The Top Things that Undermine Loyalty

To be loyal means to be faithful and dedicated. Loyal subjects are faithful to their leader. Loyal friends are trusted with a secret. A loyal spouse is devoted to their marriage partner. Loyal customers are dedicated to a business . . . as long as it is meaningful to do so.

When a political leader is caught in a lie or makes a decision their subjects don’t agree with, loyalty wavers. When a friend hurts your feelings, you may be less inclined to keep their secrets. When a spouse offends or breaks a marriage vow, loyalty comes into question. What are some things that effect customer loyalty?

  • Bad serviceHonesty
  • Broken promises
  • Lack of communication
  • Poor ethics
  • Dishonesty
  • Lack of integrity

It all relates to 1 thing: TRUST. If your customers can’t trust your business, you have just lost any loyalty you had. When service is poor or inconsistent, clients don’t feel taken care of. They aren’t sure they can count on you. When you promise a result or a deadline and you don’t deliver, clients are less likely to believe your promises next time. If you don’t communicate what is happening with your client’s project, they will be left to wonder and make assumptions. If your business is dishonest, customers won’t come back again. When you fail to do the right thing for your clients or colleagues, they won’t trust you in the future.

If you build loyalty by developing relationships with your clients, when a mistake happens once they will understand and be willing to stand by you as long as you are willing to make it right. When these things happen repeatedly your loyal clients will be happy to try out another service provider.

When a customer is wronged or disappointed, they feel the need to be heard. If you don’t hear them, they will speak out about it to others. As others hear about it, it destroys your reputation. This causes you to not only lose customer loyalty, but also brand reputation among potential clients.

There are some things you can do to protect your business. You can establish customer service policies so you and your staff know what your standards are. One of the forms included in the Client Retention Jumpstart is the WOW Customer Service Manifesto. It will walk you through 5 customer service components for your business.

You can develop an attitude that the customer comes first and make it a priority to communicate with your clients and apologize and fix things when they go wrong. Another piece of the Client Retention Jumpstart is the WOW! I’m Sorry! Checklist. This is a great form to keep handy for whenever there is a mistake. It shows you the 5 elements you need to touch on to make a complete apology.

Loyalty helps your business grow. Take some time to evaluate if your business is falling into any of the traps that may be undermining loyalty and then take the necessary steps to change. Make sure you are earning and keeping the trust of your clients.

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