Another February 14th is here and that means another Valentine’s Day has rolled around; that “celebration of love” that sets a guy’s budget back a few hundred bucks (at least) in order to avoid the “look”.
Valentine’s Day has taken a bit of a hit of late as it’s being portrayed as just another “Hallmark holiday”; a corporate cash grab supported by the card, flower and diamond industry. While it has morphed into just that, its roots are centuries old, dating back to 1382 in Geoffrey Chaucer‘s Parlement of Foules
For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
[“For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.”]
Somethings pretty legit if it has 14th century love birds in it don’t you think? Yet, it is what it has become – a guilt driven buying frenzy instead of its original intent – a reminder that it’s always a good idea to show your significant other some love.
The same goes for business. How about using Valentines day to remember that, when it comes to organizations, all relationships matter. And just like the personal variety, business relationships take work and need constant nurturing.
Bump your business relationships up a notch – get personal: Cold corporate communication is so 2000’s. With the onset of social media and the loosening up of the vernacular, a business that still positions itself as lofty, distant, aloof and impenetrable is shooting itself in the foot. Openness and transparency aren’t just a trend, they are an expected reality, and if your business is keeping itself distant from your customers, you could be in danger of a breakup.
It’s the little things that count: Not every customer contact has to be a marketing scheme. When was the last time you called up a key customer just to say, “hello”? Taking your partner for granted is the quickest route to splitsville.
Give something special to that special someone: Every business has their best customer. Why not express your gratitude with a special perk, a discount coupon, a deal or a co-promotion? If you want your partner to keep you happy, keep them happy.
Develop your listening skills: “He never listens to me” is the No.1 complaint women have for men. It’s also the No.1 customer service complaint as well. Tuning out your customers leaves them no alternative but to look elsewhere.
Share the love: Use social media to promote your customers. On Twitter, say thanks to new or loyal followers in a “Follow Friday” tweet. Say thanks on Facebook and promote their businesses to your followers. Feature them in newsletters. Create unsolicited testimonials for the businesses you do business with. Nothing says “I love you” more than shouting it out loud.
Finally, love the one you’re with: Your organization is happiest when your employees are invested in making your relationship work. Keeping them happy will ensure that they will help spread the love… and stop straying.
Valentine’s day has certainly changed since Chaucer’s day. But the spirit is – more or less – still there. It’s heart is on the right place as it were. Use it as a reminder that your significant other, in whatever part of your life, deserves attention, care and respect.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the store to get my special someone something really special.