Updated: May 14
The average company loses half their customers in 5 years and half their employees in 4 years¹.This has significant impact to overall customer, employee, investor and supplier loyalty. Loyalty is the degree to which these groups are loyal to your product, service and organization.
In today’s market, being customer focused is a key to survival and longevity. High levels of loyalty have positive impact on customer satisfaction, profitability, and reputation. Happy employees work harder, produce more and stay with an employer longer. Investors and suppliers feel increased confidence in the organization and their actions reflect that.
So how do you know if your organization is lacking in loyalty or strong in it? Here are just a few key steps in gauging and improving loyalty:
Evaluate current levels of loyalty. Information can be gathered from customers, employees, suppliers, partners and investors. Ask questions such as: How satisfied are you with our product and service? How well are problems handled? How can we better serve you? Ask your employees how satisfied they are in their jobs and how well are they communicated with. These all affect loyalty. Find areas to improve on, and then act on them!
Create clear mission, vision and value statements and goals. These provide the map to guide daily behavior and long term performance; it invites people to adjust the activities, projects, tasks to support and shift the organization closer to the set goals. Clearly define these and communicate them.
Invest in your employees. An attitude of indifference to your customers causes an average of 68% of customers to stop doing business with you.² This attitude of indifference is displayed and communicated by employees both within the organization and to customers. A commitment to communication, on-going learning, culture development and rewarding performance all help in creating a positive attitude and work environment.
Create a customer focused organization. Gauge how customer focused or internally focused your processes are. Does your Eastern Canada order desk close at 5 p.m., yet your customers in Western Canada cannot order when it is convenient for them? Utilizing simple mapping techniques can allow you to display these processes and quickly identify areas for improvement – both in efficiencies and with the goal of creating more customer focused processes.
Identify the target customer group that will purchase your product and service. These customers should clearly see the value in what you offer, have the funds to pay for it and be looking for long term customer-supplier relationships. Are you currently selling to your target audience? Should you be targeting other groups? The closer you are to your defined profile, the higher loyalty and profitability you will experience.
The bottom line is that Loyalty has significant impact. Customers, employees, suppliers and investors are important to the success of your business. Take the time to re-evaluate your success with each group, and watch as your performance, profitability and potential increase!
¹ Frederick F. Reichheld, The Loyalty Effect, page 1
² Jack Parr, Jack Parr Associates
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