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Want Customer Appreciation? A Simple “Thank You” May Do

Lance A. Bettencourt

In my consulting, I often seek insight from consumers into the emotions that the ideal product or service would engender. I hear things like wanting to feel confident, feel secure, and feel in control. And, especially in service contexts, consumers say that they want to feel appreciated. 

So what exactly should a company do to make a customer feel appreciated? Is a simple “thank you” good enough? What about offering a “thank you” along with a financial acknowledgement such as a discount on future services? If you were presented with this choice as a consumer, which would you say would make you feel more appreciated? 

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If you are like most people, research indicates that you think that receiving a “thank you” along with a financial acknowledgement would make you feel more appreciated. In fact, this is probably why, in 2012, Microsoft sent loyal Xbox customers a birthday e-card with a gift of 20 Microsoft points (worth $.25) to express its appreciation. 

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Lance A. Bettencourt is Associate Professor of Professional Practice in Marketing at the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University, and author of Service Innovation: How to Go from Customer Needs to Breakthrough Services.