Are You Earning Customer Loyalty Or Are You Buying It?

May 7 2014, 3:45pm CDT | by

We can all agree that having loyal customers is fundamental to the long-term success of a business. However, there have been numerous studies that have been done that show that loyalty amongst customers is decreasing.

One such study by research company fast.MAP in late 2013 reported that:

  • 20% of consumers will switch loyalties if offered a better loyalty programme by a competitor brand;
  • 33% use loyalty programmes to try out and buy from brands they wouldn’t normally use; and
  • 96% of consumers would be tempted to switch loyalties to a competitor by a good price promotion;

Given these statistics, it’s clear that having a ‘loyalty programme’ is no guarantee that your customers will remain loyal.

In these cases, loyalty programmes are nothing more than bribes.

Sure, people like things for free. Or, more for less. Who doesn’t?

The challenge is that many loyalty programmes are not delivering customer loyalty.

So, if everyone is trying to out discount and out ‘loyalty’ programme everyone else, what happens when you can’t discount or out do your competitors anymore? What are you left with?

Nothing? Or, at best, a commodity based business? Who wants that?

Therefore, if we really want to foster loyalty from our customers, don’t we need to re-examine what loyalty and being loyal really means?

Loyalty, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is the ‘quality of being loyal’ and loyal is ‘giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution’.

From these definitions, would you say that a loyalty programme is a good way to foster true loyalty?

No?

So, what to do?

Well, rather than giving up on customer loyalty, perhaps it’s time to re-examine what loyalty really means and what it takes to foster real loyalty.

Experience and history shows that loyalty can be bought. However, it also shows that loyalty that is earned is much more robust, powerful and sustainable.

Therefore, if we want our customers to be loyal to us then do we not have to first take a look at ourselves? After all, don’t we align ourselves with people and things that are like us or embody what we want to be like?

Loyalty that is earned has a number of elements to it, including:/>/>

  1. Having a shared cause or interests that are aligned;
  2. Doing what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it;
  3. Showing up regularly;
  4. Being able to forgive when someone makes a mistake;
  5. But, also being willing to punish someone when an error is made;
  6. Admitting when you are wrong and then apologising; and
  7. Always acting in the best interests of the people whose loyalty you are trying to earn.

There may be more elements but how many do you have in your business?

We cannot force a customer to be loyal to us. But, if we would like to earn rather than buy their loyalty, we, first, we have to become the person or the business that people would want to be loyal to.

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Twitter to track apps on your smartphone
New York, Nov 27 (IANS) The micro-blogging site Twitter has launched a new move to track which apps are installed on your cellphone.
 
 
Copper essential for resting brain too
New York, Nov 27 (IANS) A new study has found that proper copper levels are essential to the health of the brain at rest.
 
 
Dogs clearly listen to what we say
London, Nov 27 (IANS) Dogs pay attention not only to who we are and how we say things, but also to what we say, shows a study.
 
 
Eye's 'glassy' proteins behind sight deterioration
London, Nov 27 (IANS) The age-related long-sightedness could be due to proteins in eye-lens that are converted from a fluid solution to a solid glassy state, making the lens more rigid, says a study.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Modi, Sharif shake hands, chat at reception
Kathmandu, Nov 27 (IANS) After a day when they apparently ignored each other in front of cameras, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Premier Nawaz Sharif shook hands and met briefly during the retreat at...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Arsenal's target is to top Group D: Cazorla
London, Nov 27 (IANS) Arsenal mid-fielder Santi Cazorla said that after securing the last 16 spot in Champions League, the club's next target will be the top place of the group. The English club reached the knockout...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Five killed in Kabul suicide car bombing
Kabul, Nov 27 (IANS) At least five Afghan civilians were killed and 34 others wounded Thursday morning when a suicide car bombing targeted a British embassy armoured vehicle in eastern Kabul, sources said. The British...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Twitter to track apps on your smartphone
New York, Nov 27 (IANS) The micro-blogging site Twitter has launched a new move to track which apps are installed on your cellphone. "To help build a more personal Twitter experience for you, we are collecting and...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Galatasaray going through very difficult moment: Prandelli
Brussels, Nov 27 (IANS) Galatasaray coach Cesare Prandelli said that the club are going through "very difficult moment" following the 0-2 away defeat to RSC Anderlecht in the Champions League. "We will continue on our...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Pele remains in hospital in stable condition
Rio de Janeiro, Nov 27 (IANS) Brazil football legend Pele remains in hospital as he receives ongoing treatment for a urinary tract infection. The 74-year-old is being treated with intravenous antibiotics and is in a...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Simeone salutes his players for 4-0 win over Olympiakos
Madrid, Nov 27 (IANS) Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone praised his players after they defeated Olympiakos of Greece 4-0 in the Champions league at the Vicente Calderon Stadium here Wednesday. "We have produced some...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Basel made life difficult for us: Gareth Bale
Geneva, Nov 27 (IANS) Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale said Basel posed enough threats after Real won over the Swiss club 1-0 in the Champions League Wednesday night. "Basel are still battling to qualify, still fighting...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Tennis star Murray to marry
London, Nov 27 (IANS) Two-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray is set to marry long-time girlfriend Kim Sears, Murray's management team has announced. Murray, 27, and Sears, 26, have been a couple since meeting at the...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Natalie Portman up for Jobs biopic
Natalie Portman is in talks for a role in the Steve Jobs biopic. The 'Black Swan' actress is negotiating a deal to play a ''major role'' in the movie about the Apple co-founder - who died from pancreatic cancer in 2011...
Read more on Movie Balla