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.

Cordially,

S. Horton

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

And the truth is that words matter–particularly the final words of an exchange–which can leave a lasting impression, even if just a subtle one, that effects the customer’s future behaviour in relation to your business.

It may well determine whether or not they return to your hotel, restaurant, health club or spa.

If they feel that their concerns were taken seriously, and their expressed gratitude graciously received, chances are better that they’ll be motivated to come back–and will encourage their friends and associates to do the same.

eHotelier

Related

Thank You Notes for Community Volunteers

Thank You Note for Personal Business Reference

Thanks For a Business Favour

Billie

I like to climb mountains, read Nietzsche, and explore the West Coast. I have a BA from York University and yet on this site I sometimes spell like an American (know your audience). Thank you. Thank you very much.

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