Developing Professional Relationships and Reputations
These days, with cancel culture running amuck, customer loyalty is the number one way to increase your brand’s value; the idea of building a stable business at scale by fostering loyalty through repeat buyers (AKA- your most valuable customers).
At Big Red Dog Marketing, we are big believers in loyalty from our trusted companions. Not just brand loyalty (which I would argue is minimized by the 24 / 7 news media), but loyalty by developing professional relationships with our customers.
- The core customer base
- The core employees (business partner)
- Contractors or vendors (banking, payroll company, payment processing)
Can you identify who your core customers are? Core employees? If not, read this blog to help you learn more.
Customer Loyalty- What is it?
Customer loyalty is a measure of how likely it is that your customer will do repeat business with you. To build loyalty, it is essential to be more than just a service or a product, but rather a source of truth for your customers. The ROI for building loyalty is that you can count on your employees or your core customer because you know them and how they will react.
Yes, customer loyalty takes time, but it also saves money. Loyal customers will return to spend more money with your company, which is a much cheaper solution than acquiring new ones (saving both time and money)! Ask yourself this, what’s the cost to replace your most valued employee or best customer? How much time and energy would it take to replace that individual or business relationship? As Zig Ziglar says, “The healthiest of all human emotions is gratitude.” These days …wouldn’t you agree the world needs to show a little more love and gratitude towards each other?
So how do you build loyalty for your business?
The first step to building loyalty is to get to know your people and define their likes and dislikes. Think of it as a “first date” in your ongoing relationship. Ask the right questions to get to know them on a personal level.
- Favorite sports team
- Hamburger or hot dog person? (You’d be surprised how breaking bread with someone helps form a good relationship)
- When is their birthday? NEVER miss it.
- Are they married? If so, when is their anniversary? (Side note: On several occasions, I have asked about anniversary plans when talking with a customer and saved their “bacon” because they didn’t remember)
- Favorite beverage after a hard day? Coke / Pepsi/ wine / bourbon?
- Who is their ideal client, and what is the best method to introduce them to that prospect?
Think about ways to reward your customer for their love of your company and show them some gratitude. From Starbucks loyalty cards to frequent flier miles, rewarding your customer base is not a new concept. By showing them appreciation through discounts, small gifts, and tokens of thanks, you build trust and increase satisfaction one small trinket at a time.
Creating customer loyalty is also built on the foundational idea of being the absolute best at what you do…developing a brand and business that is easy to love and come back to over and over and over again. Through providing quality work, listening to customer feedback, and creating a positive working relationship/experience, you are building customer loyalty by being a great business partner. Let’s face it, that just makes sense. By valuing your customer’s time, treating them as an actual person, and listening to their needs/wants, you are focusing on better understanding their experience.
Happy Customer = More Money Spent
Customer loyalty is directly related to customer satisfaction. The happier the customer, the more likely they will spend money and do it again down the road. Validating a customer by listening and being active in the relationship is by far the best way to build loyalty. By being proactive and showing them their worth, you can create a loyalty strategy that is easy and effective.