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Winning Customer Loyalty : Your Key to Success!

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This is Kevin R. Miller, President of VisionBound International, welcoming you to my new blogs.  I started VisionBound in 1996 with the mission to Accelerate Greatness by Releasing Human Potential.  Since then, I have taught thousands of people in many organizations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Africa in three major lanes: Win Loyal Customers, Instill Inspiring Leadership and Build Winning Teams.

I will be posting one or two weekly blogs on my favorite topics of how we can win loyal customers and how to become truly inspirational leaders.  I hope you enjoy them!

This first blog is about how we can win truly loyal customers. They are the key to your growth and success no matter if you are in business or government or non-profit work. Please look forward to future blogs on this important topic. It is the basis for my book titled Customers Only Want Two Things: Winning Loyalty in a Competitive World.

So, why are loyal customers so critical? Because they do four important things. First, they come back again and again to do business with you. Second, they buy more or use more of your services and that is very important! Third and perhaps this is the most important, they refer their friends. They tell everyone they know to do business with you. That is surely something you want! And finally, because you have one their loyalty, they want you to stay in business so they will offer feedback to you about what you were doing well and what you could do differently. In essence by doing this for things they are in business with you and for you!

There is an important distinction between satisfaction and loyalty. You know of a business that you are basically satisfied with. You might do business with him again or you might not because there are many competitors who offer the same products and services as you do. Satisfied customers are not necessarily doing the four things that I mentioned above. They leave your place of business OK with you and basically satisfied but not necessarily loyal. 

This is a huge difference. Every time I hear a company tell me they want customer satisfaction I say stop! Satisfaction is not enough because you have many competitors who can do the same thing. They offer the same products and services and someone to choose to go to them just as much as they choose to go to you. So, in your mind replace the word satisfaction with loyalty. You want loyal customers who are true partners with you and want to continue to do business with you and tell others to do so. They are your raving fans! You have won their LOYALTY. 

For example, in my hometown of Springville, Utah, there are six or seven grocery stores, such as Walmart and Smiths.  If I go into one of them, I EXPECT they will have all the items on my shopping list.  If they do, I am generally satisfied, but not necessarily loyal.  I am not going to tell everyone, “Wow, they had eggs and milk and bread!  If they did not have most or all the things on my list, I would leave dissatisfied and certainly not loyal.  I can guarantee that, whatever business you are in, there are competitors offering similar goods and service.  You can’t stop there; you need to do the things that win loyalty.

By the way if you are a manager your most important customers are your STAFF! If you are a caring, kind, supportive, visionary and motivating leader you create loyalty and devotion in those around you.

I mentioned the title of my book, Customers Only Want Two Things: Winning Loyalty in a Competitive World.  It is time now to introduce those two things, which I will address deeper in the next blogs.  So, what do customers basically want?

  1.  Solve My Problem:  This is the basic expectation of every customer, just like when I go grocery shopping.  Solving my problem wins basic satisfaction, but not necessarily loyalty.  Loyalty is won by the second.
  2. Leave me Feeling Great about my Experience:  not good, but great.  As I will address in my future blogs, leaving people feeling great requires something special—Be UNIQUELY nice to me.  Unique means something extra special, that feels customized to the person.  It can be as simple as using their name, complimenting them, being kind to their children, or giving them a little treat to remember you buy.

In my workshop, which I can deliver in person or online,  we cover exactly how to do these two things.  We have decks of Hot Tip Cards: each of the 33 cards has an idea you can use to solve problems AND leave your customers feeling great.

So, watch out for the next blog in this series, where I will address how to measure loyalty.  Then future blogs will dig deeper into the two things customers want.  My second blog series is about instilling inspiring leadership, based on my upcoming book: Leaders Do Five Things: Taking the Helm in a Turbulent World.

So, welcome to the world of continuous learning!  Please visit my website at www.visionbound.com where you can learn more.  You can also email me at [email protected]

Go out and start winning LOYAL customers and see what exciting things will happen!