Customer Loyalty as a Business Strategy

Customer Loyalty as a Business Strategy

Customer Satisfaction Is a Myth!

It’s become the mantra. “Customer satisfaction is the key to a successful organization.” “If you satisfy your customers, you’ll keep them for life.” I got news for you. Satisfaction means the gas pump works, the milk is fresh, the package arrives when they say it will, and the show starts on time. Guess what? The moment you don’t get what you want you become dissatisfied. Customer satisfaction is a moving target—and a very fickle one.

If your business does OK, and your customers are satisfied, then you probably think you’re set. Enjoy it while it lasts, but beware, in a world where rapid change is the norm, don’t be surprised if suddenly some start-up snatches your satisfied customers. It boils down to creating loyal customers. Satisfaction’s a no-brainer. Customers should always get what they want. You can get cabbage anywhere, but are you willing to drive across town for that head of cabbage? Loyal customers are, and they do it repetitively.

What’s the Difference?

Customer satisfaction stops at mediocrity. Customer loyalty means you create a distinctive personal and emotional experience for every customer—every time! That means “It’s—always—show time!” It’s making an emotional connection every time you see that customer. This not only motivates the customer; it motivates employees to perform at a creative and inspired level. The entire environment becomes electrified. It creates a sense of play. We are at our best when we play. Research shows that with play negative feelings evaporate. We like those we play with. We develop an urgent optimism. We tap into an essence that is ours alone. The outcome: we not only improve the quality of our service and product we also improve the quality of our own lives and the lives of our customers.

As a Business Strategy!

It starts with an effective and well thought out strategy. The mission and values reflect the vision, and they wrap around the organization’s purpose. It no longer rests upon frontline service providers—which is extremely naive to think so. It becomes the theme of the entire organization with the president and CEO carrying the banner. Every point of connection gives your customer the opportunity to make judgments about you and your business—from the parking lot, the restroom, layout, product, service, presentation, employees—everything! The only way to cover all bases is to create a customer loyalty strategy. Your strategic intention can and will pursue the creation and retention of loyal customers.

Reap the Benefits!

Fact: Organizations with higher levels of customer loyalty grow revenues at twice the rate.

Fact: 96% of customers who are not treated with respect simply decide never to come back. They keep their mouths shut because complaining just aggravates an already bad experience. 

Fact: A 1980’s Coca Cola survey revealed that 68% of your customers leave because they think you don’t care. Satisfaction doesn’t necessarily mean you care!

Fact: It costs five times more to get a new customer than to keep an existing one.

Fact: Many organizations promote short term profits sacrificing long-term sustainability.

Hire for and Develop Emotional Intelligence in Your People

Develop the strategic mindset to consistently exceed customer expectations and by following the advice of Maya Angelou, Carl W. Buehner, and many others,

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

Grant Stewart