Photo credit: Ben Fredericson

Last Friday I found myself scrambling to pack for a flight. With no food in the house, I did what every red-blooded American does in such situations – I turned to delivery. As someone who has done my fair share of “Are we there yet?” over the course of my life, I love Domino’s Pizza tracker. I no longer have to hover around the front door waiting for the delivery guy. Instead, I just let the tracker do its thing. If you haven’t ordered pizza from Domino’s in the past few years, allow me to explain.

Once you pull the trigger on your order, you can “watch” as it goes through the process, from prep to delivery to doorbell. Along the way, the tracker even reports the names of the employees working on your order. Anna is prepping your pizza. It’s in the oven! Juan is doing quality inspection. Out for delivery.

And if that’s not enough, customers can choose from several tracker themes, from hair band to romance novel, to hear the steps announced from start to finish. I must admit, the simple act of placing a pizza order becomes remarkably more intriguing when a Latin lover coos from your MacBook to let you know that your pizza is “being baked with the fires of passion.”

Recently, Domino’s added another feature to the tracker, and this one has truly endeared the brand to me. The tracker now includes the option to send an electronic note of encouragement to the staff preparing your order. Pizza patrons can choose from a drop-down list of positive messages including “Keep up the good work,” “You’re my favorite Dominos team members" and “You are my pizza heroes!”

With the click of a button, the anonymous process of placing a pizza order becomes personal. Anonymous employees become pizza heroes to hungry customers, and customers become cheerleaders to employees. Sure, the tool is cool, but far more importantly, it is a conduit for customers to express gratitude - and employees to receive it. The brand helps the people who ARE their brand connect with the people who LOVE their brand and vice versa. And that bridge is a mighty thing.

An electronic “thank you” may not seem like much, but it turns out those two words may be more powerful than we ever imagined, and even a small act of gratitude can have a profound impact on satisfaction and performance. A recent study found that when your brain is positive, it outperforms your brain when it is negative, neutral or stressed. No big surprise there, right? Well, the study also found that the simple act of consistently saying “thank you” can increase a person's productivity by 31%.

Tomorrow, we’ll dig into the nitty gritty of the study to find out just how powerful giving thanks really is. In the meantime, a tiny, thoughtful TED talk on thanks.

Thank you for taking a few minutes out of your day to read all the way to the bottom of the post. Happy Hump Day, friends.


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