I had a truly amazing experience the other day. I bought a new pair of running shoes and after I paid, the proprietor looked me in the eye, stuck out his hand and said, “Thank you. I appreciate your business. I hope to see you again.”
It seems that while new words are added to the English dictionary every year because of widespread use (e.g. from podcast, to dis) certain others may be candidates for deletion because of dis-use. Chief among them, "please" and "thank you." If sincerity were a criteria, these two words would most certainly be banished from the lexicon.
I recall one pilot program with a large computer manufacturer in which regional vice presidents called customers who had recently made purchases to say thank you, and ask if everything was running ok, in order to offset recent declines in customer satisfaction. Customers were stunned. Their response, once they recovered, was overwhelming.
Equally overwhelming is marketing’s purported commitment to the “customer relationship,” sans the basic building blocks of courtesy and respect. Perhaps customers should understand that in these days of ever quickening communications, "please" and "thank you" have become implicit. Not.
I am weary of reactive transactional behavior masquerading as customer-centricity. It is as blatantly phony as the air-kiss or the disingenuous “How are you today?" Last time I looked, I was the customer. If the reaction to my commerce is a lackadaisical shrug, I’ll take my business elsewhere.
So let me ask you – when was the last time you said thank you to a customer – any customer for any reason – and meant it?
(Thanks and) have a nice day.