Customer service Engagement

Close Encounters of the Thanksgiving Kind

It’s common practice for people to take time this holiday to give thanks for all they have … and for all that they don’t have (such as challenging circumstances in health and well-being). I’m all for expressing sincere gratitude, even if it’s just done once a year. I just wish gratitude was given more frequently – especially when it comes to thanking other people.

A friend of mine shared her recent experience with a Salvation Army volunteer, a man she recognized as the volunteer bell-ringer at the same store the year before. As she put money into the red kettle and received his thanks, she smiled and thanked him for his commitment to helping the Salvation Army. He also recognized her and told her she was one of the few who took the time to make eye contact and speak with him.

Another friend, who’s slightly disabled, described how she always thanks people who help her: “They are lovely in all the stores I go to and always help with opening doors for me or reaching an item on a high shelf or asking how I am if I haven’t been in for awhile. Some of them I know for years. There were a few in the market who weren’t polite, but I kept saying hello and now they are lovely! It goes beyond what they have to do so I am writing thank-you notes for a few of the stores to let them know I appreciate the service and their help.”

Gratitude is a powerful form of acknowledgment.

It’s also more important than ever, according to author and entrepreneur  Bill Taylor in a recent HBR blog post:

“At a time of vast and troubling uncertainty, in a world that is being reshaped by technology, small acts of connection take on outsized importance. It’s strange to think that a winning smile from a cashier or a flight attendant, or a nod of recognition from an employee who has seen you three times that week, might matter to the person receiving it — or to the person doing it. But I believe it does matter, both in terms of creating better human experiences and building more valuable organizations.”

Thank you, Bill, for articulating and sharing this vital message. And special thanks to YOU for taking the time to read this post.


Leave a Reply