In his book, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless: Customer Loyalty is Priceless, Jeffrey Gitomer said, “Satisfaction is no longer the acceptable measurement of customer service success”. This is the reality of business today: No matter how satisfied you think your customers are, you need to make an emotional connection and develop a long-term relationship, or that satisfaction is ultimately worthless. You customer loyalty program needs to be part of your overall strategic plan.
Great customer service is all about sending customers away happy and bringing them back for more. They need to be happy enough to pass along positive feedback about your business to others who may then try your product or service and hopefully become repeat customers themselves.
Customers will come back, with their family and friends, if:
- The experience at every touch point of the buying process was so strong that it left a mark on their memories.
- Your relationship with them is based on trust. You want your customers to seek your personal assistance, and be willing to pay for it.
- They feel you really care about their needs. Always put your customer’s interests and needs ahead of yours.
Here are some statistics that provide proof that emotional connections with customers matter:
- A typical dissatisfied customer will tell 6-10 people about their bad experience. A typical satisfied customer will tell only 1-2 people.
- It costs six times more to get a new customer than it does to keep an existing one.
- Of those customers who don’t return, 68% of them don’t because they experienced indifference from the company or an individual.
- About 7 out of 10 complaining customers will do business with you again if you resolve their complaint to their satisfaction.
- If you resolve a complaint on the spot, 95% of customers will do business with you again.
Pretty powerful stuff!
Ask yourself this question: On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely is it that your customers will recommend you to someone else?
If your answer is below seven, or you don’t know the answer, it is time to think about developing a customer loyalty strategy as part of your strategic plan and start creating the emotion in the experience with your business.
Howard Shore is a strategic planning consultant and founder of Activate Group Inc, based in Miami, Florida. His firm works with companies to deliver transformational management and business coaching to executive leadership. To learn more about strategic planning through AGI, please visit www.activategroupinc.com, contact Howard at (305) 722-7216 or email him.