Developing Customer Loyalty
According to a recent issue of American Demographics, “American consumers find themselves caught in the middle. They want to give loyalty, but no one’s earning it.” Jill Griffin, customer loyalty expert and author of Customer Loyalty: How to Earn It, How to Keep It suggests the following process for earning and maintaining customer loyalty—
Serve today’s buyer. Today’s buyer is smarter and more informed, and has also been trained to “want it his way.” While this saying was born out of the fast food industry, the expectation now spans all industries. Consumers are transferring expectations from one area into every aspect of their purchasing behavior.
Know the loyalty password. Know what your customers want and what they expect. How do your customers define value? What are their expectations? The best way to find this out is by listening. Customers are constantly telling you what they want. The key is listening and implementing those wishes.
Get in the mind of your prospect. Positioning your business in your
customer’s mind counts. Stand out from the crowd. Think of your product or
service on three levels: basic, expected and unanticipated.
Manage your customer “life cycle.” Customers move up the loyalty ladder in the following manner: suspect, prospect, customer, client and, finally, advocate. The business owner’s goal should be to move a “one-time customer” to a client (someone who buys a second time) and then to an advocate (someone who believes in and promotes your business to others).