I mean it when I say "thanks," or "glad to meet you," or "I appreciate your help."
I usually make small conversation -- "your diction's good" -- "you seem to know all the answers to my questions" -- "have you been working here for long?" Or if person's hard to understand -- "what country are you in? India? The Philippines?"
Yes, I always thank the techies. And try to express my appreciation in a spur of the moment, fun way.
Why? Because we're dealing with strangers in places, in rooms in parts of the world we'll probably never see. If they're in New Delhi, I ask what time it is there, mention the weather in Manhattan, and ask what kind weather the techie's having in his town.
I want to make contact with the people with whom I'm connecting. It's becoming a larger part of my life, and obviously it's a very large part of theirs.
If someone's extra helpful, I joke and say I'd invite you over for coffee if you lived a little closer. And ask for their name. (Pronouncing it -- oh my, that can be tricky.)
Once a month I call in the reading for our gas meter. If the voice that answers is cheery -- sometimes at 9 AM a real human answers right away, without my being on hold -- I say, "You sound so peppy, as if you're in a good mood this morning!" Usually we exchange a chuckle and a few more words, like friends.
It's my life and the moment is mine (same as it's your life and the moment is yours), but I want to make it important -- not just because someone's sold me, told me, or helped me. Hey, we've shared something. We're miles and miles apart, but we've touched each other!