Everyone Needs A Hug – My friend John was reviewing one of my e-mails. It happened to be a summary of findings for a review we conducted for a business. I started the communication stating how wonderful it had been to see and work with the manager (whom I’ve known for years, but had not seen in quite a few). I summarized my findings, accentuating all of the great things I saw going on in the department and their process and offered a few tweaks that I felt would make them even that much better. I ended the note with a thank you for allowing me to help and an offer to help again if ever needed.
My friend chuckled “Everybody wants a hug, huh”? We talked about the note, laughing. He told me his note would have been half as long and with no hugging. We talked and laughed about it, but the truth is, Everybody DOES want a hug. Everybody.
We need and want to be ACCEPTED, APPRECIATED, AFFIRMED and ACKNOWLEDGED for who we are and what we do.
To make a lasting impact and form great personal and business relationships, we need to be able to connect.
So, how do you do that in an e-mail, or letter? Why is it even important that you do? We all want to be made to feel special. Especially your customers. People respond to words, images, and people who make them feel good. We’re drawn to the positive. What if you’re not touchy-feely? I’d say develop that competency and watch your connections to your customers improve, along with their loyalty to your brand. Even managers and organization leaders can benefit from this approach to communicating.
Everyone of us is unique. There are no two people alike. We share similarities and traits, but each one of us has different quirks, thoughts, opinions and feelings based upon our level of exposure, education, environment, family dynamic and experiences. In order to truly connect, you have to accept people for who they are and where they are. Get to know your customers, beyond the data and demographics. What kind of comments are they leaving in surveys? What is important to them based on what they’re saying? As a consultant, find out what your customers like, dislike and value. Listen and learn.
Appreciate and Affirm
Start out with sincere appreciation for the opportunity you’ve had to spend time or work with that person. What was great about the experience? What was great about the person? Accentuate the positive points about your experience and what you enjoyed about the project, results and the people.
If there are things that need to be fixed, tweaked and or changed to make the process or interaction better, acknowledge those along with the great results that will come from those changes. End with recognition that you value the relationship, a thank you for the opportunity and and offer to help again in the future. Follow up from time to show how much you value and appreciate the relationship.
Not all relationships are easy, but all relationships, business and otherwise have good points. Accentuate those, boost and shine light on the positive and you’ll stand out as a person, company and service of value. Your brand will be known for treating customers well. Try to give some hugs in your communications and let me know the results!