Human-beings are social animals we like to connect; we demonstrate our connection by being faithful to a person, a group, a country or a product. Faithfulness or loyalty creates a sense of identity or belonging; a mutual exchange with another person or product etc. Why are you loyal to your friends and colleagues?
Think about what your friends and colleagues had to do to gain your loyalty?
· Did your friends and colleague gain your trust or respect?
· Did they entertain you?
· Did they teach you something
Although the Customer Loyalty Organisation http://www.customerloyalty.org/ said “Customer loyalty is all about attracting the right customer, getting them to buy, buy often, buy in higher quantities and bring you even more customers”; there is a step before.
Creating customer loyalty is no different to the relations you develop with your loyal friends and colleagues. In order to motivate your customers to buy from you repeatedly, you need to do something which engages their attention, gains their trust, perhaps entertains and/or teaches them! Understand:
· Why a customer would want to be loyal to you, what engages them?
· What are their motivations and their expectations, pleasure and pain?
· What is the exchange, because it is not a one way street, what do you need to give consistently to get their custom?
Shep Hyken said in his article ‘to get loyalty…you must first be loyal’, he says how marketing and sales promotions make customers disloyal; “What is with companies that create a promotion with special pricing for their new customers, but don’t take care of their loyal customers? I know, this is marketing and sales, but it’s not a good practice. It can make a loyal customer become disloyal”. http://bit.ly/JRG6BJ
It is important to acknowledge that loyal long term customers have a high lifetime value to your business so it is worth taking the time to understand their motivations and expectations to offer a better product and/or service and to engaging them better to sell more, more often, for longer, at a higher value.
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Janice B Gordon: The Problem Solver Business Growth Consultant, Mentor, Speaker and Author. Business Evolution – Creating Growth in a Rapidly Changing World will give you the guidance you need to evolve you and your business and exceed your customers wants and needs.