Does Love Lie At The Heart of Service & Loyalty?

I was introduced into the ethos of service around the age of 6.  I would arrive back from school in the afternoon and be welcomed back by my mother.  She would ask me about my day whilst offering me tea and sandwiches. Once fed, she would hand me a box of sandwiches. She would tell me to go and feed our elderly neighbours and help them with their chores.  And this is what I did every day. I visited my neighbours, I talked with them, I moved things around for them, I cleaned up a little, I went shopping for them.  My initial reluctance and shyness gave way to relationship – I looked forward to visiting my neighbours and helping them out.

Why did my mother make sandwiches every day for our neighbours?  Why did my mother insist that I take the sandwiches to our neighbours and help them with their chores?  Whenever, I asked these questions my mother simply said something along these lines: they are our neighbours, they are old, they need our help, it is our duty to help our neighbours, that is what human beings do for one another, we care for one another, we help each other out.

It occurs to me that my mother would find most of the talk on customer service, customer engagement, customer loyalty, and customer-centricity empty.  Empty of what? Empty of a genuine empathy. Empty of genuine of compassion. Empty of wholehearted care for our customers and our fellow human beings.  Empty of love.

It occurs to me that love lies at the heart of great service – the kind of service that generates empathic connections, heartfelt gratitude, and loyalty on both sides. Love of working for an organisation that pursues a life affirming purpose. Love of one’s role in that organisational purpose. Love of one’s colleagues. Love of the customer as a fellow human being.  It occurs to me that love is the difference that makes a difference.

I leave you with the following passage from Miguel De Unamuno, it is my gift of love to you on this beautiful day:

Here you have a shoemaker who lives by making shoes, and makes them with just enough care and attention to keep his clientele together without losing custom.

Another shoemaker lives on a somewhat higher spiritual plane, for he has a proper love for his work, and out of pride or a sense of honor strives for the reputation of being the best shoemaker in the town or in the kingdom, even though this reputation brings him no increase of custom or profit, but only renown and prestige.

But there is a still higher degree of moral perfection in this business of shoemaking, and that is for the shoemaker to aspire to become for his fellow-townsmen the one and only shoemaker, indispensable and irreplaceable, the shoemaker who looks after their footgear so well that they will feel a definite loss when he dies—when he is “dead to them” not merely “dead”—and they will feel that he ought not to have died. And this will result from the fact that in working for them he was anxious to spare them any discomfort and to make sure that it should not be any preoccupation with their feet that should prevent them from being at leisure to contemplate the higher truths; he shod them for the love of them and for the love of God in them—he shod them religiously.

 

Posted on April 25, 2013, in Culture, Customer Loyalty, Customer Philosophy, Customer Service, Social and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Maz, I think love is too strong and maybe inappropriate. Respect and trust I would agree absolutely, but love I only truly have for my wife and children

    James

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    • Hello James

      I hear you and it occurs to me that most of us are with you. It occurs to me that to truly respect a fellow human being is only possible when we empathically connect with that fellow human being.

      Maz

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  2. Maz, Thank you! I truly appreciate your message and passion. I admire the fact that you un-apologetically place love, smack-dab in the middle of our business of service. It elevates the significance of service and changes it from something we must “do” on behalf of our customers to something we must “live”, with character, integrity and intention. Bravo!

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    • Hello Paul

      I thank you for reaching out and letting me know that you appreciate my message and passion. It occurs to me that it is our message and passion. I find myself in total agreement with you when you say that service is what we ‘live” with character, integrity and intention.

      What I can honestly say is that the quality of my life has been so different since I have moved empathy-compassion-love into the centre of my life. I am healthier in all senses when I connect with my fellow human beings at the level of our shared humanity.

      I wish you the very best.
      Maz

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  3. My heart leapt for joy as I read this blog. My passion for the welfare and well-being of others is what led me to become a Medical Assistant first and foremost. YES, LOVE DOES LIE AT THE HEART OF SERVICE AND LOYALTY. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV Holy Bible).

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    • Hello Diane
      I thank you for letting me know that this post has touched you. I thank you for sharing your passion for the well-being of others. I wish you the very best knowing that you are making a difference and contributing to a better world for all.

      With my love
      maz

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  4. Hello Maryke

    How suppliers respond to us when we have issues and call for their help does make a big emotional impact. And if organisations operating their customer service departments from a context of love then there would be no need for the kind of site that you have listed.

    All the best
    maz

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