One of the biggest mistakes I see organizations make on their quest for Fierce Loyalty is equating a big customer base to a Fiercely Loyal community. After all, isn’t having big audience numbers one of the most highly prized benchmarks? Unfortunately, big audience numbers can be a kind of false prophet, leading organizations to make assumptions about what, exactly they’ve achieved.
Here’s what I mean:
What organizations give you no choice about being a member of their “audience”? Utilities. You have to be a customer of the local water works or power company. Cable is a proprietary industry, meaning you have the choice of exactly one carrier to choose from. We are not customers by choice.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t sit around with my friends talking about much I love my power company or my cable provider. We don’t share stories about why we chose them or give reasons why we will never leave them. In fact, if they come up at all in conversation, the stories are quite the opposite. These are organizations with a huge customer database that have nothing resembling Fierce Loyalty.
If you aren’t one of these kinds of service providers, you may think that puts you in the clear and that the audience members you have are there by choice which means they are Fiercely Loyal. Here’s a question to challenge that mindset: If those audience members could find an organization that could deliver what you deliver at a cheaper price, would they jump ship at lightening speed?
If you are hesitating or already know the answer is “Yes”, I have three ideas to help you move from this kind of transactional relationship with your customers to a Fiercely Loyal relationship:
- Place high value on the quality of the relationships your organization has with customers. This means more than saying it’s important. It means deciding what “high quality” relationships look like.
- Set a strategy for building these kinds of relationships. Will you do focus groups? One on one calls? personal notes? Will you expand your CRM to capture more personal information that will help you build relationships?
- Empower your people to take the necessary time to develop relationships. Are you timing customer calls? Rewarding customer volume rather than customer quality? Giving your people the autonomy to do the little extras to grow a relationship?
Start with these three ideas to reset how you view and how you value efforts to build Fiercely Loyal customer relationships and then add to this list. In fact, I’d love for you to share your ideas in the comments below.