My team has been working very hard to fufil all different types of (IT Application related) requests and urgent requests from this group of users who are very demanding. One day, I received a phone call from one of them to say thank you and that's all. I told him instead of thanking, he should at least write a complimentary email (like an email to say that they appreciate our efforts and highlight what are the things we have done for them and how satisfied they are with our performance, etc) to the team so that we will feel motivated to keep up the good work. I mean, I also have told my manager that this guy sent his heart felt thanks to us through the phone. My manager told me that he would like to see an email from him for his compliments instead, so that we could show the email to the rest of the team or department members as a form of motivation and encouragement to keep up the good work too. Imagine, those who have been working overtime and slogging to get things done, they don't even get to hear or see a thank you from the user himself. They only get to hear it through me a fellow team member. And when I told this guy about sending us a complimentary email, he rejected with a rude joke saying it will become none of his business soon. (what?!?) :(

  • "My manager told me that he would like to see an email from him for his compliments instead" - why not get your manager to talk to him then, or better still his manager, to write the email you want? But I don't think you can just fish for compliments in general - people either give them or they don't. If it is a team morale issue (or even just your morale) then get your manager to sort it out, or publicise your success himself, or organise some morale-boost activity or something for you all to say thank you from the company. – Rup Apr 15 '16 at 9:23
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    Sounds like you mishandled this and your manager is a potential loon who got his management knowledge from a book instead of a human being. What is wrong with telling your team: "X called to thank us for [going above and beyond / fixing Y so quickly / helping him out with Y]?" – Lilienthal Apr 15 '16 at 11:48
  • I guess its like a restaurant business. Customers can tell a waitress "thank you" or not but reality a waitress/waiter is only interested in the tip left behind. – Dan Apr 15 '16 at 18:00

This is for your manager to push if he feels the need. But I see no need for it. You got a thank you phone call, your manager could congratulate the team himself via email or in the next meeting saying something like.

"Well done guys, we have a happy client, keep up the excellent work."

You can't force people to compliment your team, a thank you might be appropriate, but at the end of the day you were doing your job. A thank you is not a requirement.

As for the remark from the client, it's not constructive to try and psychoanalyse his issues, it could mean a number of things. Take it in your stride and move forwards.

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I think you missed the opportunity on the initial phone call. You want something for him, yet you are telling him what he should do, and implying he should be doing more. Asking nicely for the e-mail would have been more likely to succeed.

"Thank you for calling to express your appreciation. I'd love to share this with my team, but I think it would be so much nicer as a message from you. Do you think you could possibly send me a quick email with your thoughts that I can share with them?"

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It's reasonably normal, particularly in customer service, to ask people for a thank-you letter once they give you a compliment. In the pas, businesses would hang those on the wall to help entice new customers, which is the paper and tape equivalent of yelp.

Of course, it's possible he misinterpreted your tone. It does take certain sales/people skills to make this palatable to most, and I've personally felt it's always met with a certain resentment in all but the most devoted fans.

An effective pitch is to say that it would really help motivate the team, and justify the level of effort to management on your side. In effect, you're saying "If you put these words in an email, you'll continue to get great service".

I think there's something else here if you squint, and might be why the caller didn't want to put anything in writing. Saying that "it will become none of his business soon" might mean he is on his way out. If so, the call may have been his way of "apologizing" for the demanding behavior of an employer he doesn't agree with. I've made exactly that phone call to a vendor once I'd decided to leave a position. I couldn't do it earlier, because it would undermine the company on my side, but I felt strongly that I should re-affirm that the treatment the vendors were receiving wasn't acceptable, and that I had done what I could do. It was also a warning that once I left, the firewall would be down, and the treatment would get worse. It's a rare company that treats its vendors like slaves, and its employees well.

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So you told him he should at least write a complimentary email to share with the team and he did not send an email. You did not ask - you told him what he should at least do. You talked to your boss and he wanted an email. So you called the guy back and told (not asked) him to send a complimentary email. You ask nicely once and if you don't get it then let it go.

Thank you for the expressing your appreciation. If you would send an email I can share it with the team.

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