Thank You is Always in Good Taste

You may have noticed that LinkedIn, the online business networking site, recently went over 100 million members.  One hundred million. 1, followed by eight zeros.  A lot of members.

ThankYouLanguage-main_Full But instead of chest-thumping and crowing, Linkedin co-founder and chairman, Reid Hoffman, took a much more subtle approach.  He sent out thank yous to each of the organizations members, not just the premium members from whom they make money, but even the cheapo freebie members like me!  And it was personalized, not only with my name, but with my place in the long line of LinkedIn members.  (I’m #735127, nice to meet you!)

Granted, the personalization is not difficult to do, nor is the emailing to the organization’s 100,000,000 members.  But this is not about degree of difficulty.  Nor is it about “getting” any prizes or discounts.  Hell, it’s a free service – that’s my prize!

What is cool about this is that an organization that has not only impacted millions of lives, but has changed the way the world does business, actually thought of its customers, and stopped and THANKED THEM for being part of the organization’s success.

To quote from Mr. Hoffman’s email: “I want to personally thank you because you were one of LinkedIn’s first million members (member number 735127 in fact!*). In any technology adoption lifecycle, there are the early adopters, those who help lead the way. That was you.”

That was ME!  He not only thanked me, but gave me a reason why I was being thanked.  No, I haven’t put any money in Mr. Hoffman’s pocket, but he nonetheless thanked me for using his organization’s product, and the impact that I (and many others) made in facilitating its success.

I thought it was kind of cool that, while celebrating a significant milestone for his business, he went out of his way to thank the people who made it possible.  A small gesture, but an important one.  You heard from Mark Zuckerberg lately?  Me neither.

Businesses: mind your manners.  Didn’t your mommas teach to say THANK YOU?  You don’t have to make a big production out of it.  You don’t have to offer “discounts” so that people will buy more from you to help celebrate your success.  You can just say thanks, and mean it.

— Chuck Dennis

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