JONATHAN RAYMOND wrote a powerful article recently called The Power of Caring over at the E-Myth Blog. They do great work over there.
His observation is that customers make most of their decisions based on emotions rather than logic. I find this to be absolutely true – even in surprising cases.
My background is in engineering, so I’m a pretty hardcore analytic. When I go out and buy a car, I’m going to do a lot of investigation and think through the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative. But in the end, I have to admit, my choice is mostly based on which one makes me feel the best. Part of my feeling is based on having acceptable gas mileage, of course, but it’s not just a logical process.
Regarding our discussions on this blog about having a values-based business, then, here’s the nugget we can get out of this: Values carry a lot of emotional content. When you have a deep value to support employees, they get emotional about it, and convey that to customers. When you have a deep value about helping the planet, customers have an emotional attachment.
Not that you want to play with customers’ emotions. When you do this in an inauthentic way, they end up despising it as manipulation. So you have to be absolutely authentic and consistent.
Which means that some customers will get turned off. That’s the price we pay in a values-based business. But others will become strongly attached to what you do, and will help bring in others with the same way of thinking.