Earning customer loyalty goes beyond just providing great customer loyalty programs. It means understanding what customers want and providing that. Whenever possible, it’s idea for customer loyalty to also give added value. But it’s only added value when your customer feels it is. How much money you spend to provide it has nothing to do with its value.
While customer loyalty programs are popular with all customers, they are effective only if the basics are covered first, i.e. you must provide what your customer buys from you. Moreover, it must meet their expectations and your customer must know that you are delivering. This is difficult with services because they only become tangible when something happens. Below are 3 examples of earning customer loyalty by creating added value.
Have you ever lost data, i.e. your information, from a virus attack? Did you have a good backup that was safe? Or did you suffer the pain and frustration of having weeks or months of work lost instantaneously? Fifteen years ago, I loaded a file from my company’s headquarters. It contained a virus that wiped out my data and ruined the hard drive. Suddenly virus protection software became an invaluable asset to prevent losing all that work ever again.
Thus, periodic reports from McAfee that they just uploaded the latest update to their anti-virus software provide peace of mind and reassurance that they are on the job providing protection to my programs. McAfee gives you the first example of earning customer loyalty by creating added value through their notices of updates. It works for them because McAfee gets automatic renewals for their software every year.
A second company that does a great job of reminding you how well they are doing at protecting you is Akismet. If you have a blog, you probably have Akismet’s plugin to protect you from spam.
It would be delightful to have as many people actually leave comments to your blog posts as you get from spammers. They have clever comments that play to your ego. But their comments are designed to apply equally well to hundreds of thousands of blogs just so they can get traffic, not to add value with a real discussion.
Akismet too provides notice that they are on the job. If you have a WordPress.org blog on your own hosting company, you can find a notice in the upper left section of your WordPress Dashboard that tells you how many spam messages they have saved you from.
Most Internet marketers who are bloggers wouldn’t be without Akismet’s protection. As it is a service that operates in the background automatically, you might forget about them. They too are earning customer loyalty by creating added value with these little reminders of their protection.
For a third example, at Falcon International Computer Services, a brick and mortar small business, we did printer maintenance for manufacturers in Cd. Juárez. Printer maintenance too is an intangible. People think about it when a printer goes down that they rely on. Otherwise, it appears to be just another expense.
There were four things we did to create added value.
In “How I Earned Customer Loyalty by Creating Added Value” on the Yahoo! Contributor Network, you will find more detail on the four steps we took to keep customers aware that we were working for them. You can use a similar thought process that created these activities to provide added value to your customers.
Creating added value comes from a mindset of truly wanting to serve your customers. Whatever you come up with is only valuable if your customer thinks it is. In the case of intangible services, look for ways to make them tangible, like reports.
The examples above are just three ways to create added value so as to develop customer loyalty. If you would like to really kick your business profits to the next level by improving your customer loyalty, get your copy of my interview of Gina Gaudio-Graves, The JV Queen. Gina talks about “How Can You Use Customer Loyalty Programs to Grow Profits?” She covered six different kinds of customer loyalty programs. She also mentioned five things that will enable you to build a profitable business.
My first Kindle eBook, How Relationship Selling Rewards Small Businesses, went live on April 24, 2012. Until June 11t, 2012, it is available at its introductory rate of $.99. I've lived a lifetime of service and spiritual search so it's natural for me to incorporate these attitudes into my work. I believe that selling and marketing are spiritual service when done with a heart-centered, relationship selling approach. All of business success comes down to building strong relationships.
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