How to keep your customers I; Customer Loyalty

So, Customer Loyalty, what is it?

Customer loyalty, simply put, is turning your customers into lifetime customers. Customer loyalty is having a legacy of customers. This special set of customers persist with you through thick and thin, through the rainy day and through your business change processes. The best time to know your loyal customers is during a business change! A change of address, staff, business process, even the slightest price change — especially the slightest price change — become a test to your true customers.

Ways to Achieve Customer Loyalty

This sub-heading ‘Ways to achieve Customer Loyalty’ can be substituted for ‘Ways to keep your marriage’ and it would still do justice to the intended purpose of the sub-heading because getting and keeping a lifetime customer needs almost the same, if not the same, amount of effort you need in keeping your marriage partner. It takes hard-work and love. Yes, it takes love too. Your loyal customers become your business friends, they become your business soul mates and you cannot have someone you call a friend if you do not love that person or a soul mate if you do not put some effort into that person’s personal life. Ok, don’t get carried away David, this is not a relationship post! But why can’t it be? This brings me to No 1 way to achieve customer loyalty and by No 1, I mean the most important and first of ALL ways to achieve customer loyalty.

  1. Find out your boundaries: Every relationship has its boundaries; this does not exclude your business-customer relationship. Take yourself as an example and find out what boundaries you would set if you were in a business-customer relationship. What would be appropriate for a business to send to you or invite you for? You wouldn’t want your grocery store poking into your medical records, would you? And you certainly wouldn’t want your video game store poking into your grocery shopping list. It’s called Contextual Integrity. This simply means: let information needed by your doctor remain with your doctor and let information needed by your grocery store remain with your grocery store without any mixing up or what-not. If you’re interested in contextual integrity, you could search for this article on the web and read, it’s a very good read “Nissenbaum, Helen. “Privacy as contextual integrity.” L. Rev. 79 (2004): 119. Birthday wishes, for example, are one of the easiest and most effective business — customer relationship moves (yes I used the word ‘moves’ because you gotta make moves) you can make as a business; a move that cuts across all boundaries. Which takes us to our next business — customer relationship point.
  2. Make moves: After finding out your business boundaries. Like I said, these business boundaries are discovered by using yourself as an example, taking in context your kind of business also. The keyword here is ‘yourself’ because whatever you wouldn’t like a business to do to you, most people won’t like your business to do to them neither. Again, after finding out your boundaries, make your moves! Send the birthday wishes, one of your customers just got engaged or married, send a best wishes card via email or mail, whichever, make that move! A customer just lost a relative or someone close to them and you find out, say something! Your customer is your friend! Become their friends on every social media platform possible. Know what’s going on in their lives and make your moves; but if something happens in their life and it is in the no-go area of your boundary lines, do not respond! I repeat, DO NOT RESPOND! Customer loyalty takes a lifetime to achieve but takes a second to destroy.

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