Etiquette Tip of the Week: Don’t Tank After the Thank 
By Callista Gould, Author and Certified Etiquette Instructor

When I present, audience members may ask any question at any time – it’s more interactive and fun and sometimes, an audience member contributes an inspired idea.

On one such occasion, we were discussing responses to, “Thank you.” Someone piped up, “I’ve always been told to respond to ‘Thank you,’ with ‘It was my pleasure.'” Hmmmm. Etiquette-wise, that’s a worthy response. You’re saying, “It makes me happy to make you happy.” Think of that in terms of client relations. Do we have to wait until “Customer Appreciation Day” to say, “I enjoy working with you and I’m glad you are my client”?

A few years ago, I wrote an Etiquette Tip of the Week on “Bothersome Buzzwords,” about oft-repeated, irksome words and phrases. At the end of the Tip, I invited people to send in their own Bothersome Buzzwords. I was completely unprepared for the tsunami of angst that hit my email inbox.

One – actually two – buzz phrases towered over the rest. When one responds to “Thank you,” with “No problem” or “No worries.” That drove people bat-crazy. It was not generational – this annoyance was ageless. I confess, I was a “No problem” person. But after answering emails for days, I have reformed. I now say, “You’re welcome.” “It was my pleasure,” now makes, “You’re welcome,” seem pedestrian. It leaves in the dust, “No problem” and “No worries.”

Don’t wait for the thank you. “It’s a pleasure working with you,” is a nice send off in an email, letter or in person. What if it wasn’t your pleasure? What if the client’s a pain in the…? Well, you know. Think of it this way, everyone has a bad day – it’s still a pleasure to have clients. Beats the alternative. Say, “It was my pleasure,” and make every day Customer Appreciation Day.

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Or buy local at Beaverdale Books in Des Moines, Iowa or Prairie Lights in Iowa City

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