Appreciating Customers Every Day – The Importance of Authentic Thanks

Thanks for spending time with me this year through my posts and books. I’m also grateful to people around the world who continue to entrust me to help them elevate team member and customer experiences.

This time of year typically provides a time for reflection and a context for expressing gratitude. Specifically in the US, the Thanksgiving holiday prompts us to verbalize our appreciation for the people, blessings, and abundance in our lives.

Years ago, the Florida Orange Growers Association launched the marketing slogan: Orange Juice – It Isn’t Just for Breakfast Anymore. Forgive me for modifying it to read: Gratitude – It Isn’t just for Thanksgiving Anymore.

Writing for Psychology Today, Steve Taylor, Ph.D., warns against what he calls the “taking for granted” syndrome.

The “taking for granted” syndrome is

“our tendency to switch off to the value of the good things in our lives. We often fail to appreciate the full value of our health, of the people we love, of our peace, freedom, and prosperity, and the very fact that we are alive at all. We usually do learn the value of these things when they’re taken away from us–for example, when we become seriously ill, when our partners leave us (perhaps because we were taking them for granted), or if we experience poverty or imprisonment.”

No one wants to be taken for granted – not spouses, children, team members, or customers.

Unfortunately, in the course of our daily work, PCMA highlights a Wharton and Harvard study showing that “only 10 percent of people who express gratitude make it a daily habit at work, and 60 percent of people never or rarely express gratitude at work.”

Fortunately, there is good news. A little gratitude goes a long way – especially if it is offered consistently and authentically. Chitra Reddy writing for Wisestep, notes, “Research has shown that words of appreciation at the workplace is directly connected to job satisfaction and happiness at the workplace. Studies show that more than 70% of workers admit that they get motivated to work with sincerity when their higher authorities express appreciation for the efforts they put in.”

Since employee happiness correlates with customer happiness, and research shows customers also want to be appreciated, here are three gentle reminders regarding the art of gratitude.

1) Offer Appreciation that is Timely, Personal, and Specific – The most effective expressions of gratitude are not generic such as “I appreciate you.They sound more like, “John, thank you for calling me today. I am grateful for the opportunity to assist you and for your commitment to your team.”

2) Tailor Appreciation to the Individual – Some people want appreciation to be shared publicly, while others do not. Some people prefer verbal recognition, while others like cards, gifts, or simply spending time with them. Appreciation is a form of social currency that should be delivered in ways that the recipient values most.

3) Be Genuine – Don’t waste your time saying thank you to people if it is not heartfelt. Trying to manipulate people with false expressions of gratitude doesn’t work – certainly not over the long run.

So, once again, I say thank you for taking the time to read this, and hope it reminds you of the importance of offering authentic gratitude. In the words of author Eckart Tolle:

Acknowledging the good you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.


To learn more about ways to drive a culture of team member and customer appreciation, please contact me at

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Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. is a professional speaker and chief experience officer at The Michelli Experience. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with some of the world’s best customer experience companies.

Follow on Twitter: @josephmichelli

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