The Hug

You’d think I picked this topic because of Valentine’s Day, but *smh* no, I did not. And I’ll spare you my current opinion of the holiday.

I’m continuing my theme of authenticity. It seems to have struck a cord with a lot of people. I’m believing that’s a good thing.

Today I’m talking briefly about building relationships and connecting with people. I’m talking about it in detail at “Marketing with Heart.” (Head over there!)

It’s an important part of business, you see.

I’ll give you an anecdote to show you why.

Hate is a nasty word, that I’m trying not to use much this year, but I feel like it’s appropriate:

I hate poor customer service and I’ve experienced my share of it over the years, especially in restaurants.

Last year, I experienced two very memorable instances of poor service in restaurants, two very popular restaurants, one we’ll call “Silver Salmon” and the other I’ll call “Bianchi’s Italian Grill.” *grin*

In both cases, I had to wait for annoyingly long periods of time while my waiter or waitress did other things, before I got drink refills, napkins, simple things. It was ridiculous, but I didn’t complain – at the time – because I’m a firm believer in treating people, especially the ones who handle my food, with respect.

I consider both visits disasters, and while I vowed NEVER to go to one of the restaurant’s again, I look back on the other visit and smile or laugh.

My waiter at “Bianchi’s Italian Grill” was not attentive. And while he was slow with everything else. He was quick to collect my money. I’m sure he was just having a bad day, but the experience turned me off and it’ll probably be a while before I go back there, if I go.

My waitress at “Silver Salmon” was slow with EVERYTHING and forgetful, but when she was at my table, she was funny and engaging and wanted to connect with me. She made me laugh, she was interesting and I still remember her name.

Now I’m not saying you can eff up everything with people and they’ll forgive you as long as you’re charming, but connecting with people is important and sometimes it’ll be the thing that keeps them coming back.

Want more on my thoughts on relationship building?

I’m guest blogging today on “Marketing with Heart” about Relationship Build for Creative People.

Check it out. Leave a comment and follow CJ’s blog. She’s awesome!

{image credit: The Hug by Like_the_Grand_Canyon, on Flickr}