Your Friday Inspiration: Customer Loyalty

If you want loyalty get a dog

If you want loyalty and attention get a smart dog --

 Grant Fairley

Someone who is loyal is reliable and always true, just like your trusty dog. Loyal comes from the Old French word "loial" which roughly translates to "legal" but if someone is only loyal to you because the law requires them to be, that's not true loyalty, which should come from the heart, not a contract.

In this digital-era, finding loyal customers has become very difficult thanks to the internet. A platform that can either be your friend or foe. Forcing companies to develop strategies around loyalty all with one goal; take influx of reviews and opinions of the company and turn into customer loyalty.

All of which can be easier said than done. All reviews are based on experience, but customer's don’t choose your product or service because of the experience they had; they choose it because of the experience they remember. There is a big difference between experience and memory.

In article for Beyond Philosophy Colin Shaw takes a look at a TED Talk where Professor Daniel Kahneman, discusses the difference between experience and memory and the cognitive traps we can fall into when we compare the two.

In his talk Kahneman, discusses two self's the 'experiencing self' and the ‘remembering self’. If we take the example of going to the movies we can easily explore what each of these mean.

So you head to the  cinema to watch a film you have been planning for weeks to see, you are 30 minutes into the film and you are enjoying yourself. But then two people turn up late and proceed to shout over the rest of the film and ruin it on you.

During the experience, before the people came in, you would have said your experience was great. That is the 'experiencing self'. After the movie you would say it was bad because my memory of the people crashing the movie spoilt it. That is the 'remembering self'. This shows us that there is a BIG difference between an experience and the memory of an experience.

Once you know this you should look to ensure that your customer's memory of their experience with your product/service is better than those they have with your competition. By helping them to create better memories with your products/service this will ultimately lead to customer loyalty.

Once memories have been formed they will usually result in feedback and reviews. Good bad or indifferent all the customer feedback and reviews directed towards your company is a goldmine of information for you. Vivek Jaiswal Co-founder, Customer Guru offers us 10 tips on using customer reviews to build customer loyalty

In his article Vivek states that we need to ultimately go through every single bit of that feedback and act upon it. Capturing the voice of the customer and adapting to it is what will propel your business towards success. When your customers know that you are listening and taking action they will become an outstanding promoter for your brand.

After all, Seth Godin once said:

It is easier to love a brand when the brand loves you back

Further Reading:

9 Ways to Build Customer loyalty

The simple recipe for Customer Loyalty

What A Goldfish Can Teach You About Customer Loyalty

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