Customer Loyalty: How to Earn It is a commentary over at MediaPost. Guy Maser gives some simple and straightforward ideas to help you better serve your existing customer. The fundamentals often aren’t that complex. His suggestions are geared for a certain type of business, but his premise is applicable anywhere – do something for the benefit of your current customers.
I’d take it a step or two farther. What can you do for your customer today? How much of your time was spent working on tasks focused on revenue for you as opposed to experience for them? When was the last time you focused on figuring out what would “wow” your customer? Do you have a daily “to-do” task that focuses specifically on the customer?
Questions like these drive a set of behaviors that can benefit your customer and ultimately your business. Just picking up the phone and calling a customer can have a very positive impact as well as offering a chance to get first hand feedback. Reviewing message boards and comments, on your sites and sites related to your product can be very insightful, but also give you an opportunity to respond and learn. I found a comment in Mozilla’s Add-ons that warranted a reply, but Add-ons doesn’t offer a reply option. Fortunately, this member had an email address in his profile and I was able to reach him. I can’t vouch for this instance, but in the past, these extra steps have gone a long way.
Think of all the other touch points available through the Internet. What if some of the viral-video energy went into service videos? Pictures and text also works. I completely disassembled my laptop to fix a cracked solder joint and couldn’t believe the number of parts. I found a step-by-step guide, however, that allowed me to do it myself in about the amount of time it would have taken just to drive it to a repair shop. It was awesome.
We mention frequently the items we often include in our browser Booms! News feeds, RSS, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and more. These are all easy to implement touch points with your consumer. Some of these elements get the news to your customers as effectively and more timely than any email campaign can. You don’t even have to do the bulk of the communicating at sites that offer a dialogue. Listening goes a long way, but you will have to say something, just so your customers know you’re there.
The list can go on and on. There’s no one path to earning your customer’s loyalty, but it clearly requires pursuing some path.