Love in Business means more than many people care to acknowledge, and to their own detriment, care to learn about. In this day and age, it is not enough to just have all the skills, fancy letterhead, a skookum website, twitter and FB accounts, customized logo’s and all the bells and whistles.
What clients and customers are really looking for today is a brand of service that has been missing for decades.
The paradigm of good business is shifting, and I think it’s shifting BACK to what it used to be.
Back in the day, when our grandparents were young adults – service meant something entirely different than it does today. Service was a ‘given‘ not an ‘if you are lucky‘ part of any small ma-and-pop business. Even the larger businesses focused highly on good customer service. Remember the 4-person vehicle check over for oil levels, tire levels, window cleaning every time you fueled up? Many of us vaguely remember that, yet couldn’t even imagine it these days.
That service provided the business with a little something that I like to call client loyalty.
Client Loyalty is what happens when a client is happy with your product or service and continues to come back for said product or service because they feel ‘well taken care of”.
In a consultant’s world, this well taken care of feeling comes from a connection your client has with you. This connection cannot be manufactured or forced, it must be genuine. People know when they are being sold just for the sake of the $, and most people won’t buy into this anymore.
Simple – It comes from: Genuine, Integral, and Focused communication with your client EVERY time you meet. Okay, Okay, you might be thinking ‘that’s absurd? I’m supposed to love my client?’ Well, in a way, yes.
The English language falls short when it comes to defining the multitude of levels and varieties that the word ‘love’ encompasses. There is romantic love, friendship love, mother love, child love, needy love, forgiving love, love for pets, and love for places, even love for certain types of weather. We use this word in a myriad of different ways.
The way I am proposing you use it for your small business is to VALUE your clients and RESPECT them as individuals, NOT as a $ sign.
People know when they are being cared about as opposed to simply being ‘used’ for something. And if you take a moment now while you read this and feel the difference, which one feels better? Would you rather feel cared for, or rather feel and know you are simply a number on an invoice? Well, that’s an easy answer isn’t it? It should be. But all too often I see small businesses neglect this VERY important aspect of business:
Care for the Client.
The Love comes in by allowing you to relate to each client on that personal level. Get to know them as a person, listen when they speak their wants and desires and truly get to know them as much as you can in the context that you relate with them – Either on a day-to-day basis or month-to-month – whatever your relationship is.
Focus on the person you are serving, and I promise you your business will thrive. Generate love by showing interest, appreciating them for the support they bring you as a client/customer and have gratitude for them – because without them, your business would not exist.
It’s a small thing really, but makes a world of difference.
This positive interaction will leave your clients with a happy feeling and a sense of loyalty to the business who takes the time, care and effort to know them as a person. Repeat business is the strongest way to survive – this will ensure it. Any solid Marketing Campaign will include a Customer Care aspect – if it doesn’t, it should.
So – give it a try, you might even find a happy side effect that YOU will feel more joyful in your work too!
LOVE and Business ~ They really DO belong together!