Zammy the Giant Sheepadoodle

Meet Zammy, one of our favorite Thnks users:

(Zammy enjoying a refreshing summer treat)

When Todd Pitner started raising Zammy, he noticed something quite miraculous: when people who are hurting are in Zammy’s presence, they don’t feel pain, just joy and wonder!

Zammy is a big friendly GIANT complete with a thick white fur coat that is impossible to resist: you just have to run your fingers throughout (and he doesn’t shed!).  Half English Sheepdog and half Poodle, he possesses the kindness and gentleness of an old English Sheepdog combined with the striking intelligence of a Poodle.  These traits make Zammy a natural-born caretaker who brings happiness to anyone interacting with him.

(Todd and his GIANT puppy Zammy)

Just four months after Todd brought Zammy home, his neighbor, Jamal, decided to sponsor and host a 12-year old Bahamian girl named Shawnya as she underwent multiple surgeries at the nearby Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa.  Shawnya was born with a curved leg, making her the target of incessant teasing from her peers before she was flown to Tampa to receive surgical treatment for her leg.

When Todd learned of Shawnya’s story, he was deeply moved and decided to bring Zammy over for a visit with the hopes of cheering Shawnya up.  Shawnya’s face erupted into a huge smile when she saw Zammy, despite being in pain from her surgery.  Over the course of the next 6 months, Todd would bring Zammy over to Shawnya after her surgeries and it would consistently brighten her day.  She never felt pain in those moments.  When Shawnya eventually returned home, Todd could not stop thinking about the comforting effect that Zammy exudes, especially around people in pain, and he knew he had to get Zammy certified to be a therapy dog.

Todd recognized Zammy’s irresistible ability to spread joy and knew he would be able to make an enormous impact on the kids at Shriners Hospital, the same hospital that treated Shawnya.  Despite being only 13 months old (the age requirement for most therapy dogs is 18 months), Zammy passed the therapy dog certification with flying colors.  Now, Zammy makes weekly Monday rounds at Shriners where he has captured the hearts of kids, nurses, doctors, and parents alike.

(Spreading smiles and laughter at Shriners Hospital)

Zammy can best be described as ‘the world’s therapy dog.’  Along with weekly visits to Shriners, Zammy has amassed a worldwide fanbase, with 125k Instagram followers.  What first started as a simple way for Todd to share photos of his beloved pup with his daughters, quickly went viral and turned into one of the most widely followed dog accounts on Instagram.  Zammy was even voted “Floofiest Dog of Instagram” thanks to his trademark shaggy fur and adorably goofy smile.

Todd’s Instagram account is full of heartwarming photos and videos of Zammy interacting with patients, caregivers and members of the Greater Tampa community.  Zammy’s Instagram comments are flooded with positive messages praising the work that Todd and Zammy do, with countless people proclaiming that Zammy’s Instagram videos are the highlight of their day.  Follow his adventures @zammypup and you’ll quickly see why!

👋👋👋 To ALL NEW FOLLOWERS 👉 Welcome to the Zam-FAM! We strive to bring the world a daily dose of joy, through the adventures of Zammy, the GIANT Sheepadoodle. 💙 Enjoy…and if you do, please become an #ambassadorofjoy and let all your friends and family know about @zammypup !!! 🤗 __________________ 📹 Follow @zammypup 👈 #doglover #dogoftheday #puppies #puppiesofinstagram #doglovers #lovepuppies #dogofthedayjp #dogloversofinstagram #puppiesforall #puppiesxdogs #puppiesofinsta #puppiesmakemehappy #puppylover #puppylovers #petsoninstagram #sheepadoodle #oes #poodle #poodles #poodlelove #oldenglisheepdog #dogscorner #dogsandpals #petscorner #dogsarefamily #petmsarefamily #instagramdogs #floofy

A post shared by 🐾 Zammy the GIANT Sheepadoodle (@zammypup) on

(A day in the life of Zammy and Todd)

Zammy’s love and kindness serves as an example for us all.  Ever since meeting Zammy for the very first time, Todd has experienced the enormous impact of his pup’s unconditional love and kindness.  No matter how busy life gets, it is vital to reflect on the people you are grateful for and practice acts of kindness every day.

(Zammy and Todd making the world a kinder place, one smile at a time! )

Written by: Camille Lopez-Silvero, Marketing at Thnks

Employee Motivation

Employee motivation in the workplace is crucial for creating and sustaining a successful business.  Research shows that only 13% of employees are engaged at work, meaning that the vast majority of workers are disengaged and less likely to perform well. This statistic shines a light on the huge opportunity to ameliorate workplace motivation and ultimately increase productivity.

“An employee’s motivation is a direct result of the sum of interactions with his or her manager.” –Bob Nelson

What is Employee Motivation?

An employee’s intrinsic enthusiasm and drive to accomplish work-related activities is known as employee motivation.  It is the internal fire that entices them to do their best work, which then leads to greater productivity within the organization as a whole.  Without a good morale and workers who are willing and able to get the job done to the best of their ability, companies find themselves in a very risky position.

It all works in a circular cycle.  Motivated employees directly result in an increase in productivity and higher levels of output.  When more work is done within a certain period of time, it allows management to in turn effectively meet company goals.  And when company goals are achieved, everyone is happy and so begins the cycle again.        

Benefits of Improving Employee Motivation

No business thrives on a high employee turnover rate.  Not only does it put a damper on work ethic, but the reputation of the company as well. Why would anybody be gung-ho about working for a company that can’t even keep a majority of its previous employees around?

When morale in the workplace is high, so is employee retention and commitment.  Employees are more likely to stick around when they are satisfied with their job and continually developing their skills.  They will be happy to come to work every day and put their best foot forward. The efficiency of a worker is not always due to knowledge and experience.  It is a balance between ability and willingness to complete a task, which stems from feeling confident in their job. A decrease in employee turnover rate in addition to an increase in employee satisfaction will put your company on the path to organizational success.

Morale Boosting Strategies

A positive work environment will make your company more lucrative as well as more efficient.  Without employees, there is no business, and without an uplifting atmosphere, there are no employees, at least any that would want to stick around.  Boosting morale is not an impossible task and can be achieved in simple ways when given proper attention.

Communication

Communication is key to keeping employees motivated.  In addition to being diligent in answering emails and questions, checking in every once in a while with employees in person is a nice way to get your message across.  Rather than staying put at your desk during lunchtime, take one of your employees out for a coffee to talk about how things are going and generally check in. This will make them feel as though their boss isn’t just their boss, but a leader who is part of the team.

Value

People are prideful in their actions that visibly make a difference in the roadmap to reach a specific goal or outcome.  It’s always a good idea to show your employees you value their work and contributions. They will be more engaged in their work if they know that their efforts are creating an impact on the organization, regardless if it’s big or small.  Recognition can be as simple as saying, “Thank you” or “Great Job,” and the outcome of this positive reinforcement will always be increased productivity.

Workplace Environment

Sometimes employees are physically, but not mentally, present at their job because of the environment that they are expected to work in.  Conducting a survey and collecting opinions about the atmosphere of the workplace is a good idea to determine what could be changed or rearranged to please employees. There are small steps you can take to spice up the office before getting the information straight from the employees.  A positive quote posted near a spot where a majority of employees are likely to go throughout the day will get them into a good state of mind.  It is important to invest in a work environment where people want to be spending all of their time.

Involvement

Allowing and encouraging employees to be involved with their job and decision-making puts them on a well-deserved pedestal.  Let them decide on things that will have a positive impact on their activity throughout the workday. Maybe they enjoy splitting their work time up between beanbags and sitting at their desk.  If that is where they will do their best work, so be it. Even when it comes to company wide decisions, make employees feel comfortable in having a voice in the overall decision that is made.  It is important to make employees feel as though they are contributing to a greater goal and adding value to the organization.

Express Gratitude

This one goes without saying, always express gratitude.  Everyone can benefit from knowing that their work is valued and others notice and appreciate their time and effort.  It has been scientifically proven that gratitude releases dopamine and serotonin, two of the brain’s feel-good chemicals. Not only does it put people in a good mood, it leads to a better functioning brain.  Someone who is in a good mood with high functioning brain power will be a positive contributor to a more motivated team.

Use Thnks to Motivate Your Employees

Thnks has made showing gratitude easier than ever, allowing you to do so with a quick touch of a button.  Feeling like a verbal “Thank You” isn’t enough? Send your employee a coffee to let them know you are grateful for them staying late nights in the office.  Give them that boost of caffeine and a little motivational kick to encourage them to stay late more often.  Rewarding a person for their action will encourage them to perform at that caliber to hopefully receive more recognition in the future.

How about paying for your employee’s next Uber ride to let them know that their effort in hand-delivering a product sample did not go unnoticed.  There is no better feeling than thinking your subtle and spontaneous action actually did not go unnoticed. Let the people who make your organization work day in and day out know that you are always giving Thnks.

Written by: Ariella Sharf, Editor and Founder of Heart and Vogue

Customer Retention Strategies

What is Customer Retention?

For a business to stay up and running, it is necessary they have one thing – one crucial thing – and that is a customer, even more importantly, a high rate of customer retention.  Without customers, there is no business. Leading a customer to your business is a job in and of itself. Once that step is checked off the to-do list, the focus becomes keeping that person as a customer.

Customer retention is the ability of a business to create customer and brand loyalty in order to retain customers.  It is the measure of customer loyalty and capacity of business to keep customers satisfied with good service and quality products.  It begins with the first contact a customer has with a company and continues throughout the lifetime of the relationship. Although reaching and maintaining a solid customer retention rate is no easy task, it comes with many benefits.

Benefits of Improving Customer Retention

Seeing an increase in profit is an exciting time when you are first open for business, but keeping up the same stamina throughout the lifetime of a business is important.  It’s not easy work, but keeping customers returning is well worth it. Here are five benefits of improving customer retention.

1. It is cheaper than acquisition.

A returning customer is cheaper for business. It serves as a more cost-effective way to keep a loyal consumer around rather than bringing in a new one.  There is less spending on advertising or inducements, like price-cutting and giveaways, because they are already hooked. Research shows retention to be more economically favored than acquisition.  Even though it may not be the easier of the two, it is most definitely the cheaper and more worthwhile.

2. Loyal customers are more profitable.

A loyal customer spends 60% more per transaction and is 5 times more likely to indicate that it is the only brand they would purchase from in the future.  That said, on average, they deliver 23% more revenue and profitability over the everyday customer.  It’s important to keep in mind that the end goal is lifetime revenue, not just daily revenue.

3. Your brand will stand out.

How many brands do you interact with that genuinely and visibly value your patronage?  You can probably name less than a handful. Most companies only focus on acquiring their customer.  When a company dually focuses on acquisition and retention, they will stand out even more. The best brands have unique retention propositions.

4. You will earn more word of mouth business.

People are most strongly influenced by referrals from family and friends, according to the heavily researched principle of social proof.  Guess how many marketing dollars it will cost you to create a “word of mouth” marketing campaign? Zero!  Your loyal customers are your greatest walking advertisements. Don’t forget about millennials and the power of social networks.  90% will share their brand preferences online.

5. Customers will be more open to your marketing.

Let’s be honest, there really is no better feeling than receiving a special offer because of your continued involvement with a brand.  Consumers greatly appreciate when a brand that they are loyal to reaches out, and 7 times more likely to respond to that brand’s promotional offers.    

How Do You Improve Customer Retention?

Building a strong relationship with a customer is important, and a cornerstone of a strong relationship is longevity.  With good customer service, education, and engagement, you will be doing more than just the right thing; you will be doing good business.

Customer Retention Strategies

Customer retention strategies work as a great foundation for creating a successful business relationship.  Keep in mind they may take more work than first hooking a customer in through acquisition, but it is well worth the time and investment.

Product And Service Integrity

Consistency is key when it comes to what you say, do, and the experience you provide to your customer.  They want to be confident and comfortable with the way you carry out business and know that you take care of them in the most genuine way, regardless of whether it is a large or small act.  Practice what you preach, because if you don’t, they will up and leave to find a company that will treat them well enough to keep them coming back.

Create Value

Create value that you and your customer can share.  Having a similar outlook will entice your customer to be loyal to you since they will innately trust your opinions.  The Corporate Executive Board found that 64% of 7,000 U.S. consumers surveyed shared that the primary reason behind having a strong relationship with a brand was similarity in values.  Stand for something.

Awaken The Ego

Customers remain loyal to a brand that they find have commonalities with them on a personal level.  When researching your target audience, doing so to the finest details will be favorable for you in the long run. Knowing what goes on in the brain of your ideal customer will help you in creation and execution.  Marketing to teenagers who attend school during the Fall and Winter months is not ideal if your target market is retirees who live in warm climates during those months. Get deep into your customer’s ego.

Position Around The Before And After

Imagine you have a daily challenge you can’t imagine will be solved.  You find an advertisement for the product of your dreams that shows exactly how it will rid you of your daily challenge.  Of course, you are going to follow through and give it a try. That is exactly what you want to do with your customers. Position the problem or challenge your business aims to solve in a way that bridges your customer’s life before and after working with you.  Convincing your customer that your product or service will help them live their best life is a sure way to have them coming back.

Make Use Of Surprise Reciprocity

Research shows that surprise reciprocity works extremely well, even though reciprocity on its own is a powerful tool.  An expected gesture is not as memorable as an unexpected one. A kind gesture is more likely to leave a lasting impression when it arrives out of the blue.

Don’t Underestimate The Power Of ‘Thank You’

It seems like common sense to say thank in return for something kind, whether through kind words or a kind gesture.  We sometimes forget that something so simple can mean so much, especially in creating and maintaining a relationship.  Customers like Nordstrom and Zappos are known for thanking their customers via good old Snail Mail. They know how to add that personal touch of value to a genuine act of kindness.  To a company so large, it is such a small investment of both their time and money. But to a customer, it could mean the difference between staying loyal and moving their business to a different company altogether.

Remembering to show thanks is not always an immediate reaction, especially in today’s world where we are always onto the next thing before finishing the current one.  There are many ways to tell someone you are thankful, and Thnks makes it easy and efficient. Keep business rolling and customers coming back with the click of a button and personal note.

“As a sales rep that covers a vast territory, you guys saved me when I forgot my to acknowledge one of my largest customers bdays. Thankfully I was able to send her a sweet treat which she loved! Will def share with my colleagues!”

“Sent out three coffees to three different clients…all have been opened and redeemed and so far have written me back saying thnks. Awesome!”

Written by: Ariella Sharf, Editor and Founder of Heart and Vogue

Hacks for Writing Thank You Letters

It’s no secret that people love to feel appreciated, so never underestimate the power of a thoughtful and personalized thank you note.  Taking time to send a sincere thank you note/gift shows your appreciation and strengthens relationships with colleagues, clients, and customers.  Studies have repeatedly proven that people work harder and are more loyal when they feel appreciated within their workplace. Similarly, your clients will be significantly more likely to continue using your product/service if they feel valued.  

Whether you’re saying thanks for an interview, a referral, or their business, it’s hard to go wrong with a sincere thank you; however, it can be difficult to come up with the perfect way to say thank you in a professional setting.  Scroll down for some easy tips & tricks for writing the perfect ‘thank you’ note. Remember, there’s always a reason to say Thank You

Writing the Perfect Thank You Note

Keep it Simple!

Include a simple yet genuine message of appreciation and wish them well.  Depending on the situation, end with a mention of seeing them in the future.

Be Timely!

Thank you notes are most impactful when you send them immediately; however, a late thank you is better than none!

Be Personalized!

Include a note about something you have talked about to show your recipient that you listened closely and thoughtfully.  If your client mentioned that they are a caffeine fanatic and can’t get their day started without it, send them a cup of coffee from their favorite shop!  The unique and thoughtful gift is sure to make a lasting impression.

Be Specific!  

Give specific examples demonstrating why you are thankful; don’t be afraid to spell it out for them!  If your employee worked through the weekend to close a deal, thank them for that specifically.

Do the Unexpected!  

In an era where almost all communication occurs online (via email, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.), it has become increasingly difficult to stand out.  Send a unique gift along with your thank you note to pleasantly surprise your recipient. Send your top prospect an Uber ride to thank them for coming in on a rainy day, they will definitely be thanking you the whole ride home!

Recognize and Acknowledge Hard Work!

Pay attention to the process, not just the outcomes.  If your employee handled a difficult client with grace and patience, acknowledge their hard work.  This type of positive reinforcement will spread positivity throughout your workplace like wildfire.

If you’re still feeling stuck, take a look at some of our favorite and most successful thnks message + gift examples for inspiration…

Thnks Examples

“Thanks so much for connecting with me this afternoon.  As you are on your road to recovery, I thought that this candle might help you relax.  It somehow always does the trick for me!  Get better Soon!” A Balance and Harmony Candle

“While this isn’t quite the same as a natural smorgasburg acai bowl you mentioned, thought you’d enjoy a couple refreshing drinks as the temperature rises.  Thanks again for your help with our meeting today!” A ‘Berry Nice to Meet You’ Treat

“I know you have a busy week up ahead so I wanted to make sure you stay properly caffeinated.  Thanks for fitting our meeting in on Thursday.  I really appreciate it!”  Starbucks Coffee for the Week

“Happy Friday!  I know you guys have been working around the clock so I wanted to send a little something.  Ride in style to the weekend :)” An Uber Ride

“Thanks for being a big help on all of my requests!  You’re probably not thanked ENOUGH for all your hard work, so have some wine on me!!! :)” A White Wine Bundle

Written by: Camille Lopez-Silvero, Marketing at Thnks

Cheap Appreciation Gifts That Don’t Look Cheap

There are many people in your life you’d like to thank but finding the right gift for them can be challenging. Whether it’s a celebration or just a simple showing of gratitude, you want to convey your message easily, especially when you’re on a budget. The problem with cheap gifts is that they often look — well, cheap.
Luckily, Thnks has some great gift suggestions to help you in your search so you can find exactly what you’re looking for, no matter your price range. Finding a low-cost gift doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality, so we’ve compiled a list of great, affordable gifts, perfect for anyone in your life, for any occasion they’re celebrating. It’s easy, convenient, and a great way to build stronger relationships, whether they’re professional or personal.

Office gifts- Thank you to the coworker you can’t survive without

Whether your colleague helped you meet that impossible deadline or they finally got that coveted promotion, giving them a gift is a sure-fire way to show how much you’re happy that they’re in your life.

A Stainless Steel Travel Mug

A travel mug is a budget-friendly AND professional way to remind your coworker that you appreciate them — and to remind them that you might need their help again in the future.

SnackNation Snacks

 
Show them that you recognize all of their hard work. A collection of their favorite snacks to keep at their desk is the perfect congratulatory gift for that promotion they got or that project that they successfully completed.

Starbucks Coffee for the Week

This is the perfect (and cheap) gift for the coworker who has been staying late at the office every single night. Let them know that you are proud of their achievements and that their future late nights at the office will be made sweeter.

Wedding gifts- Show love for the friend who is getting hitched

A friend getting married is cause for celebration — and a frantic search for the right gift. Relax, we’ve got you covered with these ideas so you can prove what a great friend you are.

A Blue Lotus Scented Candle

We all get those wedding invitations well in advance, ensuring that we forget about the event completely. Show how thoughtfully prepared you are with this last-minute and reasonably-priced personal gift that not only smells heavenly but looks much more expensive than it is.

Evelots Set Of 2 Personal Fondue Mugs

Yes, there’s a wedding registry but get your friend and their soon-to-be marriage partner something you know they’ll both enjoy together. This budget-friendly set is sure to help them start off married life the right way.

Client gifts- Say thank you for being a loyal customer

Clients are an integral part of your life and without them, you would not have a business. There are many ways to show them a token of your appreciation and here are a few ideas:

Movie Tickets for Two

Nothing says I appreciate your business like movie tickets to make them momentarily forget about the hassle of work. It’s like taking them out to the movies, without you having to be there.

Succulents

Keep it professional with this simple set of succulent plants that will brighten up their office space. It will also serve as a constant reminder of why they chose your business in the first place.

Birthday gifts – Tell them Happy Birthday properly

A Starbucks Birthday Bundle

Whether it’s a co-worker, a family member, a friend, or a client, everyone has a birthday and yet you somehow mysteriously forget about them all until the last minute. Fear not, we’ve got just the right gift. None of them will be able to resist this thoughtfully delicious bundle that will convince them that you took your time finding this selection.

Teacher gifts – The tireless educator in your life deserves it

Multifunctional Portable Diffuser

 
What’s more fitting for a teacher than something that will ease their stress? This diffuser is perfect for that, whether they put it on their desk or in the teachers’ lounge. And with the right essential oil, it can actually make grading papers a pleasant experience.

Don’t forget about the holidays

Whether it’s Christmas, New Years, or any other holiday that requires gift giving, make sure that your choice is thoughtful and doesn’t resemble something you would have found in a bargain bin.

Starbucks Green Tea Matcha Lattes for Two

These Starbucks Green Matcha Lattes are the perfect gift to pinch proof your friends while going easy on your wallet for St. Patrick’s Day. They will thank you later!

Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt

Everyone loves frozen yogurt and this makes a wonderful gift to indulge their sweet tooth around the holidays.
Remember that whichever gift you pick, Thnks has a way to make sure that each one you send is personalized and thoughtful, regardless of its cost.