Love in today’s business culture is rare, a lost way of doing business, despite its direct influence on success. When people or companies do ordinary tasks or gestures with love toward their customers and clients day in and day out, they are extraordinary. It’s sad, but true.
How many times does someone in a business transaction or customer service experience do something that exceeds your expectations? It turns out that your expectations are actually very low because of a history of less-than-stellar experiences almost everywhere.
We shouldn’t be surprised by ordinary acts of kindness, right-ness, or gratitude, yet we are.
If you want to be successful in your business, your career, or anything involving other people, you need to master one trait: love. Love is the great equalizer because love transforms situations, people, and entire organizations.
Love builds bonds, heals wounds, and creates a sense of purpose in life. It’s the cheapest, easiest thing you can do to improve your life and the lives of those you interact with. Clients and customers are no exception.
I’ve got a lot to say about this approach that I learned from my grandpa, but you’ll have to come back next Monday for that lesson. For today, I have a personal experience from receiving love from a company.
Case in point: Zappos. In 2010, I’d been looking for new running shoes because my doctors (yes, plural) told me for the 8th visit that I needed to start getting out to exercise, even if it was walking. I looked all over Tampa for a pair of Nike+ shoes in my size. Desperate, I turned to Zappos, found the color and size I wanted AND used a $50 gift card that let me choose which retailer to redeem it at.
As you likely know, Zappos offers free returns to get the right size if the shoes don’t fit. I figured this was a no-brainer but was a little disappointed that the cheap shipping got them to me after my birthday, but I saved $50, “so what?”
A couple of hours after I placed my order, I got an e-mail saying they valued me as a first-time customer and upgraded me for free next-day arrival.
I am now a Zappos customer for life.
How much did it cost them? Probably $15 because of their exclusive deal with UPS.
How much effort did it take? A (likely) automated e-mail they send to all first-time customers — I don’t know and I don’t care. I felt special. Loved.
What is your best or favorite personal story of receiving love from someone you were buying from?