“Words are events, they do things, change things. They transform both speaker and hearer; they feed energy back and forth and amplify it. They feed understanding or emotion back and forth and amplify it.”
~Ursula K. Le Guin
Two collection boxes.
One says DONATING=HELPING.
One says DONATING=LOVING.
What would you guess the impact of replacing the word HELPING with LOVING had on donations?
Language, because of it’s emotional resonance, has a surprising impact on an experience. Unlike the cool, removed, formal words that make up traditional business speak, love words are warm, connected, informal and wonderfully human.
How does the language you use make your customer feel?
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou
Pat Wadors, CHRO of LinkedIn, advocates for love words when she writes that employees deserve to be treated beautifully. “Emotions are powerful motivators. Like Brian Grazer, Academy Award-winning producer said: Only communicate when igniting emotion. You can build from emotional energy.”
Love words are incredibly positive words bursting with emotional energy. Because they help you connect emotionally, they can dramatically change the tone of a conversation or email exchange.
Love words lift moods, make people smile, and deliver a small dose of happiness. Here are a few love words you can try:
- Love (I’d love to hear more…)
- Beautiful (I hope you had a beautiful experience)
- Delighted (I’d be delighted to help….)
- Absolutely (I can absolutely help resolve that for you)
- Pleasure (My pleasure!)
- Happy (I’d be happy to help)
- Sorry (I’m deeply sorry that…)
- Yes (Yes, and I can resolve that for you…)
- Definitely (I’ll definitely make sure this gets sorted out)
- Glad (I’m so glad you like it)
- Thank you (Thank you so much for sharing your feedback)
- Wonderful (It was wonderful to meet you…)
- Magnificent (Have a magnificent…)
- Brilliant (That’s a brilliant idea)
- Lovely (What a lovely gesture)
- Story (What’s your story?)
- Awesome (Have an awesome…)
Even more important than the words themselves is the way you say them. Emotions are contagious. So be friendly, enthusiastic or caring, and try smiling. Your smile will come through even over the phone. And as an added bonus smiling will improve your own mood.
Perhaps even sprinkle in small moments of wonder like BT did when they transformed their language internally and externally to change its culture,
Feeling uncomfortable with the thought of using love words with customers? Try thinking about it this way… when talking with a customer, imagine that you’re talking with a cherished friend.
Imagine the impact of love
Love is a touchy-feely concept. But so is the art of designing beautiful organizations and delivering beautiful customer experiences.
- What if you loved your customers.
- What if you started every conversation with the goal of putting a smile on your customer’s face.
- What if you treated each moment as a tiny explosion of possibility.
How might that change your relationship with your customers?
And to answer the question I asked at the beginning of this post, people donated twice as much when the collection boxes said DONATING=LOVING.