Every November for Thanksgiving, we are reminded to consider all the things that we should be grateful for in our lives. With November being National Gratitude Month as well, now is the perfect time to think about how to implement gratitude as a strategy to help your business succeed.
Yes, gratitude can be a business strategy all on its own. Here’s how businesses can set themselves apart by developing and implementing a gratitude strategy:
Gratitude Is the Basis of Relationship Building
At the end of the day, business is all about relationships. Relationships with your employees, relationships with your customers, and relationships with your partners and broader network. By building strong relationships among those in and around your business, you can create a business that runs on success.
According to Shawn Achor in his book, Big Potential, showing gratitude can create a “virtuous cycle” of improved performance and praise. For example, a manager congratulates an employee for doing well on a recent project and exhibits gratitude with praise and a thank-you note. This employee feels good about this praise and strives to continue to do well in the future, generating more opportunities for thanks and praise while nurturing a very productive employee. Or if a business owner sends a personal thank-you note to a customer after a purchase, the customer will feel appreciated and empowered that they’re spending their money with a business that cares, making it more likely that they will support that same business in the future. In either case, gratitude is the basis of building strong relationships that create loyal employees and customers.
There Are Infinite Opportunities to Show Gratitude
You may be wondering where to start with showing gratitude as a business strategy. Know that the options are infinite and customizable based on your business. For clients and customers, you can show gratitude at a contract signing, a purchase, a referral, or simply just because. For employees, you can show gratitude for a birthday, a work anniversary, an important milestone, or simply because they are doing a good job. Showing gratitude starts with creating a calendar of opportunities based on your audience groups.
A Gratitude Strategy Can Support Your Business Goals
A gratitude strategy is most effective when implemented throughout your entire business operations, but you could also try out different strategies based on specific goals. If you’re looking to develop a more loyal customer base that will increase referrals, you can choose to focus on newer existing customers. If you’re trying to create new customers out of leads or prospects, a gratitude strategy could support this goal. If you’re focused on getting the best service from vendors or partners, then showing gratitude can help you get there.
A Gratitude Strategy Isn’t Costly or Complicated
You don’t need to spend a lot of time or money to create a gratitude strategy that works for your business. All you need to do is decide the scale and scope of how far your gratitude strategy will reach based on your goals.
Showing gratitude can be inexpensive when utilizing digital tools, but it is most effective when as much personalization is incorporated as possible. It is incredibly easy to send an automated email or text message from your CRM to celebrate a work anniversary, but we get so many digital messages these days that these types of messages could be missed or fail to stand out. A handwritten note or letter is the most personalized way to show gratitude, while also being inexpensive.
How will you start implementing gratitude in your business strategy? Be intent with showing gratitude to your clients, customers, staff, partners, industry colleagues, or others in your network and see if you can notice the difference.
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