A Open Valentine Letter to Businesses from a CustomerDear Business Owner,

Don’t think I haven’t noticed. I know that you’ve been interested in me for some time. Oh, I see the way that you look at me when I walk by. I see your commercials, I get your direct mail, I see all the lengths to which you go to let me know that you want me. Yeah, you tell me you love me, but I’m not convinced. Sometimes your “I love you” rings a little hollow.

Let me give you a few hints if you want to win my heart:

1. Understand what love really is. You see, the word “love” gets tossed around a lot these days. I mean, I love my dog. I love cheesesteaks. I love my kids. I love the Phillies. But in order to understand what that means, you have to understand the context. They aren’t all the same type of love. If you tell me you love me, make sure you mean it.

2. There’s a difference between “like” and “love” – Oh, I might “like” you on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean I love you. I don’t know, maybe liking you is all you want from me. So be it. But wouldn’t you rather have me love you?

3. You gotta woo me – I might be a little fickle, but I’m not easy. So it might mean that you have to do some special little things to get me to notice you and take you seriously. And wooing takes time. Don’t expect me to throw myself into your arms as if it’s love at first sight. It might be months or years before I really decide that I like you and want to be with you.

4. It’s not you, it’s me – No, seriously, stop talking about yourself and start thinking about me. Sure, that may sound selfish, but I need to know that you are interested in me for my sake, not just because you might look good with me on your arm. I’m not your window dressing. You need to be less self-centered and more customer centered.

5. Listen to me – The only way you’re going to get to know me is to listen to me; both the verbal and non-verbal cues. All the chocolate in the world won’t help your case if I’m not into chocolate. Listen to what I have to say, and that will probably give you a lot of clues as to what I like, and what might win me over.

6. Don’t just say it, show it – You can tell me you love me over and over and over, but if your actions don’t match your words, I’m not likely to believe you. When I call Comcast and the recording gets excited and tells me, “Oh, it looks like you’re an Xfinity Insider” as if that’s something special, that’s great. Until of course I have to sit on hold forever and get bumped around to various departments, wasting my time, as if I’m just another one of their one night stands.

7. Make me feel special – Yes, that’s right: a guy likes to feel special every once in awhile, ya know?. I don’t want to be treated like all the others you are wooing. Make me feel like I am the one. Let me know that I really do mean something to you. Some people might be swayed a $4-million dollar Super Bowl commercial, but not me. That just feels cheap and desperate.

So am I worth wooing? Oh, I’d like to think so. If you do these things and make me feel special, you certainly won’t regret it. Let me give you a hint: some people like chocolate, or flowers, or a romantic dinner out. Me? I’m all about food, but what really lights me up is great customer service. Yeah, I guess that’s kind of weird, but I’m not just any guy. I’m worth it.