As customers, we wait for things every day. We stand in that longer-than-usual line to make a purchase. We search the store for an available expert to assist with a question. We hold on the phone for customer service to take our call. But when that waiting time is up, the action that we encounter can make all the difference in the long run.

Stop to notice the difference in your attitude when the action is one of general inquiry (“How can I help you?”) versus appreciation (“Thank you for waiting.”). It’s those first two words, ones we are taught in our earliest years — “thank you” — that can go a long way in creating and sustaining customer relationships.

The power of “thank you” extends into every aspect of a customer’s experience and can contribute to a much more emotional engagement. For example, when someone makes a purchase, whether a $25,000 car (something they had aspired to buy) or $50 in groceries (driven by necessity for their household), hearing a genuine “thank you” can mean more than the extra coupons or branded merchandise often provided.

When companies say “thank you,” the customer hears: “We recognize that your time is valuable. We know you have a choice and we appreciate that you have chosen us. We care what you think and hope you’ll consider us the next time you have a need. We value you.” Without that perception, the customer may think twice about where to go the next time they have a similar need. Aren’t those two words worth it?

Thank you for taking the time to read this.