Anyone who has been to Chick-Fil-A and muttered a “thank you” has heard an employee reply, “It’s my pleasure.” Sure, they train and require everyone to say it, but it is a reflection of the company’s heart and soul. The company really believes they are serving you, the customer, and that the thanks is all theirs.
This perspective is not uncommon in the restaurant or hospitality industry, though few execute it as genuinely or consistently as Chick-Fil-A. What happens though when you evaluate other industries and companies? Are they known for communicating genuine gratitude after every interaction with their customers? Rack your brain and try to come up with a list. I bet you cannot name five companies outside of the restaurant or hospitality industries. Would your customers put your company on their list?
Although there are probably a variety of reasons why so few companies consistently and genuinely communicate gratitude, I suggest that few do it because few actually believe the thanks is all theirs. Many companies behave as though they deserve customers. Many of their employees believe they deserve the job those customers afford them. The perspective that one is owed, whether subtle or blatant, erodes efforts to establish a habit of communicating gratitude.
What if every company and employee operated as though nothing was owed to them? Would they be more appreciative of the opportunity to serve each customer? What do you think?