The Customer as Valentine: All You Need is Love

valentine story

The origin of Valentine’s Day is very instructive.  It was initially associated with a religious celebration honoring St. Valentinus, a priest from Rome who was martyred about AD 496.  Two stories (call them myths if you want to be completely accurate) frame the sentiment of February 14th…especially when applied to your customers.

Valentinus boldly performed marriage ceremonies for a soldier and his bride when it was forbidden that soldiers could marry.  He supposedly cut out hearts and gave them to each soldier to remind him of his vows while he was away in battle.  When he was later jailed and awaiting execution, he healed Julia, the blind daughter of his jailer, Asterius.  He even sent the girl a farewell note and signed it “Your Valentine!”  Add those two concepts—boldness and forgiveness—and you get another strategy for celebrating Valentine’s Day. It reminds me of the line from the Beatles song…”All you need it love.”

Reach out to angry customers and let them know your appreciation for their gifts…we always learn from upset customers.  Contact customers who have left and just let them know how much you enjoyed serving them.  Don’t play the “we want you back” card.  That’s what a lost customer might expect.  Just say “I wanted to thank you for the time you were with us.”  Sure, some customers will be skeptical and distrustful.  Don’t let that deter you from spreading the affection that is representative of this special day.

The core emotion surrounding Valentine’s Day is love.  We see lots of cupids, hearts and flowers at this annual event.  And, the most influential type of love is that which is expressed without an agenda or motive.  All you need is…

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Dr. Chip R. Bell is a world-renowned authority on customer loyalty and innovative service. Global Gurus ranked him in 2018 the #2 keynote speaker in the world on customer service; #1 in North America. He also is the author of numerous national and international best-selling books including Take Their Breath Away, Managing Knock Your Socks off Service, Magnetic Service, The 9½ Principles of Innovative Service and Customers as Partners. His books have been translated into over a dozen languages.

His newest customer service book is the award-winning, best-selling book Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles.

Dr. Bell has appeared live on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, CNN, Fox Business, ABC, CBS, NPR Marketplace and his work has been featured in Fortune, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Forbes, Businessweek, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, and Fast Company.


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