Customer Loyalty: why It matters and how to earn It

By William Seidman What do Costco, Nordstrom, Walmart, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Target have in common? Customer loyalty. Businesses need devoted customers. Extraordinary service is, of course, the well-accepted means of creating devoted customers. There are always managers in a chain whose stores provide extraordinary service, thereby creating environments that customers love and continuously patronize. Why are some managers in chains so consistently successful at developing environments that create devoted customers?  Top managers follow remarkably consistent patterns in improving customer service and developing devoted customers, even when there are significant organizational barriers to success. Regardless of the type of organization, top managers respond to a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of the most profound needs of the customer. They recognize and manage the true complexity of a comprehensive customer service environment. They specify ongoing behaviors and processes that sustain effective customer service. They provide a specific sequence of actions to develop the general service environment and the specific behaviors. They also monitor the accomplishments and satisfaction of staff and customers more systematically so that customer service becomes an on-going, continuous focus. Together, these patterns consistently produce better service environments and more satisfied customers. Top performing managers are in tune with their customers since they work with these customers daily. Top managers develop a complete understanding of, and empathy for, their customers’ experience that is translated into service behaviors that literally amaze customers—that’s why they’re top performers! Amazed customers quickly become devoted customers and, as we well know, devoted customers are the foundation of sustained sales and profits. Read more in our article “Developing Devoted Customers.”  ]]>

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