Another Key to Winning Customer Loyalty

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By: JoAnna Brandi |

Posted on June 9, 2023

Customer Loyalty is about building long- term (sometimes lifelong) relationships.

Just as in relationships between friends or family members, the qualities that matter most are those having to do with trust, respect, understanding, appreciation, open and honest communication ... and often, kindness.

Notice I've said nothing about making sales!

In good relationships, we keep our promises, we listen actively, we respect the other person's opinion, and we pay attention. We do our best to meet, exceed, and even anticipate the other's needs. We should always be listening with all our senses.

Relationships by their very nature are always changing. They are fluid, flowing, and organic. Good relationships involve give and take; assessment and reassessment; the ability to step back and look at how we're doing and correct our course when necessary.

Long-term customer relationships evolve as customers come to know they can trust us to have their needs at heart and to respond accordingly.

Ask yourself ... Am I working to build positive, long-term relationships with  all the people I serve?

Relationships ... IN ACTION!

Try this exercise with your co-workers:

  1. As a group, walk around the room and greet each other as if the people really don't matter. Take on an attitude of indifference. Do this for three minutes.
  2. Next, walk around the room a second time - this time greeting each other as if you were long lost friends. Do this for three minutes as well.
  3. Conclude with a discussion about the two experiences. What were the differences in how you felt and how you behaved? How can you use the results of this exercise to enhance the customer service you offer?

We all know a lot about relationships, right?

Send an e-mail to your colleagues asking them to identify what they feel are the most important qualities of relationships - those qualities that, when missing, damage the relationship.

  1. List their responses (things like respect, honesty, trust, understanding, etc.) down the left side of a piece of paper.
  2. Then draw two columns to the right of your list. Label one “Support” and the other “Erode.” Next to each quality you've listed, write the things you do in your business to support that quality and the things you do that may erode it.
  3. Use this information to guide your behavior - do more of the “support” stuff and less of the “erode.”

Make a list of specific relationships that matter in your business.

Yes, put customer names at the top of that list. But also list other people and organizations whose relationships are important to your success. Next to each name write down one thing you’ve done in the last month to strengthen that relationship. Did you end up with some names that have nothing next to them? Think of something to do to build those relationships.

“Relationship is everything. Everything is relationship.” R. Buckminster Fuller  

Editor’s Note:

JoAnna Brandi has been speaking, writing, and consulting on customer care and helping brands create lifetime customer loyalty for over 30 years. She brings a fresh perspective to Customer Experience with practical tips to help marketers transform their CX. JoAnna is a Certified Happiness Officer and Coach. You can find her at https://returnonhappiness.com/ and https://Positiveenergizer.com. She is the author of two books on Customer Loyalty and the illustrated gift book “54 Ways to Stay Positive in a Changing, Challenging and Sometimes Negative World”.