The world is going digital, but 84 percent of people still prefer an in-person thank you, especially if it's accompanied by a gift, according to a recent survey by TD Bank (No. 39 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list). The study found that people of all ages think a face-to-face thanks is best, leaving the value of a phone call, email and text in the dust.
Regardless of how gratitude is expressed, consumers across all age groups agree that appreciation should be conveyed by saying thanks directly to the individual recipient (60 percent) and personalized (44 percent).
For brands, the proof is in the giving
More than three out of four consumers like when brands demonstrate their appreciation (77 percent). But today's consumers expect more than a generic email blast or even a written thank-you note. They prefer that brands say thanks in the form of gifts and rewards.
Here's what consumers told TD:
- From millennials to Gen Xers, consumers like freebies (39 percent and 38 percent, respectively).
- Only 25 percent of boomers indicate a preference for freebies.
- Rewards programs are also a great way to say thanks – with roughly one third of respondents reporting that they prefer their thanks in the form of points or miles.
- An old-fashioned thank-you note has gone the way of dial-up. Only seven percent of millennials and 4 percent of Gen Xers like receiving a written thank-you note from a brand, while email moves the needle for only 3 percent and 7 percent, respectively.
"As the Human Bank, we focus on providing legendary customer experiences at every touchpoint, and that includes saying 'thanks,'" said Michael Rhodes, head of Consumer Bank, TD Bank.
Have you thanked your boss today?
Given how much time people spend at work, TD studied how employees express appreciation:
- Only 8 percent of respondents say they thank their boss the most, compared to colleagues (28 percent) and clients (14 percent).
- Millennials have the edge when it comes to client relationship building: 22 percent are more likely to thank their clients, outpacing Gen X (13 percent) and boomers (8 percent).
TD Bank partnered with renowned etiquette expert Lizzie Post, President of The Emily Post Institute, to analyze the results of this study. The Emily Post Institute has been America's go-to source for etiquette advice for nearly 100 years.
"Customers know that they have a choice when it comes to where they spend their money and where they take their business," said Ms. Post. "When a brand demonstrates genuine gratitude and respect, it builds consumer trust. And business success relies on that trust."
Additional highlights are available on the TD Bank Media Room.
TD knows banking and thanking
This summer, TD Bank is saying #TDThanksYou to customers from Maine to Florida by creating "TD Thank Accounts'" to deliver personalized gifts of appreciation. Many of these moments were captured in an inspiring video, which was released today.
"We're very excited about this campaign," said Rhodes. "Through this campaign and TD Thank Accounts, we're letting customers across our footprint know how much we appreciate them."
Research company MARU/VCR&C conducted the survey among a nationally representative sample of Americans. The online fieldwork occurred between July 19th and July 25th 2016. In total, 1,009 completes were gathered in the U.S. Data has been weighted by age, gender, and region to reflect the populations. Margin of Error for each sample is +/-3.1%.