[Marketing Memo]: Giving Thanks
By Cary Weston
On an almost daily basis, I have discussions with clients about how to create connections with their customers. Most of the conversations relate to the desire for companies to be seen in the eyes of their customers as more than a commodity -- to be seen as a partner, a friend. And to do that requires more than just delivering a product or a service, it requires a level of interaction that says we know who you, appreciate you, and think more of you than just a revenue stream.
And when it comes to our employees, the conversation should be no different.
To do that right requires being present, being aware of the little things, and taking the time to say thank you on a regular basis for those things that make a difference each and every day.
This is a hard topic for me to write about because I'm a "fixer" by nature. I want to put a program together or create a three step guide or implement a structured way to make sure it gets done. And you know what? I've tried that and failed.
Why did it fail? Because it wasn't sincere. It wasn't real. It was forced and after a short period, the forced nature of the reward program became a task and had little value.
If there's something worse than no acknowledgement it's forced acknowledgement.
I recognize that many of us spend time during the holidays trying to find a way to say thank you to our employees in uniform and collective ways. Whether it's turkeys for Christmas dinner, handing out merchandise with our company logo, or cash in a card, this is the time of year when many of us make a one-time effort to say thank you. And picking the right way to do so causes some seasonal, and perhaps even financial, stress.
This year, one of the topics Elizabeth and I are giving more thought to is personal attention and looking at the details of not only who do we do work for but who actually does the work.
Admittedly it's hard, but there's nothing more important in our business, and in our lives, than being thankful and demonstrating that thanks in thoughtful and sincere ways.
So my challenge to you today is twofold:
1. Start today. Don't make this a one time act, or a holiday act, and please don't do it just to do it. Programs don't work. Sincerity does. Find a way to say thank you when it matters and make sure it's from within.
2. Hold us accountable: I want to know that Elizabeth and I are doing our best to show our own employees that they are appreciated, valued, and thought of on a regular basis. So when you get a moment, I challenge you to hold us accountable and ask someone who works for us how we're doing.
- Cary Weston is a partner of Sutherland Weston Marketing Communications in Bangor, Maine
Company's Web: www.sutherlandweston.com
Cary's Twitter Acct: www.twitter.com/cary_weston
Cary's Linked In Acct: www.linkedin.com/in/caryweston
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