Building loyalty

Building loyalty

Chandlee, Kim

It’s been written many times in the business press that loyalty is hard to come by these days. It’s true. New ways of doing business has indeed strained relationships between employee and empl oyer, merchant and customer. Recently, I had the pleasure of researching the topic of customer satisfaction and came upon a resource worth mentioning.

The resource is a wonderful book by Jill Griffin entitled Customer Loyalty: How to Earn It, How to Keep It. Published by Jossey-Bass Publishers, Business and Management Series, San Francisco, this lively book is full of wisdom on a subject that any business person can gain from exploring. “To maintain a dependable clientele and curtail the expense of wooing new customers, businesses must go beyond their usual concerns about customer satisfaction and take steps to ensure greater loyalty,” Griffin writes. You can build a …sense of community with your customers.”

It seems that for some time now businesses have been heavily engaged in providing customer satisfaction. And while that is a good thing, it does not seem to have any measurable effect on the bottom line. Griffin argues that it’s time to build loyalties among your customers which leads to higher profitability, higher employee retention and a more stable financial base.

What is loyalty? It’s the result of paying attention to what it takes to keep a customer and then constantly providing it. Daunting, perhaps, but do-able.

Among the many valuable points brought out in this book are:

Attitude and follow up are essential to growing loyal customers. If a customer becomes inactive, measures should be taken to woo the person back.

It takes an average of seven contacts to turn a prospect into a first-time buyer. Research suggests that this number may be rising due to deeper alliances between buyers and sellers and a tougher economy.

First time buyer attrition is often double that of older accounts. Turning first time buyers into repeat customers requires the constant attention of the seller.

Customer Loyalty provides the details of a seven-step process for turning prospects into customers and customers into loyal advocates. Whether your business is large or small,product-based or service-based, you need to learn ways of holding onto the most powerful asset you’ve got: your customers. Interested readers can contact Jossey-Bass Publishers at (415) 433-1740 for ore information.

Kim Chandlee McCabe

Associate Publisher/Editor in chief

Copyright B U S Publishing Group, Inc. Feb 1998

Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved