The Importance of Practicing An Attitude of Gratitude

The Importance of Practicing An Attitude of Gratitude

How do you feel when someone appreciates you for the effort you make, for the hard work you put in, or for simply being the amazing person you are? 

It feels pretty incredible, right? I know I get a healthy dose of the warm and fuzzies anytime someone reaches out and extends their gratitude and thanks to me. 

And that’s precisely the kind of feeling you want your customers and employees to associate you with.

I know you don’t have to be reminded of the power that a simple “thank you” holds, but the truth is, it can be easy to overlook sometimes. Not to anyone’s fault, of course. We are groomed to strive for more from a young age, never settling for what we have. In no place is this truer than business. Companies fall into a panic at the merest sign of slowing growth. Consequently, we’ve created workplaces where too much emphasis is placed on addressing the negatives and not enough on acknowledging the positives.

Add to that the daily hustle and bustle of deadlines, meetings, sales expectations, and the constant demand to deliver the latest and greatest products and services, and woof! It can all be very overwhelming. You can also begin to lose sight of why you do what you do in the first place, which is to create unforgettable experiences for your customers and employees. And gosh, that would be an awful thing. 

This is where gratitude comes in.

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."
Mother Teresa

While there are many ways this quote can be interpreted, here are my three cents on it: sometimes, we can forget how easy it is to make someone’s day. A simple thank you or personal note can have a lasting and meaningful impact on a customer and employee and help create an emotional connection they won’t soon forget.

Gratitude also has this funny yet beautiful way of teaching us how to shift our focus from what we don’t have to what we do.

Being grateful isn’t just good for the soul; it’s good for business, too. A healthy attitude produces a far more authentic customer experience. And yes, this means customers are more likely to buy, recommend you to others, and forgive any mistakes. 

But there is so much more to it than that.

A culture of gratitude helps you nurture qualities within your workforce that provide things like: better customer service, improve overall customer experience, deliver genuine customer appreciation efforts, and form a happy workforce.

The good news: being grateful in business is something we can all work on and easily achieve. The better news: these efforts will help to empower more authentic customer appreciation. 

And those are two things we can all cheers to!

To help get you started on your path to gratitude, we’ve created a list of some of the simple ways you can show your appreciation to both your customers and employees. 

WAYS TO CONVEY CUSTOMER APPRECIATION 

You’ve probably heard of customer appreciation day, but this only comes once a year, and, well, once a year just isn’t nearly enough. With a culture of gratitude in place, every day is a customer appreciation day. Here are a few ideas on how to show your customers just how much you appreciate them: 

1. Keep in touch

Nothing makes a customer feel appreciated like giving your complete attention! Buying decisions are hugely dependent on how customers feel they are treated. Maintaining regular contact helps show customers they are important to you. We suggest going the extra mile and creating personalized messages. Check in to see how it’s going, if there is anything customers need help with. Don’t be afraid to be human. 

2. Send customers personalized gifts “just because” 

Maybe it’s a gift card, one of your products, or even something completely unrelated to your company (we suggest anything covered in chocolate). Giving a gift “just because” shows appreciation without a blatant attempt to get something in return, emphasizing your authenticity. There is no hidden agenda, no ulterior motive. It’s just you being kind. And we think kindness is the shit. 

3. Really listen

Appreciation can come from simply listening to your customers’ feedback and thanking them for it. Your customers see your company from a perspective you never could. This makes their feedback incredibly valuable. Taking their thoughts on board builds trust, creates loyalty, and shows you value what they think. And that...is invaluable. 

INTERNAL WAYS TO SHOW APPRECIATION 

1. Acknowledge positive contributions during reviews 

Organizations tend to limit feedback to developmental needs, leaving staff unaware of their progress. Focus on acknowledging positive contributions to nurture a gratitude mindset. Appreciative inquiry takes this further, encouraging organizational change through identifying, emphasizing, and doing more of what is already working.

2. Implement a weekly “Fist Bump Friday”

One of the things Inventive loves to do every week is to share our gratitude in what we like to call “Fist Bump Friday.” It may seem like a simple email thread thanking our team members for the work they’ve done, the positive attitudes they’ve displayed, the projects they’ve helped with, etc., but in actuality, the effects it has on morale, culture, and happiness are huge! Of course, you don’t have to have a “Fist Bump Friday,” but incorporating a regular time in which you shout out your incredible employees and their contributions goes a long way. 

3. Write thank you cards/letters 

Thank you cards and letters are particularly useful as they bridge the gap between appreciation and gratitude, acting as a form of gratitude and reinforcing a sense of appreciation in the sender. As an employee appreciation effort, it helps to nurture relationships by explicitly highlighting the positive impact they’ve had on your team, making them feel good. But that’s not all. Hand-writing thank you notes also give the person who’s writing it similar feel-good benefits. Now that’s what we like to call a win-win. 

Happy businesses are not only better places to work, but they are more successful too. By adopting these approaches, you can start to create a culture of genuine gratitude and encourage authentic customer appreciation through a happier workforce. And that is the real value of gratitude.

Wendi Hansen

About Wendi Hansen

Oh hey, there! My name is Wendi, and I write the wordy words that help lead Inventive's marketing strategy and sales efforts. With over eight years of professional writing experience, there's nothing I love more than using the power of words and digital media to tell a story, inspire, connect and spark positive change. I speak fluent gify and still haven't met a pun or ridiculously bad dad joke that I didn't immediately fall in love with. My personal motto: Live big, love hard, be kind, and pet just all of the doggos. Have an idea or project you want to collaborate on? Let's chat! I'd love to hear it.

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