignore service staff and move on with our busy lives. These special customers look beyond themselves and show kindness to others.
We will soon sit around tables with families and friends we’re thankful for. Then tonight or tomorrow, many of us will head out to malls and restaurants for Black Friday and then Small Business Saturday. We will encounter many retail workers, waiters, stockers etc. along the way. Let’s be aware of their efforts and take note when they do a great job. Let us acknowledge and express our thanks to them and to their managers. It’s a small gesture for us, but a meaningful one for them.
Days of Gratitude is our initiative to highlight compliments sent to businesses by happy customers. This Thanksgiving, you can use OwnerListens to send a thank you to any business and OwnerListens will deliver it.