Written by Silvana Buljan for Buljan & Partners Consulting
A recent study in German households reveals that financials in a partnership are more important to women than to men. Whereas women prefer their male partners to gain more money than themselves, men don´t really care about financials, 71% say the only factor that matters is LOVE. Amazing.
When did we start to openly talk about love publicly? And what could this mean to our business environments, where we are usually taught to avoid showing emotions or to talk about them?
If we want to engage with customers it will be difficult to achieve a relationship if we don´t talk about emotions and love. “Love your customer” is a slogan that we can find in any loyalty and CRM book, but what does this exactly mean in a professional relationship? How do define LOVE “professionally” if we even can´t give it a standard definition in our private lives?
Love in a relationship between a company and its customers should have the same principles that we count on as persons: trust, affection, support, respect, the ability to resolve conflicts,….. Applying these characteristics to our business environments is not easy, because we don´t know how to tangibilize it in processes, rules, contracts, etc.
Here some suggestions:
- We build trust by delivering what we promise, this should start in reviewing our marketing and brand communications: are we creating an image that fulfills our capability to deliver, or are we creating expectations we know we cannot fulfill?
- We create affection by caring: How do we attend a customer who calls us to update contract details after the death of his/her partner? How de we call customers who didn´t pay their last bill after losing their job, and having paid punctually in the past?
- We support customers by offering them products and solutions they really need instead of selling to them what we need to achieve our sales objectives.
- Where we can improve a lot is to respect our customers: they are not stupid, and know what they are buying, and ofter better than we think they do.
- Resolving conflicts is easy if we put ourselves in our customers´shoes: how would we feel if experiencing a product or service failure? Changing the observer we are helps to retain complaining customers.
It seems like it is not too complicated to introduce LOVE to our business environments.