I can’t imagine any business owner saying that satisfied customers were not a priority.
To use a term, I borrowed from Daniel Pink, I’d like to “flip” your thinking. Instead of thinking that your goal is a satisfied customer, start thinking a satisfied customer is just the beginning. A customer should never be anything other than satisfied; so, what should the goal be?
First, let’s examine the behavior of a satisfied customer. They make a purchase and receive what they paid for; they are satisfied. The next time they need your products or service they may come to you again, or they may go to a place that is more convenient or try something different just because it came along. They are not loyal, just satisfied. Satisfaction doesn’t guarantee you their business; convenience and price will dictate their future business. We see this behavior in the grocery business: shoppers go where the sales are. It’s either convenience or price unless they are loyal.
So, customer loyalty is what we are striving for. Whole Foods is a great example in the grocery industry of a brand people are loyal to. Those who shop Whole Foods are diehards and brand advocates. They drive across town; they pay more and best of all they tell all their friends. But they don’t do this solely for good products and service. They feel the products are superior and they can relate to the people and they are treated very well. Not everyone loves Whole Foods, but their target audience does.
A goal for businesses is to cultivate loyal customers. Below are six ways to turn your target audience into a loyal following.
6 Ways to Go from Satisfied to Loyal
1. Go from good to great.
Doing a good job just isn’t enough. Your minimum should be great. What would you have to change to make sure you are always delivering at the level of greatness?
2. Create the “Wow” factor.
Go beyond expectations and prompt customers to say, “Wow, I can’t believe it.” Wells Fargo and Zappos both strive for legendary in competitive industries.
3. Be genuinely nice.
Greet people on the phone and in person with enthusiasm and always a smile. A culture that supports happy employees and putting the customer first will enforce a genuine environment.
4. Take time.
Take a little extra time to get to know your customers. This opens a myriad of opportunities- think birthday recognition or promotions for loyal customers. How would you do this at your company?
5. Say thank you.
At a minimum thank your customers once a year. This could be when they onboard, with an annual appreciation party or with notes and small gifts. Express that they are important. What can you do to thank your customers?
6. Ask for feedback.
Your customers know best; so periodically survey them on how you are doing and how you can improve.
Meet with your sales team today and brainstorm on how to foster satisfied customers into loyal customers. Loyal customers will take your company to the next level because of their long-term patronage, and willingness to tell everyone about you.