'Thanks' is good for business

Common courtesy towards both clients and suppliers goes a long way in business.

Michelle Costigan
By Michelle Costigan
  • 8 August 2018
  • Reading time: 4 minutes
Working with suppliers

What was the last purchase you made? Bread and milk from the local corner shop? Or perhaps something slightly more sizeable, like, new uniforms for the staff in the company you work for? Despite the fact that each of us buys something (albeit on a varying scale) every day, we probably don’t have time to consider the supply chain that lies behind the product in question. This is something that’s totally understandable for consumers. After all, the company we’re purchasing from offers us the convenience of not having to do what they do ourselves. Part of that convenience is not needing to know the mechanics if we don’t want to. That said, the supply chain and those relationships within it is most definitely an important territory for businesses to be mindful of.

Recently, we’ve written a lot about the fundamentals of customer service and how when in the role of a supplier, common courtesy towards clients can go such a long way. We haven’t, however, discussed how this is a two-way street in terms of the supply chain. The importance of showing gratitude and appreciation isn’t just a matter of manners, it’s actually good for business too.

Money isn’t everything. Building a good relationship with your suppliers as well as your customers might not always be the most financially efficient way to do business, but it can pay in other ways that you can’t put a value on. For example, cultivating a relationship with a supplier that sways more towards the proverbial stick than the carrot is less likely to help you when that last-minute deadline comes out of nowhere and you really need them to pull an all-nighter to help you deliver. They might well expect that there will be no gratitude or reward so the time is better spent on other clients!

According to Dan Ariely, a Behaviour Economist and Professor at MIT, employee morale is all about finding the purpose in what you do. Of course not everyone needs a pat on the back when they’ve simply done what they’re being paid to do, but according to Dan’s TED Talk it can be the difference between loving what we do and simply living through it. The benefits of a morale boost amongst employees is well documented, productivity, culture, retention and (as a knock-on effect) profits. For a real-life example of how that little touch of gratitude can help a business, this entrepreneur wrote a post all about how a simple ‘thank you’ call turned his start up around.

When so many businesses depend on a rather long chain of supply, and each of those links working well to make sure the end product is perfect – can we really afford to run these sorts of set ups on shaky interpersonal relationships? Whatever your business, it pays to show your gratitude when the time is right. In our experience, relationships based on a mutual respect go so much further.

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