Is Your Customer Care “Love Language” Working?
In addition to providing your clients or customers with the services they contracted for, keeping them is largely driven by demonstrating (in a way that is meaningful to them) that you appreciate or care about their business. The approach you take is often different for each customer.
First, some background …
In 1995, Gary Chapman published a book titled “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate”. As Kris Gage summarized in her article titled “F— The Golden Rule” on medium.com (December 16, 2017):
Over the course of thirty years as a relationship counselor, Chapman kept hearing one core problem over and over: one person would say they felt unloved by their partner, even while the other did everything they could think of to show it.
Digging deeper, Chapman realized that the fallout was in the specific words and gestures: one partner, for example, would dutifully do all of the chores around the house, keep the cars full of gas, and walk the dog each and every morning to show their love, and meanwhile all the other person was looking for was a hug or a kind word or a gift, largely oblivious to anything else.
Because what happens is that we not only have a preferred love language, but we are largely blind to or neutral on love communicated in the other four.
But, coming in without much else to work with, many of us tend to show love in the way we best recognize it. Which very likely isn’t how our partner recognizes it at all.
[W]e all default to our viewpoints and preferences, even though doing so is fundamentally selfish.
To place the foregoing quotation in a business context you may want to re-read it while substituting the words “appreciate” or “care” for the word “love”.
So, the Golden Rule (at least your interpretation of it) is based on your own preferences and the assumption that what works for you will be appreciated by your customers as well.
Instead, Kris Gage suggests using the Platinum Rule which is all about ‘treating other people the way THEY wish to be treated‘.
Now, I am not suggesting that you embark on a romantic or even personal relationship with your customers but there is an important lesson to be learned for your business relationships, particularly those where you have an ongoing, long-term consultative relationship with your customers:
- Retaining clients or customers entails knowing what they need and delivering against those criteria every day in your contact with them.
Determining what your customers need and how they wish to be treated is best accomplished by asking them what they value about your service and what they would like to have done differently for them … AND THEN ACTING ON THIS INFORMATION.
Then keep the dialogue current so you can continue doing for them what they value and follow their suggestions as to what they would like to have done differently.
At The Dunvegan Group, we combine customer feedback and the power of The Platinum Rule® to help you grow revenues by retaining customers and employees. We would love to start a conversation today!
Image courtesy of Choreograph at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
In the research The Dunvegan Group conducts to support our CCR™ (Customer Care & Retention™) Programs, we discover articles, blog posts and videos which, although not directly related to our work, are thought-provoking or concern matters you may want to think about.
These posts are selected by The Dunvegan Group’s Vice President of Research, Olev Wain, Ph.D.
Dr. Wain is an expert in the measurement of customer perceptions that lead to specific behaviors; much of his career has been invested in identifying proprietary metrics in the Business-to-Business (B2B) world where there are multiple points of contact and complex processes for decision making.
The Business Retention Index™ and the Business Essentials Index™ are two powerful indicators of the strength of the bond between a B2B company and its customers created by Dr. Wain and utilized in The Dunvegan Group’s Customer Care & Retention™ Programs.