Why Understanding Your Customer Loyalty Is So Important

Why Understanding Your Customer Loyalty Is So Important

Direct Feedback from a Real Customer is the Best

Yes, you have the greatest product and are the best at what you do. Your marketing tells the world that. My question is who determined that and how do you know? Was it your Chief Marketing Officer and his team? Was it you? Was it a consultant? Or was it your customers? Not customers like your customers, but your real customers? Why does it matter?

I am humble in general and much prefer to tell stories about other people’s success, along with lessons learned from my mistakes along the way to success. However, I started working with someone I have known for years recently and wanted to share the experience. This individual is an amazing person with some amazing talents in a skill set I totally lack. It’s a truly niche skill set and over the time I have known her she has made several pivots to her offerings and continued to plow forward generating six figure annual income over several years. Sounds great, what’s the problem that lead her to become a client…and a loyal one?

As I noted, I have known this individual for several years now. I could tell over time that she really did not quite understand the value I bring to my clients, and did not see how it could apply to her. Don’t get me wrong, she appreciated our discussions and internalized some of the things I shared, but I gained much more from her skill set than she did from mine as our relationship matured. In addition, she never became a client of mine, let alone a loyal customer. It always frustrated me, but she did so well in her business that I never pressed the issue.

Then a couple of months ago, during one of our regular “catch up” conversations she told me that she was frustrated with her business. She did well, but she wanted to grow and realized I might be able to help. We started talking about what growth meant and a light bulb went off. What she really wanted was to pivot her business and needed a path to do that. So, we pivoted our focus to what that path may look like and came to realize that a big issue was going to be duplicating her skill set to ensure the repeatability that is required to generate customer loyalty. Another light bulb went off. She needs a well-defined hiring and training process.

The steps I was taking her through, based on my book Mitch’s Pocket Guide to a Great Business Plan, was opening her eyes. She now understands the value of planning and analysis before taking action, and the value in my process and advice.

Our development is still a major work in progress with many more aspects of her business that need to be further developed, but what got me to write this blog is the following message I got today: “Hey Mitch, this is XXX. I just wanted to reach out and say thank you…the process, it’s so profound…I have been holding on to this baby for X years and I’m ready to grow it and scale it. It’s my Achilles heel too…let’s create a plan because I can not get there without you. I’ll talk to you soon, I just wanted to share these thoughts, thank you.”

That is a paraphrase of a much longer message, but my point? What a change, eh? I finally was able to make an impression, and what an impression. Changing her paradigm from “jump in with two feet and see what happens” to “plan for long term success” was, and always is, my goal. Once I had hooked her into applying my process, the process itself took over and created the exact value I had promised.

Another part of the message talked about merging my services with her services…she sees the light! She not only is a very satisfied customer; she is loyal and has already introduced me to two of her clients to see how I may be able to help them. Now the hard part starts…I need to prove to her, and her clients, that the experience I have provided is repeatable and continues to provide value to them over time.

When they are all loyal, I hope to have three people making referrals willingly. Ultimately that’s the point. That is a truly loyal customer. Your challenge this month is to determine what it is within your solution to your client’s problem that can elicit that type of response. Once you have it figured out, nurture it, build upon it, and make it repeatable throughout your organization.

We can help…reach out!

Mitchell Bolnick – The Excel Consulting Group