Earning Customer Loyalty
Earning Customer Loyalty
Posted by Adam Hayes
Truly caring about your customers is the real key to earning customer loyalty.
I recently read this blog on "The Easiest Way On Earth To Earn Fierce Customer Loyalty. And It's Free." I thought his list was pretty good for earning customer loyalty:
- following-up before they can
- calling to ask how things went after an event
- sending a note of appreciation
- telling them how much you value their business
- asking for input before it’s offered
- predicting their next need
- admitting guilt when you’re guilty
- delivering bad news before they even notice it
Now although these are good ideas, we've all learned that just "going through the motions" doesn't really win anyone's loyalty. It is the why that is important, not the how. Truly caring about whether your customers have a good experience will lead to these things and many more. Caring will push you to go the "extra mile" and find the exact thing that will influence that specific customer.
Here are two different cases that should make my point. I know a gentleman that works in auto parts. Every time someone enters his store, he is determined to help that person with whatever problem they are having. It doesn't matter if it is a new customer or an old customer. It doesn't matter if there are 20 people in the store or just one (he always makes them feel like they have his full and undivided attention to the details of their problem.) It doesn't matter if the part costs $1,500.00 or $0.33. It doesn't matter if the only part that they need is located thousands of miles away. He will find it and order it in for the person. He is relentless. There is no such thing as defeat. I've seen his call hundreds of "sources" looking for that rare part, and I've never seen him fail.
The second case is a general manager that got thrown into a new restaurant to "train" the new manager. She hates it. When customers or employees complain, her response is always the same, "!*$#^ them". Nobody likes working with her. Nobody wants to work during her shifts. Nobody cares.
We must start realizing that the desire to please the customer and help them with their individual problem is the key to customer loyalty (instead of some simple checklist we go through so that we can get more sales). Customer loyalty begins with our showing that we have a desire to help them overcome any problem in our area of expertise.
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