‘’Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you.’’ Chip Bell
Supposing you’re in the business of organizing corporate events, and your primary task is to register delegates to attend your events, wouldn’t it be great to have regular delegates, who don’t just attend your event every year, but also recommend your events to their friends and colleagues, and insist that they attend as well?
That’s what a loyal customer will do for you whether you’re in the events business, selling IT Solutions, or selling airline tickets.
Great businesses focus on building loyal customers.
Now the question is: How do you build customer loyalty?
Before we go ahead to answer that question, I want to share some ideas from business developers around the world about what customer loyalty means.
‘’Customer loyalty is a situation when a customer thinks about YOUR company whenever they need to purchase products or services that your company offers.’’ – Alex B, Business Intelligence
‘’Customer loyalty is about retaining customers and winning the trust (loyalty) of the customer.’’ – Filifilia
An interesting idea comes from Barbara, a Versatile Sales Specialist. She asks ‘’ Does customer loyalty still exist?’’
Many marketers are of the opinion that in order to build loyalty with customers, you need to do certain things. Like send cards on their birthdays, write hand-written notes, learn their names and the names of their family and friends (ok, maybe not friends).
All of these things are good and help in building a strong relationship with the customer, but they are not enough.
Mr. Tayo runs a small transportation business in Lagos. He runs his vehicle from Lagos Island to the mainland every weekday. He has several ‘’loyal customers’’ that he picks up at 5:30 pm every weekday, and drops off at their various bus stops on the mainland. He even knows his customers by name and sends birthday wishes via SMS.
However, he ran late for a few days. Instead of picking his customers at 5:30 pm as he normally does, he arrived at 5:45 pm, sometimes even as late as 6:00 pm. When he made this a habit, his once ‘’loyal customers’’ became just customers that he saw once in a while.
Now you can understand why Barbara asks if customer loyalty still exists.
How do you build customer loyalty? By being a business that the customer can rely on all the time. By keeping to your business promises all the time. By providing an awesome experience all the time. By being loyal to your customers.
Great businesses focus on building loyal customers by being a loyal business.
About the Author: Mason Frederick shares relevant knowledge that you can use to grow your career in marketing and build your small business. Follow him on twitter @MFC_CN