According to author, Jeffrey Gitomer…”Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless” –
Apparently companies like Cosco understand the difference…They have been recognized as the leader in customer loyalty among warehouse retailers, rocketing from start-up to Fortune 50 status in less than 20 years, while spending next to nothing on advertising and marketing because of word of mouth referrals. They know that companies with the highest customer Loyalty typically grow at more than twice the rate of their competition. And, by Raising Customer retention rates by 5% it is possible to increase the value of an average customer by 25% to 100% (The Loyalty Effect, F. Reichheld, 2006). Rather than spending time trying to remember if you’ve ever seen a Cosco advertisement, lets talk behavior and why emotions matter in the customer experience.
Regardless of how high a company’s satisfaction levels may appear, satisfying Customers without creating an emotional connection with them has no real value. This should be a red flag issue, especially when you consider that it’s reported that 90 to 96% of customers won’t complain. They simply walk away. Emotions Matter…because customers and staff are always emotional, and in service industries because it is so personal and stressful, the emotions are more intense. A healthy way to view emotions is not as a problem But as the basis for forming relationships – This is how we develop Loyalty!
As a consultant who works with business organizations to help improve their performance. Our work often starts with a discussion about the vision of the company. If it’s written, you can usually find a statement about customers under glass on a conference room wall. It often goes something like this…” We believe Customer Satisfaction is our #1 Priority.” But when you ask people inside the organization what that statement really means and how it’s measured, the silence is often deafening. If the people in the organization don’t have a clear definition of what you mean by customer satisfaction, then how do they convey it to your customers?
I have come to the realization that “Customer Loyalty is all that matters,” especially when you define loyal customers as people who will do business with you again, tell others about you without hesitation, and refer people they care about to do business with you. Hugh McColl, referred to as the greatest banker of all time, founder of North Carolina National Bank, that ultimately became Bank of America had a simple philosophy: “I take care of my people, my people take care of my customers, my customers take care of my shareholders.” He never said, “I want to be the number one bank on the planet.” Loyalty is earned…it stems from actions that are taken and the words that are spoken by employees. It’s not just business as usual …
Today we’ll talk about shameless self-promotion. That’s right, I said it! Shameless! After all, we are learning from Paris Hilton here.
It’s all about self-promotion! Self-promotion comes in many forms and you can use different tactics to get your name out there. Look at politicians! Talk about self-promotion and in some not so discreet ways, at that. But, seriously, consider some of the major superstars we all know. Madonna, Donald Trump, Howard Stern and Bill Clinton, just to name a few.
We all self promote. Did you raise your hand in class to show the teacher you knew the answer? Of course! That’s self-promotion. This is the kind of self-promotion we are talking about. With dignity, class and the knowledge to back it up. If you self-promote only to prove you don’t really know what you’re talking about, you’re going to lose business.
Natural self-promoters are the former and I want to tell you about the three major traits they have and use to build themselves and their businesses.
- The first is position. You need to position yourself around people who can make a difference in your life. You need to do this frequently. You need to wake up every morning and ask yourself “Who can I meet today who will make a difference in my success?” In fact, go a step further, write it in big, bold letters and tape it on your bathroom mirror.
Who can help me meet my goals?
Is it a prospective customer/client? A colleague with contacts? An association with key members who may become prospects?
Don’t settle into interacting with the people who are the easiest to access. You need to reach outside your comfort zone and there you will find a wealth of new connections that will bring you great success.
- Now, let’s talk about Style. No, this doesn’t mean you need an Armani suit to bring in more business (though, let’s be honest-it wouldn’t hurt) J What this really means is how are you different from your competitors and others in your industry. What makes you memorable with customers?
If you are meeting a lot of people and they don’t remember you once you leave the room, you have a serious problem! This means you have an opportunity to present yourself in a more memorable way.
There are lots of little subtle changes you can make. Reassess your:
- Business cards
- Company message
- Your picture
- Your wording
Maybe even, your hairstyle (of course, now we’re back to the expensive suit, but it really works!)
You get the idea. There are lots of little ways you can work on making your image and business more successful. Also, consider how you sound on the phone and how you greet people at meetings or other events. Think about your 30-sec elevator speech.
- The third trait of natural promoters is repetition. You can’t say it once and leave it at that. Successful self-promoters say it as many times as they need until they get a response. Would you remember a commercial for Coca-Cola if you only saw it once, no! You see it over and over and eventually you head out to the store.
You, also, have to make multiple impressions on those you are networking with in order to build brand awareness. Repetition is in direct connection with positioning. Once you find people to network with, reach out and find hundreds more who can help in your success as well.