Why a Customer Loyalty Strategy is the Most Important Strategy
Welcome to February 2011 and all that this year holds!
Customers are increasingly turning to the digital world as their prevailing—rather their competitive—solution to getting things done. But how should businesses respond, particularly those that are engaged in non-digital services, and what are the best ways for companies to become market leaders using digital technology?
Here are a few suggestions for building strong customer loyalty.
• Job one is to learn more about your customers than you have ever known before. This knowledge should be centrally located so that it is available to all of your employees when they need it. It should not reside solely on the desktops of the sales and marketing staff, but be freely shared throughout your organization.
• Customers should be able to expect you to know their needs intimately and be able to provide on-the-spot recommendations to them when needed. Nothing builds higher trust than when a customer facing a major problem turns to its partner-vendor who quickly offers a solution and delivers it on or before its expected due date.
• Customers are bombarded with ever-greater amounts of information and they need a way to filter it. If your company spends the necessary time combing through the best ways to organize and manage that information, you will end up with a greater level of customer appreciation than the company that has no idea of where to begin.
• As time passes and more loyalty is built among your customers, it should become second nature to look for ways to engage the customer in meaningful discussions about their problems. You should become their go-to-company. What’s interesting is you might not need to be the techno-giant that many claim as a necessary ingredient.
Although in every day practice the more you understand and can use digital tools the better, it is unlikely that will be the primary reason a customer stays with you. This should give you enough time to become an expert in digital marketing as you assess what resources your customers are interacting with the most to solve their business problems.
Tom Marin is the president of MarketCues, a national consulting firm. Tom serves as a senior advisor and change-management consultant with 35 years of experience. He has worked for some of the world’s largest corporations, as well as middle-market firms. Tom's focus is to plan and drive strategy shifts and strategic growth programs in the printing industry and a diverse range of market areas.