Editorial

Before You Think About Customer Loyalty, Make Sure You Are Loyal To Your Customers

May 10, 2018

Companies spend millions each year in customer relationship management in order to rouse loyalty. Who can blame them? It’s essentially the bread and butter that keeps businesses alive. It’s what made brands like Coke stand the test of time and newer players like Macy’s and Netflix lead their respective industries.

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But loyalty goes both ways. Before your customers can willingly give you their full, undivided trust, you first have to make sure you are a dependable brand they can rely on.

So what does it take for your business to achieve the “at the top of my head” status among your customers?

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A customer’s inclination towards loyalty starts with customer service. If your business is consistently providing poor service despite your best efforts, you aren’t playing your cards right. This brings us to social media. Issues in this platform can become viral overnight and can escalate into a full-blown PR crisis if not addressed immediately. Word-of-mouth is a two-edged sword. At this point, it’s really up to you to redesign your customer experience, otherwise you’re bound to risk losing any chance of having a loyal customer base.

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Take Grab Philippines for instance. After dismissing their major competitor in the TNVS industry, complaints from irate customers spread like wildfire throughout social media. And these did not just come from occasional customers; majority of the complaints were from regulars. These were loyal customers who were accustomed to a satisfactory service level that Grab Philippines is now failing to deliver. Fortunately, the company acted on the public’s clamor for action by integrating a new feature that addresses majority of the complaints concerning trip cancellations. The challenge for Grab Philippines now is to be swift and consistent in taking note of the demands of their customers—they just might regain their customers’ trust.

Another mistake many businesses do is exerting more effort to customer acquisition instead of retention. This usually happens when business direct most of the incentives to new customers and leaving morsels to existing ones. According to Fred Reichheld, a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to a 25-100% increase in profit for your company which is massive and utterly sustainable if you think about it. All you have to do is take care of the customers you already have.The business’ lack of loyalty to customers can also come from having the mindset that existing customers may not turn out to be loyal. That assumption will branch out into customer neglect, which, will eventually turn this into a reality.

Treat your customers the way you want them to treat your business. You have to let them experience why being loyal to you is a good decision. Give good customer service and be consistent with it. Listen to their feedback. Find ways to provide more value to them and never neglect those who are already loyal to you. In return, they will reward you with long-lasting loyalty.