The Credit Union’s Five Love Languages

Posted on Aug 1, 13 in Blog Financial

I’m a firm believer that most good relationships start with a series of events and move through a natural progression starting with…Awareness (of that person or service), moving towards Interest, then Desire (or attraction) and ultimately towards some form of Action. We have learned in both life and advertising that these phases sometimes take longer to move from attraction to action.

And some, unfortunately, never go anywhere.

Only a few actually develop into some form of commitment that might be considered “love”.

Whether love is in relating to life or business, the relationships that matter, once established, need to be nourished.

That’s where this concept of the love languages comes in. Let’s face it…members don’t stay in love unless they are nurtured. It really just doesn’t happen.

Gary Chapman wrote a book a few years back titled, The Five Love Languages. His book establishes the premise that we all respond to love differently and the more we understand about how the OTHER person responds, we have a higher likelihood of creating a lasting, positive relationship. It makes sense.

I’ve always heard this described as the Platinum Rule (which has overtaken the Golden Rule we all grew up with), “Do unto others as they would like to be done unto.”

Dr. Chapman’s book identifies these five styles as primary motivators for an individual’s affection and that each individual has a predisposed style of giving and receiving:

Words of Affirmation

Quality Time


Acts of Service

Physical Touch

If you are the type that likes to give expensive gifts, but the object of your affection prefers hand written poems espousing your love, the two of you may never connect at the deepest level. Because you are speaking two different languages!

I believe that a similar dynamic exists with member service (although the physical touch attribute may have to be modified). Members have different needs, wants and expectations.

But we often try to paint them all with the same broad brush.

We assume that all members want the lowest price (gifts). However, some may rather have quality time (consulting support/professional recommendations and advice) or a freebie (acts of service) from time to time.

Members would like to find a reason to connect with their providers. Life is more fun when you like the people you do business with. And even more fun when you love them…up to a point of course. There is also that Physical Touch thing. But that’s an entirely different posting, look for it soon, “But I was only expressing a love language”: The Rules of Sexual Harassment in a Business Setting.

If you haven’t explored this concept, please read more about it. See how you can use this approach to make your member relationships more meaningful.

And if you want to know more about the language of love for attracting new members, take a few lessons from The Bachelorette.

Everyone wants to feel as though they matter and that someone cares. When you begin learning and knowing your members on a deeper level and appealing to their desires, it will create better relationships between you both.

Mark DeBellis

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