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You are Such an Idiot

Sometimes when I say, “It’s always about Real Love,” people think I’m overstating the case a bit. If so, it’s not by much. Real Love plays a pivotal role in every human interaction, and if we forget that, we will pay a heavy price. If, on the other hand, we do remember the role of Real Love, we can achieve results in our personal lives and in our relationships that are little short of miraculous.

Let me illustrate just one such application of the power of Real Love by sharing an event that occurred with us here at RealLove.com.

A man came to the RealLove.com website and was enjoying some of the many free benefits available to those who are not full members. He ordered a downloadable audio book, and when he subsequently had difficulty opening the file and using the book he had paid for, he sent us an email that included the following:

“I spent good money for this audio book, and now it doesn’t work like you promised it would. I guess Real Love doesn’t compensate for incompetence.”

It was obvious that he was blaming us not only for the failure of his product to work but also for the frustration and irritation he was feeling as a result of the inconvenience he was experiencing. In addition to the above message, the customer also described what he had done to make the product work, and immediately it became clear that he had virtually ignored the very detailed instructions that had come with the download.

Our webmaster, Mike, could easily have become offended at the tone and content of the email, since he had done nothing wrong but was being bitterly blamed for this man’s misfortune. Mike recognized, however, that the customer was simply feeling empty and unloved. In that condition, when something went wrong, he felt even more powerless than usual, which in the absence of Real Love was quite intolerable. Mike recognized that this man lashed out at us only because it enabled him to briefly regain some feeling of power.

Mike recognized that the customer’s anger was not about a few dollars or a few minutes’ inconvenience, but that it was all about the lack of Real Love in his life. For that reason, he knew that to argue with the man—or to point out that the customer has been entirely wrong in his application of the directions—would be fruitless for everyone.

So with that understanding, Mike called the customer at home, and the man immediately launched into a diatribe about our incompetence and his desire to have nothing to do with us again. Mike waited for the customer to express himself for a time and then said, “I know this must be very frustrating for you. Sure, you spent money on the download, but that wasn’t all of it. You had your hopes set on everything working right and being able to listen to what you’d ordered. So I understand how this is a big disappointment.”

Immediately Mike had expressed an understanding of the customer’s feelings—and an acceptance of them—which is a big part of unconditional love. The man became quiet. He wanted to hear more.

“All I can say,” Mike said, “is that the instructions for downloading the audio book—which I wrote—must not have been clear enough. So can I help you with that? Can I walk you through the process step by step so you can have access to the recording right now?”

Mike walked the customer through the process, and within three minutes, the audio book was functioning on the man’s computer.

Later that day, Mike received an email from the customer, who confessed that after Mike had helped him, he recognized that he had not followed the instructions he had originally received. He also said that he was so impressed with the service he had received that he wanted to order the Platinum Membership in RealLove.com, which is the highest level of membership.

We all want to feel loved, and if we don’t have that feeling, we will react badly to whatever situation we’re in. When we can remember that the people around us all have this need, we can often work miracles in helping them with whatever problems face them. I must emphasize that Mike’s intent was genuinely to help this customer feel cared for, not to win him over as a paying customer. If we help people with an expectation of some reward for ourselves, they will sense our selfish agenda, and they will not feel loved.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 9, 2007 6:35 AM.

The previous post in this blog was The Broken Leg.

The next post in this blog is Preparation is Much Easier than Repair.

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