Yes I know normally in marketing we talk about how loyal your customers are to you and how can we build their loyalty but you know what they say, it can’t all be one way.
In any healthy relationship there’s give and take, it’s a team thing, you cook I’ll do the dishes, it’s all about balance and respect.
So why should it be different with your customers? To build a relationship you have to communicate and not all one way. If you ignored your partner for months and then suddenly bombard them with what’s going on in your life and then ignore them again for months, do you seriously think they will stick around? Not likely.
Customers are the same, you have to build a relationship with 2 way communication, you ask them what they like about your product, service or experience and ask them if they would change anything. Newsletters are a great way of collecting information as well as giving out information, don’t bombard your customers with talk about me, me, me, frankly, it’s dull. If you were out for dinner with someone who talked solely about themselves you would get out of there asap.
Think about what you want out of the relationship and what you’re prepared to do for it, just like in real life. Dogs are only loyal because you feed, walk and love them, people are only a little more sophisticated, treat them well and they will stick around.
How you handle problems also affects your relationship, customers aren’t always right but you have to take their issues on board or these days they will drag your name through all the social media. Ignore customer service at your peril. Companies that don’t work through customer complaints have zero customer loyalty, you don’t treat them well then they will cheat on you at the first opportunity.
Showing some faith in your customer and being loyal to them in owning the problem and finding a solution that works for both of you is the difference between successful companies and failures. Solving their problem in a caring, intelligent and timely way will definitely mean they will think twice about leaving you, and the word of mouth value they can give you is invaluable.
So if you think you’re building customer loyalty with huge advertising campaigns and newsletters take a good look at what you’re actually doing. Are you talking about yourself or including your customer in the conversation? Loyalty is a 2 way street, you have to be loyal and interested in your customers for them to be loyal to you. Otherwise you’re wasting every marketing dollar you spend.