It’s that time of year when Americans think about all the things for which they’re grateful. Hopefully one of the “things” on your shortlist are your customers, and perhaps you’ve already sent an email offer to express your gratitude. But gratitude shouldn’t be limited to a single week in November. Given the power of thank you to improve business outcomes, gratitude should serve as the foundation of your customer service strategy throughout the year.

“[T]hankfulness is a key to business health,” writes Tim Askew for Inc.com. “I’ve always believed it is the simple things that make for success in business. Not the brilliant, not the celebrated, not the strategically complex. One of those simple things is the act of saying thank you.”

Customers have a choice. In fact, thanks to the Internet, they have more choices than ever before when it comes to where and how they buy products and services. Chances are good that whatever they buy from your organization they could find elsewhere and perhaps even at a lower cost. You should certainly understand why customers buy from you but, more importantly, you should thank them for that decision. Doing so will remind them why they do business with you.

“Clients want to be regularly reminded that they are important to you. It’s not up to your clients to remember you. It’s your job to constantly and consistently remind them of who you are and reinforce why they have a relationship with you,” writes Michael Sciortino.

If you want your customers to buy from you year-round, then your gratitude should extend year-round as well. “The No. 1 asset your business has is your client relationships. When you combine relationship-building ideas with consistent nurturing, you create clients for life,” Sciortino writes.

The best part about expressing gratitude to customers is that we know it works. There’s no need for A/B testing or survey data to validate it. “Showing our appreciation for others helps us to win friends and influence people. Being grateful to others makes them feel like their actions are more meaningful, and we all have a basic need to feel appreciated,” writes Faisal Hoque for Business Insider.

Those feelings cannot be overstated. “The success of your business relies on these happy and loyal clients. They may not always remember what you say, but they will remember how your business makes them feel,” Sciortino writes. “If you want your business to grow and thrive, thank your clients. The appetite for a sincere thank you is unlimited!”

In this era of big data, segmentation and customer personas, it can be easy to forget that our customers are human. So it serves not only the customer, but the businesses too when gratitude is expressed in person or, failing that, face-to-face over video. We are accustomed to hearing thank you when ending a call with a customer service rep, but it can easily sound scripted—because it is. Eye contact, even over video, enables customer service representatives to more easily convey gratitude through nonverbal cues. Something as simple as a natural smile helps reinforce the words and leave a longer lasting impression with the customer.

So, while we can’t thank you in person, we would like to say that we are grateful for the opportunity to create content for you. We appreciate your readership, and we wish you a safe and pleasant holiday.