When you believe that customer loyalty is achievable, and you have a plan that is actionable, then losing your best customer is avoidable. That’s the win-win practice. When you believe otherwise, your business bears the burden of constant turnover. That’s the lose-lose practice.
The turnover strategy is terribly exhausting and requires the biggest investment of money. The loyalty strategy is wonderfully rewarding and requires the biggest investment of effort. You can champion turnover by championing loyalty.
Last week I asked you to make one list of the businesses you have deserted. I suspect you broke up with them for something they did not do (that was expected and unfulfilled) or over something they did do (that was unexpected and unwelcome). In either case, you were disappointed (and maybe even ticked off).
Like your personal experience, customers will stick or kick for a reason. The pivot from client to shopper is short – but not sweet.
Upon reflection, wasn’t it preferable for you to stick around than to shop around? Perhaps now you can empathize with your best client who chose to bail after the sale and is now somebody else’s bestie. It is less stressful and more satisfying to stay with the business you’ve come to love.
Now back to your business. I believe the real question you should be asking is, who deserted who? I’ll bust your bubble and confirm that you are largely responsible for the breakup! I bet you worked very hard to make the sale. Did you work as hard to keep it?
Things start falling apart when we are pride-filled at closing a sale. Too many of us take a victory lap and consider it closed, literally.
When we believe in loyalty, though, our actions flip from closing sales to opening them. We can significantly reduce turnover. Opening a sale means the victory lap never ends.
My premise? The decay in customer loyalty is a result of the decay in customer service. Is your business plagued by low loyalty? Start embracing this upside-down reality: You (the business) will always owe them (the customer) more than they owe you.
To put loyalty back in business, here are five reality checks that must reframe your business plan:
- Customers owe you final payment and not a second purchase.
- Merely completing the transaction flawlessly is not enough.
- ‘Good Customer Service’ is an empty promise.
- Customers desert you after they have been deserted by you.
- Giving loyalty must come before getting loyalty.
Next week we’ll analyze the other list you made; the list of businesses you love and would never leave. What are they giving you – that you love receiving?
Stuart Cohen, Chief Motivation Officer at StuartLloydCohen.com
If you can think big, Stuart will help you do big! An accomplished 28-year travel industry executive turned serial solopreneur, Stuart is a creator of brands and an energizing motivational speaker. He motivates & maximizes personal performance in leadership, entrepreneurship, salesmanship & wellness.