“Put great things out. And you’ll get great things back.” Robin Sharma
Learning in a changing world
Loyalty Building has always been a major strategical issue for businesses. Retaining customers, making them happy has become even more of a challenge in these challenging post crisis times where companies discover customers driven by new values and motivations (connected, ethics driven, quality seeking, community conscious) .
Understanding how some successful swiss companies with loyal customers motivated them seemed then important to me. Knowing today the key role of customer experience, I was curious to understand how corporate leadership influenced their approach to loyalty.
Learnings from Robin Sharma
Having managed this summer Swiss Marketing’s social media platforms to promote the “Inspire for Excellence” Symposium with Robin Sharma held last Friday on IMD’s Campus in Lausanne, I got the opportunity to participate to this great event and hear what one of the world’s most inspiring leadership experts had to say.
Here are three key learnings for businesses from Robin Sharma’s workshop that apply to Loyalty Building:
Learning from Loyalty Leaders
Some of the most successful swiss companies (Nespresso, www.leshop.ch) with loyal customers in my study apply these key learnings. They express gratitude regularly and show loyalty to their customers in small and big ways. They focus on what they do best and deliver more value than expected. Most of all, theses businesses know why they sell online, produce great coffees and provide outstanding medical services. For those reasons their clients respect them, recommend them and keep coming back.
What is your opinion on the relationship between loyalty & leadership ? Would you like to share a comment ?
If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than to any other talent. – Isaac Newton
Without customer attention, the best communication strategies are useless !
Several managers interviewed for my study “Fidélisation & Nouvelles Technologies” (Loyalty & New Media) mentioned the importance to stand out with their approaches in a market where the consumer can get confused & annoyed by the abundance of loyalty cards and programs.
When it comes to Loyalty Building saying thanks is a necessity, specially in the present times. But how can you thank your customer and stand out ? How can your company make a difference ? As my study showed in 2009, companies with loyal customers seize every opportunity to show them gratitude personally.
When attention meets gratitude
Inviting your customers to well-chosen events can be a good way of showing gratitude and getting your customer’s attention as I learned managing two series of golf tournaments for an insurance company, Swiss Life (2004-2005).
Golf players are usually passionate about their game and share a strong common competition spirit. So when they get the opportunity to play and network on some of the nicest courses (Crans-Montana, Domaine Impérial , Voëns) around the Lake of Geneva, companies have a good chance of getting the attention they want.
But making successful events is not easy as many factors need to be taken in consideration. Learn more in my future posts about event management & loyalty building.
Do you also see events as an effective way to meet customers in good conditions to develop relationships and confidence ? Do you have any other examples you’d like to share ? I’d be glad to have your comments !
“Seek first to understand then to be understood.”
Stephen R. Covey
Listen to UNDERSTAND
I’ll always remember a comment of a hotel manager I met in Switzerland five years ago: “You can learn a lot if you TAKE THE TIME to listen to your customer.” In the hospitality business context, this comment made perfect sense then. Considering the actual economic situation & customer confidence loss, this comment seems – for many businesses – even more appropriate today.
Taking the time to LISTEN
While working on my “Fidélisation & Nouvelles Technologies” (= Loyalty & New Media) study, I had the opportunity to interview some renowned firms (Nespresso, Switcher, http://www.leshop.ch …) as well as more local, service-based companies such as restaurants, garages and gyms.
Asked what they did to keep their customers in the present times, managers of these smaller companies with loyal customers mentioned taking time to listen & giving service according to their needs.
Taking time to listen has a vital function: helping managers understand individual customer situations and choose the appropriate responses to dissipate misunderstandings and frustration.
Listening = Loyalty Building Opportunities ?
Based on the comments I got from managers during my 30 interviews, the answer is YES !
Good basic communication is very important to build customer loyalty and confidence. Taking time to listen, whatever it takes, shows how much you care about your clients. This is usually really appreciated.
Companies active in service/contact based businesses who wish to rebuild loyalty should seriously consider empowering their employees and developing their listening skills.
What is your opinion ? How would you improve employees listening skills ? I’d be glad to have your feedbacks !