Written by Sean McPheat |
Most companies agree that loyal customers are the lifeblood of their business.
Clients who return continuously to restock or re-purchase make it easy for companies to provide service and back-up because the effort needed to ensure satisfaction is minimal.
But how do we ensure this loyalty isn’t just short-lived?
What attitude do you as a salesperson and as a business need to exhibit to ensure that a loyal customer doesn’t become just a satisfied one and eventually an ex-customer?
There are essentially three components that make up a business operation that causes someone to be loyal, and the best companies ensure they go through these components to encourage more loyalty.
First, there’s Customer Service.
This is the operations part, doing the task well, achieving basically what the customer wanted.
It’s the minimal requirement to make sure the customer is satisfied and, essentially, it’s the lowest level the customer would expect.
They expect you to stock what they want and deliver it perfectly and on time.
That’s basic. If anything goes wrong, they expect redress quickly and efficiently.
In other words, it’s the base level of expectation a customer has and it only results in satisfaction.
Secondly, there’s Customer Relations.
This is the human part, the one-on-one actions, the things you or your company do to make things personal.
For some, this is an essential part of the interaction because they like to feel they are welcomed by the company they are buying from and that they mean more than just a number to them.
Relationships deepen the trust that companies and individuals experience, so it’s the second component that works towards loyalty.
There’s a third component that creates advocates of your business and encourages people to put the emphasis on returns rather than price, benefits rather than costs.
It’s Customer Development, and this is the sales and retention part that brings true satisfaction to every relationship.
What it entails is the improvement of the customer’s business through working with you. It means there are elements of the customer’s business that would fail if it wasn’t for you.
They get more profit, better productivity, greater peace of mind, or whatever the tangible and intangible benefits might be, simply by being your customer, your client.
These three components work synergistically together, harmonising the essence of what makes a great company attractive to its clients.
It’s only by creating the culture that provides these components on a consistent basis that you will see the returns in terms of loyalty, dependability and reliability.
Put the emphasis in your business on developing the relationship and the development of the customer’s business and you will quickly reap the rewards.
Originally published: 11 January, 2016