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Consistency and Reliability
Business writer and consultant Phyllis Ross (301-384-0769) writes in her article 7 Secrets of Customer Loyalty about the importance of consistency and reliability in building customer loyalty:
"Consistency and reliability. You do a great job the first time you produce the service. You do a not-so-great job the second time. The third time, you cancel an hour before you're supposed to show up. Do you recognize yourself in this description? If you do, you probably do not have a large customer base. Everyone these days has an incredibly busy schedule. To have loyal customers means to be a business person that your customers can rely on for consistency of product, and adherence to the promised schedule. For example, while cleaning establishments have come and gone in my neighborhood, I've continued to use the same cleaners for the last twenty years. I know, with total certainty, that my clothes will be ready, when promised, perfectly pressed, and with no missing buttons. Why bother checking out the competition when I receive such reliable service?"
Fix It Now - Discuss It Later
Business writer and consultant Phyllis Ross writes in her article 7 Secrets of Customer Loyalty about the importance of customer satisfaction in building customer loyalty:
"Fix it now, discuss it later. That's the motto of my son, Richard Ross who works in the technology industry. Richard says, 'There's nothing more frustrating than when a company makes a mistake, and the first action taken is to probe the cause. While you're doing this, the problem is still out there, and probably getting worse. Instead, find the quickest, most effective solution. It might not be the permanent fix, but at least you're practicing damage control. Then invite the customer to assist with the post-mortem.' "
Kingstowne Auto Care in Alexandria, VA (703-719-7606) knows the best way to market their business. It's not just "caring" for the cars - it's really caring about the customers. They don't offer inspection services in-house, but if a customer's car is being repaired to pass the state's safety inspection requirements, Kingstowne has the car inspected for the customer (at no extra cost) so it's ready to roll when when the owner picks it up. Tire pressure, knobs that need adjusting, windows that need washing. Kingstowne Auto Care knows it's the small things that build customer loyalty. Have you "cared" about your customers lately?
"Value-Added" Conference Service
Ever think of attending conferences for your clients? We know one fellow who offers this as a "value-added"service to his customers. They hire him to attend the big trade conferences in their industries, paying his airfare, accommodations, conference fees and a "day rate" for his time. He audio tapes (if permitted) certain conference seminars, picks up literature and reports, and makes contacts on behalf of his clients. He also gets the chance to network for his own business.