Customer loyalty is a two-way street

In the world of customer loyalty we usually look at how can the company (and their employees) do the right things to increase customer loyalty. And this makes sense. It’s the actions of an organization that create the customer experience and either attract people or drive them away.

But having valuable, long-term relationships with customers is not just about how the company or its employees behave. The success of a customer relationship is as dependent on the customer as it is on the people providing the product or service.

When customers behave badly or demand too much, they set the stage for a lousy relationship. Because business is about people and relationships only work on two-way streets.

Yet, many B2B relationships are incredibly unbalanced. Maybe we don’t notice because we’ve become acclimated (or insensitive) to how things work. But observed in a different light, we can see how abusive some customer expectations can be. The above video shows just how ridiculous some customer demands can seem, when played out in a different context.

You might claim “apples and oranges” here but that’s not my point. I understand different settings have different norms. In the B2B world these might be normal. But does that make then right? Or, more importantly, does that make them effective?

The bottom line is this: For the best relationships, treat everyone well.

How do you treat your vendors? Do your expectations (as a customer) set the stage for a less than idea customer-vendor relationship?

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The article was written by Kevin Stirtz