I got an email last week from a friend/client asking for my thoughts on loyalty. It said something like this: “If you have 5 minutes can you reply with your opinion on what makes a customer “loyal”? Curious as to what you thoughts are…” At my friend’s suggestion, I’ve made our topic into a blog post.
Loyalty certainly is situation specific – meaning if we are talking about product loyalty vs friend loyalty, we might have different definitions.
Age can affect one’s opinion about product loyalty, in my view. People will often say – “No one is loyal anymore.” I’m not sure that is true, people are loyal, but what makes them loyal, the elements that need to be engaged may be different from before. Today, product loyalty is largely based on customer experience, and to a much lesser extent price.
I define product loyalty like this:
Given other compelling choices, the customer stays with a product/company because they so appreciate the entire experience that is provided – the product itself, the customer service, and any other value related or benefit related offering that is connected to the product/company.
Certainly every person has a different benefit-to-price/value ratio. Some only value price, so their ratio favors price above all – mostly they are not considered loyal in this type of conversation. The challenge in our world today is finding what level each customer’s benefit-to-price/value ratio is – and trying to have their experience match their loyalty expectation.
Any of your thoughts are welcome, as this is an ongoing debate.
About 6 months ago I learned about Asana. It is a web-based team task management system. I’ve not adopted their model to use it to replace inter company email yet, but maybe I should. Asana is flexible, and yet offers enough structure & assistance to get you started with ease.
If you are in the market for something like this, Asana might be the answer – and it is free for small companies and very reasonably priced for others.
My favorite tip I’ve learned over the years is a way to manage tasks/questions I’ve delegated to others. David Allen calls it @Waiting For. I just use Waiting For. In our case it is a tag in Asana, but there are many other ways to use this idea.
If you want to grow professionally, you need to read books. Yes, blogs can be great and articles can be good, but nothing helps the mind consider new things like books.
I was not huge fan of reading for fun or growth after college until a friend of my wife introduced me to Nelson DeMille. Then, I re-learned to love reading – like I did when I was a child.
Then, after I started my company, I started to read a lot of business related books – until it became a habit. The audio books were my addiction for a time – starting with tapes, then CDs and finally on my iPod. Hard cover books are still great, but my new favorite way to read is on my iPad.
Read The Tipping Point, Outliers or David & Goliath by Gladwell. Or, read Permission Marketing by Godin…or any of his other stuff. Start with 5 Temptations of a CEO by Lencioni – and you don’t have to be a CEO to learn a ton from it.
I’m a sports fan. Around the game, one often hears reference to the ‘speed of the game’ and how it changes from one level to another – from high school to college and from college to the pros. A common line is: “The game is starting to slow down for him, so he is playing better/making adjustments – winning more.”
If you are a parent and have taught a child to drive you understand this idea as well. Very likely you’ve driven for a long time, so you know how to anticipate and where to look for danger. Young drivers don’t have that experience and so everything is happening fast for them; experience has not yet taught them all the lessons you have learned.
How fast is your work life? Is is running the speed you want it to run? Mondays can be tough days for me if I let them. Often the size of my to do list and/or competing priorities can wind me up. If I don’t focus, I look at all that stuff, and think it needs to be done right now. Add in new interactions from email, and other sources – and the speed can be too much.
Find tactics that work for you to slow things down. For some it is exercise. For others maybe it is only reading email two times per day. For still others it is making lists and prioritizing them. Sometimes a change in scenery can be what is needed – work from a new place in your office, if you can’t go off site. Experiment with ways to slow down your work life. It is the best way to offer your best work.
John Wooden is a great basketball coach. One of his many great sayings/quotes is “Be quick, but don’t hurry.” Honestly, that is some of the best advice I’ve ever absorbed and it applies in so many areas of ones life.
And it applies well to marketing too. Often there are many tasks that need to be done and all seem ultra important, but most often there are a few big rocks that really need to be done first AND done very well. So, hustle. Work hard. Be diligent. And most of all, be quick but don’t hurry-the process, the hire or the project. Great sometimes takes just a little bit more.