Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Love is the Killer Ap

Donald Duck saw that my Little Toot was bored and sad in his stroller and came over to cheer him up. We weren't in line. He was done with his shift. He was just being.....loving.

Kathy Sierra always has something good to say. Today is no different. Her articles about reducing fear and about creating products people love (or, when they provoke that much emotion, hate, too) are worth reading.

She says that reducing fear is the killer ap. I want to quibble with her a little bit. She says:

In a medical scenario, reducing fear means a lot. But think about all the ways our users (or potential users) might be afraid. Not in mortal terror, but afraid nonetheless. The fear of not being smart enough to learn a new product, programming language, or procedure. The fear of being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous company and/or sales person. The fear of making the wrong purchasing decision. The fear of looking stupid or slow in front of our co-workers.

I've often said that reducing guilt is the killer app, but now I'd put reducing fear way up there too. He who reduces fear better than the competition can, potentially, stop competing on price, convenience, or just about anything else. Reduce my fear, and I'll be grateful forever.
I agree with her, that reducing fear will create loyalty. I'd like to go a step further: If you want loyalty, devotion and customers for life, shower them with love. In her examples, her fears were trumped by the love of a compassionate X-ray Tech and interior designers.

Too rarely, people ask themselves if the stuff they are selling they themselves would buy. Too rarely, people consider the experience they create for others. If they asked themselves these questions, would the answer be an ebulliant "YES!"?

Here I am getting all Christian again: If people would treat others the way they like to be treated they would make some serious changes. Who wants to walk into a smelly, dank doctors office? Who wants to view a jumbled mess of a website that makes it difficult to buy something? Who wants to buy something they can't track? Who wants to hang around a negative, irritable person (unless you are particularily witty, insightful or have some off-setting attributes the answer is no one)?

Love your spouse. A kind word. A gentle touch. A sweet tone.

Love your child. Look in her eyes. Listen undistractedly. Smile appreciatively.

Love your customer. Create a welcoming environment. Smile when you see him again. Express gladness that he's here.

I've told the story before, but it meant so much to me, I'll share it again. My nail guy hadn't seen me for a year because of a baby, and business. I felt so bad. I had been a relative regular and was almost embarressed about coming back. Here's what he said after I expressed feeling bad about being away so long, "I'm just glad you're here today." I could have cried. It was so kind.

Love conquers fears. When a patient is afraid that they will always feel pain, that they may never be the same, it is not the adjustment or nutrition or heat pack that starts the healing process--it's love.

Love initiates the hug. Love paints the waiting room. Love mounts the water fountain. Love gives the bottle of water. Love listens.

Love is the killer ap.


kman said...

Great story... great post. So true. Clients are willing to pay more for services when they feel like you actually care about them. Right now my only client has decided not to renew our contract (upper managements decision) so an internal developer in Costa Rica can take over the application. Am I disgruntled? No. Am I helping to transition the application? Yes. I'm doing whatever I can to help them make this successful because the mid-level managers I work for have a lot of their careers invested in this application. If they need another application in the future I'm going to be the first person they think to call even if they have moved on to a different company. The situation would be a little different if I were their employee but I've never been one to expect a job to last indefinitely.

Love is the killer app and when it comes to love smaller organizations are almost always better than larger ones because it's the actions of the individuals involved.

Anonymous said...

Love tries to make amands and bring clarity. Love is willing to be humble and honest.

But if not received it turnes into pain. Because we are civilized, laws are set into place to be represented in a fair manner. Often this is the last thing a person wants to do but once you are told you are cared about by a small business dealing with human beings, and then tossed aside where you only feel used, then it's time to defend oneself. It is really too bad.

Anonymous said...

Love is willing to look to oneself, feel compassion for the other party an is willing to let go no matter how much pain there is involved. Love is willing to forgive!

Anonymous said...

Love heals all things!