The result of a rewarding and satisfying set of experiences is expected to be customer satisfaction.
A negative experience is not necessarily the end of a business relationship, depending on the strength of the components of that relationship.
But the relationship is tested every time there is interaction, be it with a service person, a sales person, an executive, monetary or product remuneration, product or services performance or even how the client is handled and elevated to the outside community through marketing enterprises.
Over time, a degenerating and even subtlety passive set of exchanges will wear thin the connection.
The common phrase depicting a customer’s strength of relationship is a “zone of tolerance.” The idea is to review and define for yourself (and your company) the qualities of those boundaries. Are there “price sensitive” components? Have there been changes in the contact hierarchy in your company that have unsettled your client(s)? Are there new crew guys that just aren’t cutting it out there? These are just a few examples.
Understanding a client’s real needs and sensitivities is crucial in developing customer loyalty. Should the pressures of negative experiences push the relationship beyond those boundaries, you need to immediately bring to bear all of your efforts and key personnel to mitigate the problems and go beyond normal procedures to reassure that they are client #1 in your world.
Take the time to review each of your customers and value their commitment to your business. In these difficult economic times, a call followed by a hand-written letter evoking your sincere thanks can help show your awareness and respect.
As quality of service and product should lead to customer satisfaction, customer loyalty is the expected follow-on from customer satisfaction. This is a bit presumptive, however.
Customer loyalty has so many variables and nuances that go well beyond customer satisfaction. At its most fundamental, loyalty can be defined as faith and belief and trust.
The exchange and exercise between customer/client and provider needs to be as effortless and rewarding as possible. I’ve witnessed such odds-defying alignment and commitment to a product or to a manufacturer in my time that it would seem impossible, if not implausible. But this comes with a heck of a lot of effort, and some “perfect storm” elements.
I wholeheartedly believe that it also requires honest passion, unfettered support, quick decision making and a willingness to truly put yourself and your credential on the line. To do that, you have to believe and know that you have at your fingertips the tools, alacrity and quality of performance behind you.