How To Cultivate Enduring Customer Loyalty
"Today's customers demand something unlike anything they have ever wanted in the past -- a connection with your business," explains Noah Fleming, author of the must-read book, Evergreen. "This means that in order to increase customer loyalty, you need to create a relationship with that customer on a deeper and much more profound level," adds Fleming.
And, to do this, you need to think in an entirely new way (at times even counter intuitively) about your market, your customers and your marketing offers.
He explains why the customer is not always right. And, why not every customer is worth keeping.
Fleming's techniques teach you how to acquire customers faster and how to create what he calls legitimate brand loyalty -- the type that helps to keep your business thriving.
One of the book's most compelling lessons for me was why it's so important to tell your customers your company's origin story. Fleming explains that it's critical that you build a rich and complex backstory about your company for your customers. Your customers want to know this story. So, as you share your story, answer these questions:
- Who started the company?
- When was it started? Where? How?
- Why was it started?
- What were the original visions or aspirations for the company?
- What traditions has the company maintained since it began?
- Invert the expectations gap that can drive customers away.
- Create loyalty programs that turn satisfied customers into enthusiastic advocates.
- Measure the true cost of your customer acquisition efforts.
- Communicate your values at every customer interaction.
- Make social media communications with customers personal, genuine, and meaningful.
- Character (aka brand personality) -- by developing an organizational mindset about why you do what you do and how customers perceive you (what the first thing the customer thinks about when exposed to your brand).
- Community -- by giving customers a sense of shared interests, viewpoints, or values, and a feeling of belonging. How you bring people closer together.
- Content -- which basically means whatever the company offers -- products, services, food, advice, or information. Content is about what you do and how you do it. And, be sure to pay more attention to the experience and feeling your content creates than the actual content.
"An Evergreen organization," Fleming says, "has spent the time to continually cultivate and nurture relationships with its customers, from even before they were actually customers. Like the roots of an 800-year-old evergreen, strong customer loyalty is embedded into that relationship, and eventually those roots are capable of supporting tremendous and continuous growth."