No Obligation…

As human beings, we seem to be born with a need to “give back” to others. We want to keep the balance of obligations even in our relationships.

Even a very young baby will smile back if you smile at her.

Later, we give to friends more readily when we get from them. Holiday cards, dinner invites, tips on where to save money on office supplies.

We may help colleagues out when they’re behind out of the goodness of our hearts, yet find that they reciprocate as quickly as possible to even the score. At home, our children’s playdates flip back and forth between our house and theirs, or one may feel put out and the other may feel beholden.

Send no money now. No obligation.

When your company gives to me, a potential customer, you claim there’s no obligation but I feel it anyway.


The more detached and anonymous the interaction, the more you’re right.

What’s the answer for your small business?

If you want to create Maximum Customer Experience, think small. Do it sincerely, out of the goodness of your heart. Even a larger business can keep interactions warm and personal, to create a connection with me. Maybe your offer is no obligation, like those holiday cards. Still, Mrs. Jones suddenly felt the need to send a card back to you, didn’t she?

  • Give literally, with samples
  • Give figuratively, with advice
  • Give constantly, with caring, attentive service
  • Give generously, keeping the customer’s needs central to the interaction

The way you treat your customers every day can deliver an Experience that makes them feel connected to you, so that your relationship is not “no obligation” after all.

When a business owner or employee stops to give to you—what changes?

How do you make use of that irresistible urge to give right back, in your own business?

Have you found the hamburger yet?


Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson