Business: What's Love Got to Do With It?

Business: What's Love Got to Do With It?

Last week, I had notable experiences with 3 different suppliers. And, in one instance, I ended up serving as a business consultant to the owner. More on that in a minute, but first, let me briefly recap these stories with you…

  • In the first instance, the business owner was quite narcissistic. He was more interested in the impact to himself (money money money) instead of the loyalty / satisfaction of his customer (me) and the ultimate dissatisfaction of their employees.
  • In the next scenario, the business owner had seriously outgrown her corporate processes/systems and customers were falling through the cracks without anyone noticing. I was not satisfied with the service provided to me and even though the employee managing my account wanted to fix things, she was not empowered to do so. This employee truly wanted to help me, and it was evident that not being able to do so was causing great stress in her day.
  • The third situation involved a delivery company where their processes didn't ensure that their delivery personnel had the correct contact / location information. Rather than looking up the proper information, the delivery person concluded that the customer (me) was “not home” and skipped the delivery.

None of these situations are unique. We have all been through similar situations because they are, sadly, quite commonplace. 

What employee doesn't want to feel empowered, fully appreciated and respected and generally liked by their colleagues and employers? (Personally, I'd say all of them.)

What customer doesn't expect to be treated with respect and appreciation of their hard earned dollars?  

Love (luv) n

  • a feeling of warm personal attachment

  • a feeling of affection for another

  • a very strong liking

Synonyms:  affection, appreciation, fondness, like, respect

But where has the love gone in business?

To me…

  • Love is the catalyst, the secret ingredient to employee engagement and customer satisfaction.
  • Love is the glue that makes companies thrive instead of just survive.
  • So what's love got to do with business?  The bottom line… It's everything.

While each of these three companies responded to the opportunity that was created from my needs not being met, there was one response that completely impressed me that Friday afternoon.

Email from Store Manager within the hour of my email:

Hi Donna, 
Thanks so much for emailing us about this. First of all I am so sorry about all of this hassle on your end due to our mistakes. This is NOT a good reflection of XXX or the service we strive to give our customers. 
Please accept my apology as….. These reasons are still no excuse to have this mistake repeated as you experienced. 
…..I have issued a credit to cover this and also will be issuing a code to take 10% off your next order with us. 
Deepest apologies Donna. We do appreciate your business and hope to serve you better in the future!
Hope you have a wonderful weekend despite our mistakes.
Store Manager

My reply:

Hi XXX.  Thank you so much for your authentic, honest, great customer service email!   I greatly appreciate it.  You have taken my issues and responded so very well to them.  
What you don't know is that I happen to serve as a business consultant and my specialty is on customer satisfaction / loyalty.  I just spent 4 hours this morning on a recommendations document for a company and was feeling pretty down on what I was seeing and the steps that needed repairing.  Your email reminded me of all the great businesses and Store Managers like yourself that know exactly what to do when things don't go the way you want them for the customer and truly truly recover.  Well done.
Thank you again for taking the time to respond like you did.
Wishing you a most awesome weekend too!

Reply back to me from Store Manager:

Hi Donna, 
I just had to quickly write back and say a big Thank You. Isn't it amazing when these situations can turn around tough moments. I too was needing an email just like the one you responded with to remind me that mistakes are OK and we can turn them around. What an encouragement after reading that email. I can leave the office for the weekend on a high note thanks to you! 
Although I am biased in this department I must say, XXX has THE BEST customers in the entire city of XXX, hands down. Thanks for being apart of them! 

My reply back: 

Love it! So glad to hear you are leaving the office on a high note -- you truly deserve it!  
BTW -- research shows that it is actually in those toughest moments, that customer satisfaction / loyalty can actually go higher than where it was in the first place.  There is actually a book written long ago called "A Complaint is a Gift" where I believe I first heard of it.  Anyway - you don't need the book as you already got it instilled in how you respond.  
No need to respond, I know you are probably running out the door after a long week.  So just enjoy!

As shared in a prior article, the story our society has for business is changing. By putting love back into business we are setting that stage and making that happen.

We all have a role to play in this whether as business owners, employers, employees and customers.  What step will you take?   

Interested in listening to a short audio on this topic?
Then click here for Donna's podcast episode.