A Balanced Thank You

by Heather Keroes

Does this look appetizing to you?

While on my way to work this morning, one of the guards from my apartment community approached my vehicle, signaling for me to stop. Curious, but not too thrilled about any impediments on my already hurried journey to the office, I rolled down my window. The guard handed me a torn paper bag and kindly said that my community is happy to have me as a resident and wanted to show their appreciation by treating me to breakfast.

Looking down at the bag made me oddly reminiscent of grade school, but this early morning variant of the “bag lunch” was disappointing. A green banana, juice box, and crumbly, slightly melted granola bar do not make for a balanced breakfast. Also stuffed in the bag was a card asking me to rate my community’s maintenance service and support. Even if the maintenance guys did a fabulous job, this “thank you” breakfast was not encouraging me to take the time to go online and say so.

And so, our lesson of the day … thanking your loyal customers is always a good idea, but the delivery of your appreciation is just as important. This summer we worked with our client South Walton to develop a beach appreciation team, who combed the area beaches, thanking visitors. They didn’t hand out not-yet-ripened bananas. Rather, we focused on handing out fun prizes and promotional items like branded beach balls and Frisbees – items kids actually want to play with when at the beach.

My apartment community’s concept was good, but the execution was lacking. Good thing I already ate before leaving for work today.

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