Customer Loyalty Seminar Invite 6-29-2011

June 23, 2011

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Customer Loyalty Strategy

May 26, 2011

Hi everyone,

Sorry it’s been too long since our last post but we have been busy doing seminars. We hope to update our blog a little more frequently.

I was on linked in yesterday and saw a discussion started with a question on what are people using as attributes to enhance their “Customer Loyalty Strategy”. I was a little surprised by some of the responses. The idea of customer loyalty seems to be some card you keep on your key chain or a reward you give your employee for taking care of a customer. From the responses I read I have come to the conclusion that these programs are not too successful. That should come as no surprise!

Customer Loyalty is not today’s program in hopes of driving repeat business. Customer Loyalty is the ability of your employees to make that emotional connection with a customer. So how do we define an emotional connection? An emotional connection is different for every individual. It is the connection with a customer that is deeper than just meeting the expectation. That is what the competition does. It’s going beyond that! So how do you teach it? You can’t! It’s a development process that starts with the culture of your business. It starts with the business owner and trickles down to all the employees.

An example of that emotional connection can be a visit to a restaurant. You can go to the restaurant have a quality meal,pay a fair price and leave without a bad experience. The restaurant was successful satisfying you, nothing more,nothing less. Will that experience drive you back for a future visit? Maybe. Let’s say you go to that same restaurant and you run into a server that is really good with people. Starts up a conversation makes you feel relaxed,recommends an exceptional meal, the complete experience is beyond belief. When you’re on your way out the door getting in your car you just say to yourself, WOW! That is what drives customer loyalty!

The next time you make a decision of where to dine where do you think you are going? Back to the same restaurant and you’ll probably ask for the same server! That is how you can get a Loyalty Strategy in your business. Loyalty is built by having a Loyalty strategy built in your Strategic Plan, a Loyalty Strategy within your leadership, A Loyalty process and Loyal employees. When looking at your business these all need to be developed and implemented.

Why should a business owner pay so much attention to developing this strategy? According to Fred Reichold author of “The Ultimate Question,” a 5% improvement in customer retention can improve profits up to 100%. The best way to improve customer retention is by developing a Loyalty Strategy.

Loyalty Solutions is getting ready to launch Customer Loyalty Seminars in June. We’ll have more information to follow. If you would like to get more details feel free to contact either Bill Griffith at billgriff9@att.net or Jeff Johnstone at jeff@goaladvantage.com or Ocie Irons at ocie@ironbridgedev.com.


Get Emotional to Create Loyal Customers

January 21, 2011

You have probably heard that most buying decisions are not based on a need but rather on an emotion. Most people can get to their destinations in a Chevrolet just as easily as they can in a Mercedes. They need transportation from Point A to Point B. But an emotion (pride, for example) would motivate a rising executive to purchase a Mercedes which might make a statement about her status in life. And, recognizing this, the Mercedes dealer dealership has policies and processes that focus on satisfying their customer’s need to satisfy that pride. This requires that they know the customer…understand her motivations…meet and surpass her expectations. But it also requires that the dealership management communicates that creating and maintaining an emotional connection is of high importance.

My associates and I recently completed a customer loyalty seminar in which we discussed the difference between customer loyalty and customer satisfaction. A loyal customer is more likely to:
o Return to your business without the need for incentives
o Refer your business via word of mouth
o Are willing to pay more for your product/service
o Are more forgiving of your company’s errors
A satisfied customer, on the other hand, will be more likely to change companies or products to take advantage of a sale, coupon, or some other incentive. A company has only met the expectations of its satisfied customers. In particular, the company/product/service has met the customer’s minimum requirements.

You might be satisfied flying ABC Airlines. Its flights served the markets that you wanted to travel between. ABC Airlines got you to your destination safely and on time. Your knees were sore from being pressed up against the back of the seat in front of you but then again, at 6’5” tall you have gotten used to that. ABC met your expectations. But for the mere price of more frequent flyer points or a free car rental you might choose XYZ Air for your next trip. What would be an emotional connection that would cause you to be loyal to ABC? Consider the story I recently saw from Time.com (http://bit.ly/ehyBhB). To summarize, a passenger trying to make a flight connection in order to attend the funeral of a family member was clearly running late. He was going to miss the connecting flight as a result of circumstances beyond his control. The pilot of that connecting flight learned of his situation and held the flight for him. The grieving passenger, expecting to miss the connector and thus the funeral, was obviously grateful. We can assume the pilot empathized with the passenger and that the stressed traveler had his expectations exceeded. I think it is also a fair bet that if that airline serves the routes this passenger travels in the future, he is going to fly with them. So the airline likely established an emotional connection with this customer during this interaction with the pilot who waited for him. An emotional connection was created.

The article uses the word hero to describe the empathetic pilot. It mentions the risk he took of angering waiting passengers or running afoul of airline performance standards. I do not think his risk was especially high though. And I don’t mean any disrespect in saying this. I believe that the airline has created an environment in which loyal employees feel empowered to create memorable customer interactions. They pay attention to the customers’ needs and emotions…and their own. And in the process they create emotional connections resulting in a reputation for high customer service and loyalty. They have institutionalized a set of values and a corporate vision that makes the pilots action less risky. The company set strategies designed to focus on meeting customer needs and exceeding expectations. At critical points of connection the airline’s customers experience memorable interactions. They have created a strategy designed to generate loyal customers.

If you are interested in learning more about how your organization might benefit from a customer loyalty strategy please contact us.

Ocie Irons / ocie@ironbridgedev.com / (248) 231-2210

Bill Griffith / billgriff9@att.net / (586) 431-9311

Jeff Johnston / jeff@goaladvantage.com / (248) 891-1560


Seminar Announcement – Measuring Customer Loyalty

December 23, 2010

Key Measurements for Building a Loyal Customer Base

January 11, 2011

How Do You Measure Customer Loyalty?

This two-hour workshop focuses on:

How does your organization measure Customer Loyalty?
Why is it important to know your Loyalty Factor Score?
What is your Loyalty Factor Score?
Why is it important to know your Employee Loyalty Score?
What is your Employee Loyalty Score?

Session 3 – The Power of Customer Loyalty – Points of Connection

Register for sessions 2 and 3 for $89!!! 

Date: Tuesday, January 11
Time: 8:00am – 11:00am
Cost: $50 in advance
Location: Heritage Church
44625 Schoenherr
Sterling Heights, MI 48313

Space is Limited. RSVP Today!
Contact Bill Griffith:
Billgriff9@att.net
(586) 431-9311

Send Checks to:
WJG Business Concepts
40352 Aynesley
Clinton Township, MI 48038


Building a Customer Loyalty Strategy Seminar

November 8, 2010

Starts: TuesdayMarch 15,2011, 08:00AM EDT
Ends: Tuesday March 15,2011 11:00AM EDT
Event Type: Training/Seminar
Location: Heritage Church
44625 Schoenherr Rd
Sterling Heights, MI 48313 US
Price: $50 in advance ($55 at the door)
Website: http://www.loyaltysolutions365.wordpress.com
Industry:
Keywords: customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, business
Intended For: Business owners, Executives, General Manager, CEO, Director of Marketing, COO, Customer Service Manager
Organization: Loyalty Solutions

Developing a Customer Loyalty Strategy This workshop focuses on: Customer Satisfaction vs. Customer Loyalty, Perceived Value as defined by Customers, Why your company would want loyal customers, Customer Loyalty Strategy.

$50 in advance, $55 at the door. To register contact Bill Griffith at (586) 431-9311 or billgriff9@att.net.

Workshop presented by Loyalty Solutions, a collaborative effort of Goal Advantage, Ironbridge Development, and WJG Business Concepts


Where Do You Build Customer Loyalty?

October 22, 2010

Creating customer loyalty must be, at least in part, related to having a customer’s experience with and of your organization be a positive one.  What are those experiences and where do they happen for your customers?  Are your counter personnel highly motivated and educated to provide outstanding service that “wows” your new and existing customers?  Is your website easy to navigate?  Does your shipper deliver your product undamaged, on time, all of the time?  Each of these points-of-connection is an opportunity for your company to create a positive experience for your customers.  They are opportunities for you to create loyal customers…or customers for your competitors.

I recently had occasion to look at my own interactions with an organization that I do business with.  Someone asked if they should become a customer of this organization and, without hesitation, I said no.  Now understand, I am currently a customer, and probably will be for some time.  The organization’s business model dictates that unless I choose to throw money down the drain I will stick around.  So they haven’t lost me as a customer, but they didn’t gain the person that sought my opinion.  What did that cost the organization?  And how many more times am I likely to dissuade someone from becoming a customer?

I became a detractor as a result of a succession of less-than-positive experiences that combined to color my overall opinion of this company.  These experiences occurred at points-of-connection…the website, a phone call to the office, and reading the monthly invoice.  I have to admit that the severity of one of the experiences created a halo effect that had me look for less than expected results with other experiences with this company.  The website uses some pretty common navigation tools and methods but I found myself thinking there should really be a simpler way to get the information I wanted from the site.  So I contact the company, explain my problem, and describe what I believed to be a reasonable solution.  I was not thanked for being a customer or offering an improvement (regardless whether the suggestion is acted upon I think customer interaction of this type should be welcomed and acknowledged) and as far as I know nothing ever happened as a result of my call.

The delivery of service by this organization has been somewhat spotty.  I have placed an order and gotten no response.  No follow up.  No return phone call.  Nothing.  My order, for all intents and purposes, disappeared.  In addition to not having my order fulfilled, I spent valuable time seeking the service and placing the order.  To add insult to injury I received my monthly invoice that clearly spells out my monthly fee. 

The “final” straw occurred when I contacted the company to advise them of this experience.  Rather than speaking to a person I was routed into voicemail.  As there were no options to get to a live person, I left a message that has, as yet, not been acknowledged.  So I am still a customer (member) but if not for money already tied up with this organization, I would have taken my business elsewhere.  I am not what I would consider a loyal customer though I am and will continue to be a customer for some time.  And I am certainly not a satisfied customer.  Why?  A combination of less-than-satisfactory experiences have combined to have me advise prospects of this company to not become customers.  How many of your customers would refer their friends or acquaintances to your company?  How many little experiences with your company erode your customer’s support and willingness to give you more of their business?  Are you even conscious of the points-of-connection with your company…and the value they hold?

Any (and I do mean any) experience that your customers have that they associate with your company serve as points of connection.  These points of connection are your company’s opportunity to create loyal customers.  To the best of your ability you must know what those points of connection are and manage them so that customers have positive, referenceable experiences. Those experiences are critical to your creation of loyal customers and profits.

For information about how your organization or company can improve customer loyalty contact a Loyalty Solutions partner:

Bill Griffith / billgriff9@att.net / (586) 431-9311

Ocie Irons / ocie@ironbridgedev.com / (248) 231-2210

Jeff Johnston / jeff@goaladvantage.com / (248) 891-1560


Customer Relations Specialist  09/03/2010

September 7, 2010

I was with some friends a couple of nights ago, I was telling them about some exciting seminars my partners and I are putting together to help businesses develop a Customer Loyalty culture at their place of business. As I was speaking of the seminars and some of the content I was asked if I was a C.R.M. (Customer Relations Manager) “Specialist”, to which I answered “Yes, I am.” As I was thinking of his question I began to ask myself, what qualifies anyone as a C.R.M. specialist?

The qualifications would be a person with extensive experience in customer relations, right? Don’t we all have experience in this field? We have all been customers many, many times. We have all developed relationships with local businesses and had unique experiences in dealing with those businesses. The most memorable relationships and business experiences stand out, causing us to return and to bring our friends. I would define a customer relations specialist as one who creates this unique experience consistently for customers and then earns their loyalty.

What is it that would have you recommend a place of business to your friends and family? And if you do what does “Customer Loyalty “mean to that business? In simple dollars and cents let’s take a look at the impact on the restaurant business. What would be the possible effect if your expectations were not only met but exceeded to the point of being delighted? If the restaurants average bill is $100.00 per couple and you visit that restaurant four times a year, (Birthdays, Anniversary, and one Miscellaneous visit) you would spend $ 400.00 per year. Simple, right? Over a ten year period you would spend $ 4000.00 with that restaurant.

Let’s take a look at the 10 people you have told of your experience at this great restaurant. If 5 of the ten try it and they have the same impression of their visit it is now their favorite restaurant and they visit as often as you do well… I’m sure you can see where this is going. The first impression being a lasting impression and Customer Loyalty being the culture of the restaurant we can see taking care of that one customer can lead to $ 24,000.00 of business plus it has continuous growth because your five friends are telling their five friends and so on.

Now that we have looked at the restaurant business look at your business. This formula applies to all business whether we’re manufacturing, selling homes and insurance, whatever your business is. It’s networking with immediate rewards. It’s absolutely imperative to follow the simple business philosophy to treat people the way you want to be treated. The positive economic impact is immediate and it’s long term.

So come on all you C.R.M. specialists out there, take a look at the inside of your business and start developing a Customer Loyalty culture in your business today! If you would like a free consultation you can give any of us at info@loyaltysolutions.biz a call or check out our websites.

Bill Griffith          586-431-9311     billgriff9@att.net                                  www.wjgbusiness.com

Jeff Johnston     248-891-1560    jeff@goaladvantage.com                   www.goaladvantage.com

Ocie Irons           248-231-2210    ocie@ironbridgeedev.com             www.ironbridgedev.com