An article from JoAnna Brandi
One of my favorite “JoAnna-isms” is “If you’re not getter better you cease being good.”
So today the element of loyalty I want to share with you today is the element of Learning.
As of today the amount of info in the world doubles every two years!! I'm simply astounded by how fast the world is moving, and how much more we need to know each day just to keep on top of things.
And so it is with your customers - their needs change every day in response to the world they live in. If you want to earn their loyalty, you had better be continually learning, evolving, and changing, too.
I like to think of learning as making space for a new way of seeing the world. How do you think of it? As an adventure? A discovery? A challenge? A game? A task?
However you see it, continual learning is critical in our fast-forward world if you want to get ahead and stay ahead. London Business School Professor Gary Hamel once said, “In a time of accelerating change we are getting stupider by the moment.” That could be a problem!
Get into a learning relationship with your customers; ask them to tell you more about what you need to do to keep them happy, loyal, and coming back.
Embrace learning as a way of living. Get passionate about it!
Let’s take a look at ways to put the element of Learning into Action!
Most customers tell us what they want if only we'd listen. Keep a running list of things that customers ask for. Put the words WISH LIST at the top. Every time you hear a customer use the words “I wish ..,” “If only ..,” “I’m interested in … ,” “Why don't you ... ,” or “XYZ Company does it,” write down what follows those words. This goes for those of you who get emails or monitor customer portals. Many people GET this intel but don’t capture it!
Share your list monthly with coworkers. Encourage them to create their own lists. Use your lists to look for emerging trends, opportunities, and new ideas for products and services. The boss will think you're brilliant! The customers will appreciate you keeping a step ahead of them!
Create opportunities for gathering feedback from customers. I’m sure you are monitoring social media for customer comments. You can also let them give you feedback on your website. Send surveys by mail or email. Send a postcard or email immediately after a transaction to ask what could have been better. Install a dedicated telephone feedback line that goes directly to a senior manager's voice mailbox. Host customer luncheons or zoom meetings where you ask for their opinions.
Embrace complaints and learn to accept them graciously and constructively. And remember to thank and reward customers for their input.
None of these things seem to be in the realm of your job description? Then simply incorporate a few questions into your internal dialogue, like: How could I do this better (or faster or more effectively)? or How did I add value today?
Ask customers questions, like: “What else could I have done to make your experience today more pleasant?” or “If there was one thing, we could have done today to make your experience with us better, what would that be?”
Create (or update) your personal resource library – it’s so easy today! Collect books, podcasts, audios and videos on customer-keeping techniques and professional skills. Ask others for reviews of related books they've read and share the information at periodic “lunch-and-learn” seminars. Start a customer-service book club to help everyone get on the “same page.”
Ask yourself... Have I embraced ongoing learning as an important part of my customer care strategy?
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”.