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Love is in the Air

Author: JoAnna Brandi

Love, love, love. It's still February, so I figure I can still talk about love, even if this is business. Have you considered the idea of love as a management style? (Is that just too far out for you? Read on, you may change your mind.) Do you understand the value of fostering both IQ and EQ on your team? Did you check your "love levels" to determine how engaged you and your team are in your work?

 

"Love is in the air...Everywhere I look around...Love is in the air...Every sight and every sound...And I don't know if I'm being foolish...Don't know if I'm being wise...But it's something that I must believe in...And it's there when I look in your eyes...Love is in the air..."  — John Paul Young

Love, love, love. It's still February, so I figure I can still talk about love, even if this is business. Have you considered the idea of love as a management style? (Is that just too far out for you? Read on, you may change your mind.) Do you understand the value of fostering both IQ and EQ on your team? Did you check your "love levels" to determine how engaged you and your team are in your work?

At the Coach we're applauding those who can answer "yes" to those questions — those people who bravely challenged timeworn assumptions and considered the possibility of a growing new business model that will successfully take them into the 21st century. YAY!

For those of you who answered "no" — and I know you're out there — we're going to take the conversation a bit further and talk about what I call the "F-Factor." Yep, there IS an "F" word in business, and it's FEELINGS.

The F-Factor is the feeling factor - the way people feel about working for and doing business with you. Remember, the customer experience is the sum total the feelings evoked as a result of any interaction at any touch point in the organization. It's based on the customer's perception of the value delivered, tangible and intangible. That makes sense, right?

Aah, but for those whom it doesn't make sense — who still don't believe that positive emotions in the workplace can lead to profits — I'm going to share an exercise with you from our Customer Care Coach® self-study course for managers. It won't take long to do, and I think it will prove to you that emotions really can make or break customer loyalty and company success. Ready? Grab a pen and paper and follow these instructions, answering right from the gut:

  1. Write down the names of three companies to which you, as a customer, are loyal, along with three reasons why you're loyal to each of them (they don't have to be big-name companies). In other words, search for the REAL reasons you're loyal to them. How do you FEEL when you do business with them? (Delighted, valued, secure, trusting, happy, cared about?) You'll no doubt find some emotional connections of which you may not have been aware. What are the ways in which you could implement some of their customer care techniques in managing your team and serving your customers?

  2. Next, write down the names of three companies with which you no longer do business. Why did they lose your business? How did they make you FEEL? (Angry, frustrated, unimportant, annoyed, suspicious?) Examine what those companies did to create those feelings. Is there anything you can you do to make sure these feelings don't occur at your company internally or externally?

  3. After completing this exercise, do it with your team. The conversation that ensues will open up a non-threatening dialog between you and your team about how you can work together to better create the kinds of "feel good" customer experiences that generate customer loyalty.

This exercise creates a real "AHA!" experience for managers and employees alike as they identify the important role emotions play in customer loyalty. It also encourages everyone to start thinking differently about how they deliver their products or service — and thinking way outside the box is an absolute must as we move forward in the marketplace.

Lots of love!
JoAnna

 

JoAnna Brandi is Publisher of the Customer Care Coach® a weekly training program on mastering "The Art and Science of Exquisite Customer Care." She is the author of books such as "Winning at Customer Retention - 101 Ways to Keep 'em Happy, Keep 'em Loyal, and Keep 'em Coming Back" and "Building Customer Loyalty - 21 Essential Elements in ACTION."

A Speaker and consultant, she is publisher of the bi-weekly Customer Care Tips Bulletin. To receive her free bi-weekly tips bulletin, sign up at www.returnonhappiness.com. You can also reach JoAnna at 561-279-0027 or e-mail joanna@customercarecoach.com.

Copyright 2005 by JoAnna Brandi. Used with permission.

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