Since 496 AD, love has been the centerpiece of Valentine’s Day. How can businesses show customers love in today’s economy? The answer is innovative service. It changes a customer’s feelings about the organization from pleased to thrilled.

Today, I am kicking off a blog series that will provide examples and techniques of innovative service to show your fondness for your customers, improve their customer experience and turn passively retained customers into active advocates for your brand or business.

Let’s start with three simple suggestions for making this possible:

All You Need is Love

With boldness and a forgiving attitude, reach out to angry customers and let them know you appreciate them. Learn from upset customers. Even if they have parted ways from you, thank them for their time with you. Some customers will be skeptical and distrustful but don’t let it deter you!

Authentic Caring

The late psychologist Carl Rogers claimed “unconditional positive regard” was the core substance of all healthy relationships. It means caring without an agenda, serving without an ulterior motive. Customers value wholesome relationships–encounters with all the con, ploy and gaminess completely stripped out.

Include Everyone

Give all of your customers a chance to become “your valentine,” rather than focusing on the best or newest of your clientele. Giving a valentine or valentine-like expression to customers who are not advocates just might transform the relationship from consumer to client, transaction acquaintance to partnership alliance.

Most customer relationships don’t end in conflict instead they “vanilla to death.” Neglect is more dangerous than strife; indifference is more costly than error. This Valentine’s Day, demonstrate your appreciation for your customers in new and innovative ways. Then, keep it going throughout the year!

Be sure to stop back every day now through Valentine’s Day for more tips and some great examples of innovative ways to express your affinity to your customers and build loyalty.