Why And How To Love Your Customers
How do I love thee, let me count the ways.
I love thee during working hours, in the hopes of simpler days.
In my coauthored book, ‘Love Thy Customer,’ I play off of Eliabeth Barrett Browning’s 23rd sonnet, How Do I love Thee, and apply it to customer service.
You may wonder what love has to do with service. To me, the answer is obvious. The essence of great service IS about love. For example, when you deal with people who love their jobs, you can feel it. When companies love their customers, you notice the difference.
Real Love is a relationship based in, built on, nurtured by, and developed through service. What does that have to with work? It’s simple. Without the principles of love to guide you, your relationships grow complicated, people turn sour, and communication becomes progressively more difficult and non productive. Painful even. Yet serve with love, and you find fulfillment. I believe it was Albert Schweitzer who said “I do not know what your future holds. But one thing I know: The only ones among you who will really be happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.
The principles of love in service include making your customer feel welcome, by giving a greeting and getting a name, honoring your customer, understanding their perceptions and doing the little things that count big, healing your customer when problems occur, by focusing on emotions before focusing on solutions, keeping your promises, doing what can be done instead of talking about what can’t be done, educating your customer on how to receive the greatest benefit from your organization’s products and services, solving your customers problems with good record keeping and reports, and digging deeper to get what’s behind the surface, and advocating for your customer’s needs and interests.
And sometimes, you have to use the principles of Tough Love, because when customers behave badly, a more strategic response is needed.
Perhaps the binding principle of love is that you win, when your customers win. That’s why life’s true meaning can only be found in the powerful side effects of loving service to others.
And the meaning of your service presents itself to you, in those often unexpected and surprising moments of clarity when you experience the reality that someone’s life has been made better as a result of the service you rendered.
I’d love to get your feedback! What do you think about loving your customers?
Rick is a best selling author and the founder of the Art of Change Skills for Life. His book titles include, Dealing with People You Can’t Stand: How to bring out the best in people at their worst, Life by Design and Influence and the Art of Persuasion. These days he is spending quality time away from the spotlight enjoying the company of his wife and practicing his electric guitar.