Over the past few years, it has been beat into our heads that we need to look for customers who are loyal to our company. Everyone wants to work with these type of people because they feel a sense of belonging to a company and they come back each year and buy our products and services.
Many companies work at being loyal to their customers by instituting loyalty programs and reviewing their account activity and keeping in touch with them on a regular basis.
Loyalty is a good quality to achieve.
My quesiton, Is it enough today? Can companies put processes in place to keep customers loyal to their brand offerings?
My answer is No!!! Let Me explain.
Loyalty is old school. Today, the customer is in control and is much smarter. Loyalty may still exist with some of your customers, but there is a better option to look at.
Be PROACTIVE! – Make Things Happen! Don’t Wait
Let me give you an example.
Our company has been working with a particular vendor for over 30 years and this vendor has worked hard to maintain loyalty. However, as personnel has changed so has this company’s position with respect to loyalty. This vendor always pointed out past accomplishments over the years and continues to bring up examples of how we have achieved success in the past.
This may sound ok, but today, the economy and technology are changing and the vendor, mentioned above is not changing fast enough to insure loyalty with its customers . As a result this vendor is finding it hard to be proactive and sadly, is relying on past succesess as a way to obtain loyalty.
This is the difference between loyalty and being proactive. Today, as our company adds new clients and vendors, I continue to evaluate ways we can be more proactive. Loyalty is a product of being proactive. In the past, it was not uncommon for companies to maintain long-standing relationships. Today, it is much, much harder.
Over the past couple of years, I have really seen this topic come to light. Customers have so much information at their finger-tips. Customers’ want to receive answers to their questions. They want to work with the best companies that they can afford. They expect great service. They expect great quality products and service.
As a result, customers are defining what loyalty is in their eyes. This should be the biggest wakeup call for companies. If your company is not proactive, it is reactive and we know what happens when companies operate from a reactive point of view.
Understand, loyalty is now defined by customers. The only choice companies have is whether to operate proactively or reactively.
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