February 9, 2015

How to get loyalty?

Lobster Pot

The Lobster Pot’s celebrating thirty five years. Sounds good.

What does it take to be successful in a world where everybody has way too many choices and can flip their ‘loyalty’ to the next guy, two clicks or three steps away?

It starts with working out what your customer wants. You can make this as complicated as you like but the old fashioned way still works: ask ‘em. And if you don’t have any customers yet, find a way of getting in front of the kind of people you want to have as customers and ask them.

Step One: Ask ‘em what they don’t want

Tell your customers what you’re up to and ask what you’d have to do to win their business. Guaranteed, whatever you hear back will be useful.

Ask about the problems they have with their current way of doing things. Push down on trigger points: where is the pain? Does it cost time or money? What hoops must they jump? Who gets involved? What about results, room for improvement?

Step Two: Give them what they do want

Giving customers what they want with one hand whilst easing their pain with the other is the simplest recipe for a healthy living and a skippy life.

A string of needs understood and promises kept translates into a healthy cash flow — but you’ll have to do more if you want loyalty and referrals. The big leap comes when they trust you to give them exactly what they want every time.

What can you do to blow their socks to next Tuesday? What’s the extra five minutes that’s the difference between standard service and you-won’t-believe-what-happened-to-me-today stories?

Last step. Become *known* for it.

Branding is the fancy-schmancy word for what the rest of us think of as reputation. Build yours on doing a small number of things extremely well. Be consistent.

If three steps is one to many, how about two? Understand and Over-Deliver.

Making Promises