What do you define as loyalty? Loyalty combines words and action. It is time-tested devotion and a quality that is most valued for the steadfast security it brings. Theodore Roosevelt said, “It is better to be faithful than famous”. The American author, Elbert Hubbard agreed by saying, “If put to a pinch, an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness”.
In relationships, loyalty fosters trust, security, affection, and boosts the ability to thrive. The same holds for professional relationships: only by fostering loyalty among the customer base will we be able to see our business flourish and reach its full potential.
So how to go about getting this loyalty which your business so badly needs?
The 3 Essential Pathways for Fostering Loyalty
So, you’ve already got some buy-in, whether it’s through your customers, partners, or employees who have entrusted you with their money, business, or their future. At this point, they are looking to you for reassurance that they have made the right decision. Here are three essential pathways through which you can do that:
Cultivate Loyalty: Don’t be so focused on bringing prospects through the front door that you forget to keep an eye on those going out the back door. You can cultivate loyalty by providing enough value for your existing customers and employees to stick around for the long term. Long term success is not only about bringing in new customers, but also about fostering loyalty within existing customers.
Celebrate Loyalty: Sometimes, even something as little as a Christmas card or a personal phone call can go a long way towards making a customer feel valued. Never miss a chance to celebrate progress and milestones which you set for your business and look for creative ways to publicly appreciate clients and coworkers who make these goals possible.
Reward Loyalty: The value of repeat customers is difficult to overstate. For example, according to the book Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to existing customers is 60%-70%, and they typically spend 67% more than first-time clients. Repeat customers are also a valuable source of recommendations and word-of-mouth traffic to your business. The question now is: are you adequately rewarding this loyalty? Consider personalized incentives, tailored service packages, preferential terms, discounts, and other benefits. A little extra for these ambassadors of your business will go a long towards making them super-loyal for years to come.
Inspiring loyalty in others is directly a result of prioritizing people. Companies that recognize people and go the extra mile to cultivate, celebrate, and reward their loyalty will ultimately come out on top in terms of customer retention and employee satisfaction.
Relationally, loyalty builds trust, security, affection, and the ability to thrive. The same is true professionally – only as we build loyal customers and employees will we begin to see business prosper and flourish to its fullest potential. So how can you grow something so intangible, yet so critical, to the foundation of your organization?