Whenever someone talks about customer loyalty, the first thing that comes to mind is “Loyal Customers”.
However, people forget that this is just one side of the coin.
The other side is “being loyal to your customers”.
It is so surprising to see that almost all organizations forget this and just focus all their energies on trying to increase the loyalty of their customers.
Just as trust is a two-way street, so is Loyalty. In fact, more so than trust.
How many times have we seen organizations give freebies & excellent offers to lure customers away from their competitors and not offer any of these to their existing customers. To add salt to injury, we stop listening to our existing customers (when I say listening, I mean acting on their feedback).
Slowly, organizations (mostly B2C) have started offering “Existing customers only” deals, retailers have starting offering “Sneak peak for Priority Club members only” days and some more.
However, this is also only one small part of the equation. We also need to listen and be loyal to our customers.
Here are a few ways that I think we can become more loyal to our customers, which in turn will prod them to continue to stay loyal with us:
- Say “Thank You” at least once a year. Do it with style and surprise them with a gift. Be a little imaginative and creative in finding different ways to gift them. Make this a ritual. This needs to be separate from the regular gifting and thanking seasons like Christmas, Thanks Giving or New Year. Thereby, your appreciation will be noticed as it will get complete attention.
- Use your customers products/services as much as possible, and if it makes business sense, explore bartering.
- Treat your customers with the same enthusiasm and flair that you treat your prospects. Do anything they ask for and a bit more. Compete for their repeat business, new business intensely. You will ensure that your competition does not get any opportunity to get in.
- Connect them to your other customers and promote their business whenever possible.
These are just a few things that you could do to show your loyalty to your customers. This will most likely solicit their loyalty to you as well.
This will go a long way in fostering mutual loyalty and long term success for your and your customers’ organizations.
I would love to know your thoughts on this topic. Do share your thoughts by commenting below or by tweeting your thoughts to me at @rmukeshgupta.
PS: Interesting take on Rethinking Customer Loyalty