Customer service–exceptional, consistent, customer-centered service–can transform your business more quickly than nearly any other advantage.
The primary threat to a business today is the perception by customers that all you offer is a replaceable, interchangeable commodity. This hazard stalks your every move: No matter how unbreachable your business’s advantages may appear right now, whether they are advantages of technology, geography, or branding, eventually your business model is going to be knocked off. And, in this era of accelerating change, it will likely happen sooner than you think.
Escape this threat of commoditization by creating enduring, loyal, human relationships with customers. It’s the surest way to escape market obsolescence.
The payoff is huge.
Everything changes when a customer becomes a loyalist. (Or, as the business jargonistas seem to be saying this week, “when a customer becomes truly engaged.”)
To the truly loyal customer, you are the only shop in the marketplace. All the other brands and all the other vendors don’t even come into focus. Like someone in love, the loyal customer only has eyes for you.
Few businesses realize how valuable customer loyalty is, and even fewer know how to achieve it consistently. But a company of any size can build great wealth and stability through customer loyalty. Businesses with loyal customers grow faster than others when times are good, and they have the most breathing room when times are bad.
At its root, creating loyal customers is about taking the time to learn about your customers individually and then using simple systems to turn that knowledge into enduring business relationships. In doing so, you turn your offering into a personal relationship — something far more valuable than a commodity.