I recently received an unsolicited email from a major customer complimenting my company for doing a great job with an important project. He emphasized how much of an impact our software was making in his organization by citing both numbers and the reaction of executive management. And as I read his note – which I shared with everyone in our company – I remembered the power of the positive note that unexpectedly arrives.
In a world dominated by snark, the positive note encourages.
In a world of sticks, the positive note is a carrot.
In a world of complaints, the positive note builds a bridge.
The positive note (emailed or written) serves another important purpose, which is to deepen a relationship. Having been a supplier to major global businesses for many years I can tell you that there are two types of customers who have problems:
1. Customers you do not have a relationship with who are angry.
2. Customer you have a positive relationship with who are disappointed.
I can tell you that even if customer number one above is pounding their fist on their desk and screaming over the phone, customer number two is the one who gets the better reaction from the supplier. We might not like being yelled at by those we don’t know (or don’t like), but we HATE letting down the people we respect. Positive notes, sent when they’re least expected, build that respect.
And remember this: the unsolicited note of thanks will always stand out because there are so few of them.
This week, I challenge you to think of one person either inside or outside your organization who has done something worthy of praise and write them a short note. This should only take a few minutes, and it will be time well spent.
We need more “positive” in our business communications. Let it start with you.