The Easiest and Most Powerful Way to have More Loyal Customers

Yesterday my dad had his second (or third or fourth, I can’t remember) retirement party. He’s not really retiring. He is moving on to the next phase of his career and his life though. So his colleagues and clients threw him a party. It would have been more fitting to call it an Appreciation Party.

It was endearing listening to all the stories people told about dad. Some I had heard before. Others were new. One that struck me as particularly relevant in a business context was the “marketing advice” he gave a colleague years ago. He said “If you are friends with your clients they’ll stick with you.”

Dad is a CPA. The person he said this to is an attorney. They both share a significant and loyal client. The relationships they have with this client are like family. The respect and caring is evident, mutual and enviable. Dad has worked with this client for over 40 years. And he’ll continue. (They’re not about to let him get away.)

When I talk about how to increase customer loyalty by improving customer service, I say the bottom line is you have to care about your customers. Rather than focusing on systems, processes,  scripts and metrics, I suggest to people they should treat customers like friends. Put them first. Focus on helping them.

This is much simpler (and easier to remember) than a lot of rules and systems. I know it’s hard impossible to measure. Some people dislike that. But it works. It works because we’re all human. We are designed to care and to help. We know (though some of us need reminding) life is better when we surround ourselves with people we care about. Life is best when we spend our time helping others.

And it’s good to talk about this. (Not enough people do). But it’s better to witness the successful career of someone who’s made this his calling card. It’s awe-inspiring to see it come to life through the stories from people who have lived this ideal. It’s powerfully affirming.

If you already do business this way then take a moment and congratulate yourself. You’re a winner. If you don’t, then ask yourself how doing so might improve your job or your company. Then commit to doing business this way from now on. Treat everyone well (with no exceptions) and see what happens. I think you’ll like the results.

The article was written by Kevin Stirtz