I think some of you who say you rely on "customer loyalty" have missed the point. I think the statement is purposely provocative but true.
If you are building relationships that have garnered you customer loyalty, it is precisely because you provide a benefit. "I trust X, so I will continue to do business with his/her company," is a benefits-based decision. "The service or product is satisfying my needs, so I have no reason to spend my time chasing a cheaper solution," is a benefits-based decision. "This business operates according to values and a sense of integrity, and I want to see such a business thrive," is a benefits-based decision.
The message is not meant for you: it's meant for business owners who are so busy boasting about their credentials or specialness or identity from their own perspective that they have lost sight of their customers' needs and desires.
I have to say I care about some people and not about others... I sometimes can't say why I do or don't... just a vibe I get from people!
I agree and disagree with this - a persons story and personality won't make me purchase a product...but it will make me NOT purchase a product. Especially in the internet marketing field - if I don't buy "you" I am not sure I'll buy your product.
There is no loyalty. I've read some really great stuff about how the world has changed. You can become bigger quicker than ever before. In the past a company making it's first million, 10 million, 100 million took x amount of time. That time has dropped at a mind boggling rate. On the flip side you are never secure. You can be #1 today and history within a month. You can't get comfy and the reason is there is very little company loyalty because like you guys said PEOPLE DON'T CARE! You have to deliver exactly what they want continually or LOSE THEM! You can't have an off day.
I would not agree. A few years ago our home of many years was gutted and destroyed by fire. It was quite severe and we barely survived to tell the story. At 6 in the morning the fire crew was gone and we had toured the wreckage and burnt remains. Brian Burbage, the King fire chief said "if you folks need any help there are services such as the Red Cross that can help" He then walked down the driveway and disappeared. I is a very strange feeling standin all alone at 6 in the morning beside your burnt out house that you once thought of as important.
In the aftermath we attempted to contact persons to help and were totally surprised. Some old friends actually showed up only to benefit themselves, others were more interested in their breakfast. In all this doom and gloom some others gave over and above and help came from unexpected places. I will remember those that helped.
Brian, first sorry to hear that happened.
Second, I think that's a little off topic. I'm referring to businesses. Unless you are one of the very rare companies in the world that has a crazy devoted fan base I think loyalty from customer to business is not very strong and without a doubt the weakest it's been in the past 100 years. When companies that customers generally thought were 100% safe (ie banks) fail them how can they trust anything else?
I think customers look out for themselves and do what's best for them and that's probably the smartest thing they can do.
Someone should tell this to Steve Jobs, Seth Godin, or Conan O'Brien... (a varied example of people I would recommend to anyone who will listen, and defend from anyone who would criticize). This idea of "no loyalty" ends when people are financially comfortable. It's a poor man's "scarcity" mentality that only applies to things that have become commodities (where there is very little money to be made anyway).
Real business relationships rely on more than surface benefits, and are built on lasting principles. Sure, there are always a few exceptions to the rule, but the majority of lasting success is built on more than one-time benefits.
First, I should probably add that I've built my business on customer loyalty. So I'm obviously a huge fan of taking care of customers and doing whatever is possible to keep them happy and loyal.
That said I think there are far fewer companies that have customers that are 100% loyal. Companies like Apple are very rare. I've never heard of someone being a devoted HP fan. Once upon a time Dell had that consumer loyalty. They lost it FAST. That's my point. As long as Apple is rocking we are all drinking their kool aid. But just like they did 15 years ago they could crash hard. My point is 50 years ago people would be loyal to a company for life. Now? We are loyal until their next screw-up.
Exactly. It's a fine balance. Companies need to continue to earn respect, but customers don't always jump ship without a good reason. Dell stopped innovating, started sending customer support oversees, and slowly fell behind. It took several years, but their cutbacks eventually caught up with them.
I think one of the big reasons brand loyalty is generally lower than it was 50 years ago is due to choice, growing competition, and improved global communication. However, even with all that, people are remarkably slow to adopt new technologies, take advantage of superior products, or change brands based on features alone. It usually takes a major screw-up to get people to leave a brand once they've become fairly loyal.
Its a cold world, no one really gives dam about you!!!!!
Not being cynical, being a realist. Ask yourself, if you were stuck and really needed someones help when you were at a REAL low in your life. Would they rather goto a party or something fun OR drive 2 hours to help you?? Very few would give up a party to help you in a time of real need outside your family.
There is a very fine line here. If we can't relate to each other as human beings, then it's just about the numbers. Telling a short story or sharing your perspective can often make all the difference. Ultimately, we do business with people that we like... and are influenced by people who share our basic principles. I strongly recommend the book Linchpin (by Seth Godin) for examples around this.
Thats a very good point, Rick.
The way I see it, up front, people have a small capacity for your story and anything that doesn't relate to their own benefit. They do have a capacity for it, but a limited one. The more you relate to someone, the more rapport you manage to build, the more open people will be to more about you.
But as you say, it's a fine line to negotiate.
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