Companies that inject soul, win.
Companies who are touchy feely, win.
Companies willing to brand their humanity, win.
That’s not customer service – that’s a love letter.
But, contrary to popular conditioning:
Love is not a weakness.
Love is not a combination lock.
Love is not an instrument of control.
Love is the bell that’s always ringing.
THE QUESTION IS: Is your brand brave enough to hear it?
Here’s how to turn your interactions into love letters:
1. Make loving you easy. In the opening scene of the award-winning film, The Social Network, Mark Zuckerberg’s girlfriend complains, “Dating you is like dating a Stairmaster!”
Ever encountered a business like that? Sure you have. And odds are, you probably never went back. That’s where companies blow it: They overlook the importance of making their brand a welcome oasis. A place of refuge, a place of belonging and a place of connection.
My yoga studio, on the other hand, breathes out the love people need. It’s a place where every student feels welcomed, affirmed and encouraged from the moment they strut in to the moment they stumble out.
The best part is, by the end of class, you’ve completely forgotten about the fact that you just sweat off seven pounded of water weight doing the hardest possible physical exertion known to man. And you feel like you could take on the world. That’s hard not to love. Are you?
2. Choose heart over handbook. Love cannot be done from a script. If it were, it wouldn’t be love – it would be calculus. Instead of being a passionless rule follower, give yourself permission to make every connection more human. Give your people permission to be more promiscuous with their love.
If that means going off script and improvising to meet customers where they are, do it. If that means breaking a small rule to give the gift of deepened connection, do it. And if that means rewarding (not just forgiving, but rewarding) a customer for making a mistake, do it.
Because once you’ve accumulated all of those moments of humanity, you’ve built an asset that nobody can take away. And it’s worth much more than some sterile handbook employees never look at again after their third week on the job. Customers are desperate to be touched. Give them what they want. Are your love letters coated in ink or blood?
3. Learn to be indiscriminate. Love is like creativity: The more you use it, the more you have. The hard part is finding the customers who don’t deserve it and offering it to them freely and fully when they least expect it. That’s love worth crossing the street for: When you welcome people into your home, even though you wish they stayed at theirs.
Try writing a few of these questions on sticky notes and posting them around your office or by your phone:
*What would love do in this situation?
*What do you are you choosing instead of love?
*How can you help yourself choose love instead?
*How many acts of love have you performed today?
*How will you use this as another opportunity to be more loving?
Over time, these questions will seep into your subconscious and infiltrate your work on a daily basis. People will notice. Are willing to be unfair with your heart?
4. Don’t give – pour. Love is any interaction that reduces the distance, enhances the bond between people and gives the precious gift of a strengthened connection. And most of the time, it sneaks in the side door when you’re busy doing something good.
Here’s what I do: Any time you encounter someone in a bad mood, just assume they feel unloved. Don’t take over. Don’t try to fix or solve. And don’t try to dilute the distaste. Just pour in more love. Just dance in the moment and respond to the other person’s immediate experience.
Be brave enough to say nothing when speaking would be faster, and be bold enough to apologize when pride would easier. Because there’s always something left to love. You’ll secure a spot in people’s hearts forever. Are you trying to fix the carburetor when you should be watering the flower?
5. Show up for people. Open your store ten minutes early. Keep your doors unlocked ten minutes late. Answer the phones after normal business hours. Talk to customers while you’re still setting up the booth. Field a few questions on your lunch break. Leave comments on customer’s digital platforms. Come in for an hour on Sunday. Follow up six months later just to see how everything is going.
These are the love letters smart companies send. And that’s your challenge: Not just to show up, but to show up when you’re tired and scared. To show up when you’re not asked, not ready and not prepared. To show up when you’re not expected, not being paid and not in the mood. And to show up when it’s not your place, not your job and not your responsibility.
Truth is, love is the natural impulse of the heart. And it would be a shame to suppress it just to comply with some outdated, pointless rule that strokes the ego of a soulless executive in windowless boardroom. Show up for your customers. When is it hardest for you to show up?
REMEMBER: Your brand is measured by how you love.
Lead with your heart.
Tell your customers you love them before somebody else does.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you making sales calls or writing love letters?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For a list called, “27 Reasons People Aren’t Listening to You,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
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