November 2011
Don’t thank me for my business

How do you feel when a company says: “Thanks for your business!”?

Call me a hair splitter, but something in this expression rubs me the wrong way. What is my “business” anyway?

In my eyes, this is an example of a company using vocabulary that is not the vernacular of the customer. From the perspective of the customer, he or she was not giving you anything. Of course, by saying “Thanks for your business,” you are trying to be courteous. However, the statement barely conceals that it is still about you as the vendor doing the selling, because you are using your own vocabulary — not the customer’s.

Have you ever gone on a date where the person across the table asks you how your day was, but you get the odd feeling he or she is just doing so to appear to be sensitive to you?

“Thank you for allowing us to serve you,” or “Thank you for your trust,” are statements that strike me as more sincere and relational. And original. The customer is not giving the you business. That is what you call it. The reality is the customer is coming to you because he or she has a need that must be met. That is not business. That is a relationship.

Call it hair splitting. OK. Still, don’t thank me for my business. Find a more original way to thank me. I’ll be more likely to come back.