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Building customer loyalty comes down to one thing: Delighting customers. As I discussed in my last blog, we begin to delight customers by The Golden Rule: treat others the way you want to be treated.
At the re:member group, we know that a systematic approach to building customer loyalty works. Our Dealership programs yield an increase of service revenue by as much as 39 percent among Members and have increased sales by 7.5 percent. But I’ll be the first to admit that our Loyalty Marketing Solutions are simply a tool, and successful only in companies that are dedicated to building customer loyalty by treating customers the way they want to be treated.
This starts with hiring the right people. This is so important, it bears repeating: If you want to build customer loyalty, hire the right people. Your staff has the power to earn the enthusiastic loyalty of your customers by creating economically rational ways to delight them. Delighting customers means putting kindness and intelligence into action. Quite often, a customer is delighted by something small that doesn’t cost a great deal of money—for example Bonus Points, or a spontaneous offer to wash the customer’s car or print discount coupons to the restaurant down the street.
You can’t script or incentivize employees to delight customers, however. Doing so makes the gesture mechanical, and defeats its purpose. At the same time, scripting or incentivizing shouldn’t be necessary if you have the right people. If you have hired the right people, they come to work motivated to delight customers. In short, you don’t need to pay them extra to delight a customer, because they already see it as part of their job.
One sales person we know is stuck in the sixties, still using expressions like “right on” and “groovy.” But he makes such an impression on his customers, they write him notes telling him they love their “groovy new car.”
Let’s face it. Companies aren’t equipped to train core values. Our parents either did, or didn’t, do that a long time ago. Companies are equipped to hire the right people, though—those that have an inner desire to delight customers. Companies are also equipped to give these people the opportunity to do it.
What are you doing to delight customers? If you’re an employer, are you hiring the right people? If you’re an employee, are you enriching the lives of your customers, and those you work for?