I just received an e-mail “thank you” from a client that we did some work for earlier this month.
It was short. It said some nice things about the work we did. It said other nice things about how he wanted to work with us again.
In all, it probably took two minutes to write and…
IT MADE MY DAY!
It was unexpected and unsolicited. It showed appreciation and fed into my drive for achievement and recognition. It touched on specifics of the works we did.
So with a couple of minutes effort, this person just put a smile on my face (and my employee’s face). What a powerful simple act that we too often overlook.
A well thought out thank you can do wonders for you in what it can do. I’ll relate another story from a long, long time ago…
The first incentive compensation communications project that I worked on would not be called one of my most favorite projects. Time lines were extremely tight, the industry I was working in was new to me, the project scope kept changing and morphing, and the client was very demanding and brought an “East Coast” demeanor to the project (for a kid from “Minnesota Nice” this was pretty harsh).
I ended up working on Christmas and New Years (going to bed at 1:00 AM News Years Eve only to wake up at 3:00 AM to work on the project). The stress and long hours that I put in were definitely not compensated for and in the end I was not only exhausted physically but worn out mentally and in every other way possible.
I swore that I would NEVER work on another project like this ever again!
I DOUBLE and TRIPPLE swore that I would NEVER work with this client again!
HELL, MY WIFE SWORE that I would never on another project like this again!
But then…when the project was done and all the deliverables delivered…I recieved one of the nicest e-mail thank you’s I’ve ever received from the “East Coast” client mentioned above.
It highlighted the fact that he knew that this wasn’t an easy project, that the scope had changed, and even that he could be hard to work with. It also went on to state that while the process was challenging, the final product that I ended up producing was the best that they had seen and had gotten great reviews from his internal customers and the sales force. He thanked me for the hard work and passion that I had put into his project.
It made my day back then…and made a little chink in clear “never working on this stuff again” promise I had made to myself.
Needless to say, it took another 9 months and somehow forgetting about all the stress and long hours and other painful stuff, but I signed up to work on the project the next year…the thank you note having done much to sway my opinion on that. I’ve worked with this client every year since (and yes the projects have improved – it’s amazing what planning and actual expertise can do to make life easier) and incentive compensation communications is our biggest product now representing over 60% of the work we do.
It in effect changed my life…
All because of the power of a “thank you.”
I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences with thank you’s – leave a comment below.