Study after study in which we say “Thank you” to our customers reveals that they both spend more money with us and tell their friends about the exceptional service and products we deliver. Volumes of books chronicle how employee productivity zooms skyward when appreciation is expressed. (The best of which I’ve read recently is Shawn Achor’s The Happiness Advantage.) Vendors go the extra mile to extend credit and deliver “just in time” when they hear gratitude regularly.

But you’re already doing more with less and the last thing you want is another item on your to-do list. So what are the most effective and efficient ways for you to express gratitude to these important players in your business’ success?

Here are my three great ways to give thanks from your business. Think of them as the profitability keys of “thank you”:

Handwritten Notes to Customers
Handwritten notes are the most powerful expression of “Thank you” today. They are intimate, authentic, and sincere.

When everyone else is emailing and texting, tweeting and posting, the three minutes you take pen, not pixel, in hand and write “I know you could buy (your products and services) from lots of other stores. Thank you for choosing to do business with us. Sincerely…” connect you with your customers so tightly that they spend more with you and tell their friends about your exceptional care.

Yes, three minutes. I timed myself.

You are memorable for the right reasons when you say “Thank you” with a handwritten note to your customers.

Donations for Employees
“Thank you” to employees equals giving a raise for some business owners. Do it as you can, but you see more productivity and increased morale when you do something that speaks into the employee’s life like giving an end-of-year gift to the employee’s favorite charity. If your mother died of breast cancer and your boss gives a donation in her memory, that says “Thank you” in a vastly more personal way.

Another opportunity to consider besides memory donations is an honorary gift. For instance, an employee has an autistic child. Give a donation to the school he attends or to an Autism Society. Such an expression of gratitude deepens your employee’s commitment to the company thus increasing productivity and your profitability.

Lifestyle Gifts to Vendors
When your vendor calls on you, I’m sure your conversation includes family, sports, and other lifestyle topics.

Maybe he says something about a new grandchild. Say “Thank you” by going to Amazon and sending a copy of a children’s book like “Goodnight Moon” or “Love You Forever.” Attach a note to it. Get your associate to do it.

Or, perhaps your supplier is from St. Louis, loves the Cardinals, and the two of you discussed the World Series. Send her a replica Albert Pujols jersey…while they last.

Something personal makes you a stand-out client worthy of your vendor going the extra mile for you when you need product overnight or credit extended.

Your business can say “Thank you” efficiently—without a great deal of effort—and effectively—increasing your bottom line.

Who knew giving thanks was so profitable?

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Joey Faucette is an international speaker, business coach, and best-selling author of the #1 Amazon book Work Positive in a Negative World: Redefine Your Reality and Achieve Your Business Dreams. Get your free chapter excerpts at Follow him on Twitter @DrJoey.