Taking Care of Loyal Customers

And as new customers become long-term customers, their worth increases—they buy more, spend more, advocate more, and generally are less expensive to serve since they do not require customer training when they deal with you.

Many times organizations lose sight of the impact their efforts to attract new customers have on those who have been loyal for many years.

Recently I walk into my UPS store where I get my corporate mail.  They are promoting three months free rent for all new customers who would sign a one-year contract on a mailbox.  “I have been with you for ten years,” I proudly tell the clerk on duty.  “Do I get a big credit now like your brand new customers?”  The clerk is confused and completely misses my point.  The lesson is an important one!

When kids plead their parents for a new puppy, it generally comes with plans and promises to take great care of it: “I promise I will walk it, feed it, clean up after it, etc.”  Parents finally relent and the new puppy arrives.  Its arrival is generally followed with squeals, hugs, expressions of gratitude, charming words, lots of close attention, and eagerness to do all the important puppy duties.

New customers often get similar treatment.  There is an eagerness to get a new account, lots of gratitude, charming words, TLC, and close follow-up.  But if you have ever been the parent of a child with a new puppy, you know the “puppy stage” is short-lived.  Cute puppies become ordinary dogs.  And the glee of walking the dog and cleaning up after him or her becomes an uninteresting, got-to-do chore.  Interest can wane; attention can be reluctant.  Kids sometimes only want the joy side and not the task side of dog tending.

The excitement of getting a new customer can be thrilling, especially in a super competitive market.  And, like getting a new puppy, they can bring the joy of getting a new friend.  But long-term customers, like a loyal dog, can bring worth and special value.

How are you treating your most loyal customers?
 

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© Chip Bell Group, 2017.  Courtesy of John R. Patterson (www.johnrpatterson.com).  Permission is given to download and distribute this article as long as it contains this copyright notice.

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