Thursday, February 2, 2017

Loyal Customers Must Be Earned

There has been a significant amount of discussion in the area of customer loyalty. Much time and effort is being focused not just on attracting customers but, converting them into ambassadors and promoters of your brand. In retail and SaaS, this is very important as repeat customers represent a significant amount of their business.

I was discussing this issue with colleagues recently. It led me to think about this more deeply. On a personal level, I began to focus on how brands won me over. I consider myself a savvy consumer so converting me is not easy.

Regardless of the product, market share, or industry, three factors were present with each brand. 

Trust Now more than ever, customers are spending their money with brands they trust.
These brands may share your moral or ethical principles. Most often, a brand has built a reputation over time that consumers have come to trust. With social media, brands have embraced transparency and direct contact with customers and consumers. This approach can be seen as personal. The result is a connected and informed customer.

Quality Let’s face it, no one enjoys wasting money on poor, inferior products or services. Quality therefore is a determining factor in purchasing goods. 

Philip Crosby offered a great quote about quality. “Quality is the result of a carefully constructed cultural environment. It has to be the fabric of the organization, not part of the fabric.” This suggest a company is focused on long term success with an eye on meeting consumer needs. Studies have shown that customers are willing to pay more for quality products and remain loyal to a specific brand. Quality therefore encourages loyalty and contributes greatly to increased sales and revenue. It’s a win-win situation for everyone! 

Service It's been said that when all things are equal, great service makes the difference between competing companies. Great service can cover a multitude of problems. Over the years, I have witnessed it many time. 

Of all the factors that lead to loyal, fanatical customers, customer service is the best indicator. Satisfied customers are an indication of potential ambassadors! 

Currently the Manager of Support and Product at Framework Homeownership, I have over 15 years of progressive call center leadership and experience in the public, private and government sectors. 

I have led or consulted contact centers of various sizes across numerous industries and environments including sales, BPO, and SaaS to name a few. Additionally, I’ve implemented new technology and products, while maintaining award-winning contact centers.

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