(Ok, maybe appreciate them is a little less over the top.)
In business, we are trained to keep emotions out of the workplace. Don't cry. Don't be too happy. Don't be too excited. But is that realistic because we are, well, people?
People have emotions. That's just a fact of life. And people are driven by feelings, emotions, and the desire for meaning in their lives when they make decisions. They also make decisions based on self-interest. We like to think that people choose based on facts and numbers and the right options, but they don't. We are one great big ball of emotion and feeling tied to our biology.
(Don't believe me? Check out my masterclass webinar, Emotional Engagement: The magic ingredient in any customer experience, and you'll discover what Antonio Damasio, Viktor Frankl and Srini Pillay share in common. And it's how they have observed scientifically how people make decisions based on feelings and emotions.)
This is why listening is so important and we need to engage our customers at a deep emotional level (see my presentation from Big Design 2018: Listening: Three Shifts You Can Make to Connect and Build Empathy with your Customer). To connect, we need to listen and understand someone else's perspective. And it's through this listening and undestandimg that we can build emotional connections that show our love.
Heck, just being curious can change your attitude towards someone else from being judgemental and critical to understanding and loving.
This Valentine's Day, remember that your customer is a person, and probably could use a little love too. You don't need to get out the flowers and candy for them, but expressing your gratitude for their presence in your business is a great way to express your love for them. They may see being told "I love you" a little over the top, but a quick note today or tomorrow to say "I appreciate your business and working with you" may do the trick.
Happy Valentine's Day! And I appreciate you too!