If you are lucky enough to improve the quality of someone’s day or be of service to someone, chances are they will have given you a “thank you” — a polite phrase to express their appreciation.
You’re welcome is the standard response to a thank you, but it is not the only appropriate acknowledgment. My pleasure, anytime, or of course are other warm and expected responses to a thank you.
Learn what to say and how to respond to “thank you” in any situation.
If someone is saying thank you for your help in exchange for something you want, it makes sense to return their thank you with a “You’re welcome, and thank you, too!”
How to Respond to a “Thank-You”
How does one respond to a thank you, in a professional manner?
- “You’re welcome”
- “With pleasure”
- “Avec plaisir” (in French)
- “Con gusto” (in Spanish).
The idea is the same: you’re politely receiving the thanks, and expressing your happiness at being able to be of service.
What’s the BEST Way to Reply to a “Thank-you”?
When replying to “thank-you,” it is best to offer a response that makes them feel that your relationship with them is special and unique, and appreciated. Your response should fit the expectations of your audience and your personality.
Here we have a somewhat formal template for how a traditional company might graciously respond to praise, by composing a letter of acknowledgement.
Example Letter to a Client or Business in Response to Their Gesture / Praise / Letter of Appreciation
Dear Ms. Christiansen:
Now and then the mail includes a letter that brings special warmth to the day. It is especially nice when someone is helpful in a situation such as you described in your letter, and I am very glad that Shannon Fredo and George Burton from our company were so accommodating. As you point out, their above-and-beyond interest and service make real friends for us at IODE, and are the kinds of actions that make us particularly proud of our employees.
I am pleased to forward your letter to our field office; the manager there will provide an opportunity to recognize Ms. Fredo and Mr. Burton for their outstanding representation. No doubt they will appreciate, as well as be encouraged by, the time and effort you took in writing your kind remarks. In addition, I am forwarding a subscription to our in-house magazine for your future needs.
Thank you for taking the time to write. We sincerely appreciate your thoughtfulness and your business.
Why “No Problem” as a Response to a Thank-You Is Not Ideal
In the context of a professional or customer service interaction, when you say, “No problem,” in response to an expression of appreciation by the customer, the customer can hear this in one of two ways:
- They might hear it as meaning that what they had considered to be a problem was not in fact a problem, or they were mistaken. In a subtle way, this undermines the customer’s concern, resulting in them feeling absurd or inept for even bringing it up. Your “No Problem” response also downplays the skillfulness involved in the solution that you offered.
- They might not notice the subtleties of implied condescension.
While most people perhaps don’t sit and analyze the nuance of language, the better response to a “thank-you!” is “You are most welcome!” Or “My pleasure.” Then follow that up with an expansion on why they are welcome to your kindness and service.
This signals clearly that you graciously accept the expression of gratitude, and that you were happy to help.
Reminds eHotelier: Along the same lines as “With pleasure” is the simple and direct “I’m glad I could help” or “We’re always happy to assist you.” And then, as the cherry on the customer service cake, you might even add: “Please let us know if there’s anything else that you need.”
When you serve your clients, you are not doing them a favour; you are performing a job, as well and as honourably as possible. Accept their appreciation with humility and grace.
Best Verbal or Written Responses to a “Thank You”
1. You’re welcome
This is the expected and kind response to a thank you, meant to show the person that they are welcome to your goodwill and kind acts. What a wonderful world it would be if everyone were so kind.
2. But of course!
And in a wonderful world, everyone would be kind to each other as a matter of course.
3. It is my pleasure
It is a great soul who takes pleasure in performing small acts of kindness and in kind deeds unseen by others.
4. The pleasure is all mine
This is a further expression of the joy and richness felt by those who uplift others. Let others help you, otherwise you might deprive them of the opportunity to serve and to feel such joy. Which leads to…
5. Thanks for the opportunity to serve
Whenever you let someone help you, you create the opportunity for someone to let their true soul shine through.
This makes it clear to your loved ones that it was no trouble at all to lend a hand or be there for them. Some people like to say “Don’t mention it” or “It was nothing” or “No worries” but these responses belittle the benefit you offered and gives the impression that their request for help was a waste of time.
7. Happy to help
If you are happy to help, you don’t want or expect any recognition. The happiness is reward enough.
Say You’re Welcome Maui Style
Responses to a Thank You Via a Text Message
If someone wants to thank you over a text message, receive it graciously with the verbal suggestions above, or if the thanks was over something small, an emoji is sufficient: smiley face, thumbs up, etc. are appropriate.
Tips for Responding to a Thank You Email
There are many occasions on which someone might send a professional thank you email to someone else. For example, you might receive a thank you email from someone to:
- Express thanks for meeting with them or introducing them to a client.
- Say thank you following a job interview.
- Show appreciation to a colleague for helping out with a task or project.
- Thank your company for a merit-based promotion, raise, or bonus.
- Say thanks to the tech department or supervisor for tech support or assistance.
- Thank a customer for purchasing a product or service.
- Express thanks to a company speaker who has given a valuable or inspiring talk to your employees.
How to answer a thank you email
Some guidance to follow when answering a professional thank you email:
- Respond quickly. Your reply will be short and sweet, so aim to reply within 24 hours.
- Return the appreciation. Expressing your own appreciation for the opportunity to work with the person in some capacity is professional and appropriate.
- Short messages have power. Don’t worry about writing several paragraphs in response; instead, reply to the email in a few quick sentences (unless the sender asked specific questions that require elucidation).
- Use a personable and professional tone. When you receive a professional thank you email, it’s important to respond using a professional tone. You don’t need to sound like a robot, however. Use a warm and personable tone while also maintaining a professional tone (avoid curse words and slang) to ensure your response is appropriate and well-received. A respectful email is appreciated.
Example of an email reply to a thank you email:
Thank you for your note, it was my pleasure to assist in the presentation of your research. You did a great job tying your research directly to our company’s goals, and I know my team was impressed with your findings. Let me know if I can help this fall on your next excursion to the Galapagos. Looking forward to the next installment,