There’s a huge difference between loyal customers and repeat customers. Just as there’s a huge difference between long-term employees and truly loyal employees.
And just one of those important differences is that truly loyal customers won’t be easily swayed to switch alliances based on price alone. A loyal customer or client will be so passionate about doing business with you or your company (and there may be a difference in their mind!) that they not only will become raving advocates of your business, they are not easily (if at all) swayed to jump ship.
And certainly, they won’t jump ship just to save a few bucks.
Return customers, however, don’t necessarily get to sit at the loyalty table.
A repeat customer hasn’t necessarily developed an emotional connection to your organization. They don’t necessarily tell everyone and everyone’s dog about how fabulous you are to work with. In fact, they might only be repeat customers simply because they are too lazy to go elsewhere!
But can they be lured away with a sale or special coupon or when a competitor’s business opens up shop ten minutes closer to their home? If the answer’s yes, then they aren’t as loyal as you need them to be!
Ditto for employees.
Never make the mistake for assuming a long term employee is loyal. They might be long term because of inertia. They might be long term because no one else will hire them – for now!
But what are they really saying about your workplace?Are they raving fans that are truly proud to work there, or on their off-hours are they warning their own family members to never apply for work at your company? Are they discouraging their friends from doing business with you? Can they be easily lured away when another prospective employer offers them a few more bucks?
If you want truly loyal customers, then it helps to have truly loyal employees (and vice versa!)
And to foster loyal employees and loyal customers you need to nurture a great, inspiring, innovative and fun workplace culture!
You need to value humor, diversity, creativity and service.
You need to build the kind of business where people really do feel valued, trusted and respected.
Workplace culture drives success, and a successful, inspiring culture generates the kind of loyalty that even money can’t always buy.
Copyright Michael Kerr, 2011 www.mikekerr.com
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