“Customer satisfaction is worthless. Customer loyalty is priceless.” ~Jeffrey Gitomer
Do you agree with this quote? Disagree? Or is your reaction a little of both?
This is one of those great, provocative quotes that spark conversation and debate. My take on it is that customer satisfaction is worthless in the face of customer loyalty. In other words, customer loyalty is the ultimate goal, and customer satisfaction is simply the means to get there.
This is not to say that customer satisfaction doesn’t matter. It certainly does! Stopping at the first sentence in Mr. Gitomer’s quote would be to take it grossly out of context.
Rather, I think the point Gitomer (author of the best-selling Little Red Book of Selling) is making is that often we forget to look at the bigger picture with our customers … we don’t see the forest for the trees.
For Example …
Let’s take a house cleaning service business as an example. They land a client and do a “spring cleaning” job for her. It’s a big job, and they take great pains to make sure she’s satisfied with the work.
And she is. The client is extremely happy … very satisfied.
Now, if the company were only focused on customer satisfaction, they would consider this job a success. And they’d move on to landing the next job and satisfying the next customer.
The next time that homeowner needed to hire a cleaning service, she might call them again … or … she might shop around and try another company next time. She was satisfied, but that shortsighted company didn’t do anything to invoke her loyalty (and her repeat business).
But if this company’s ultimate goal was long-term customer loyalty — not simply short-term customer satisfaction — then they would realize that the job wasn’t over once they loaded all the gear and supplies back into the van and drove away. They would know that they still had work to do.
Create Customer Loyalty with a Company Newsletter
There are, of course, an unlimited number of creative ways to instill customer loyalty. But what they all have in common is maintaining a relationship that provides value. One of the most effective ways to do this is with a company newsletter.
If our house cleaning company in the example were focused on actively creating customer loyalty, they would send all their clients a monthly newsletter. The newsletter would contain articles that the homeowner would find useful, interesting, or entertaining. It would NOT be an additional sales pitch!
If it were simply a sales pitch, the company’s newsletter would quickly end up in the trash.
As the customer continues to receive these newsletters from the house cleaning company, she begins to feel a stronger connection with the business. She has a deeper appreciation for the value they provide beyond simply a clean home.
She — hopefully — becomes a loyal member of the company’s extended “family.”
And as such, she’s worth more to the company than just the fees collected from that initial spring cleaning job …
Now she’s priceless.
Your turn …
How do YOU instill customer loyalty? Please tell me about what’s worked for you by leaving a brief comment below. You just might spark an idea that helps one of your fellow readers!
Until next time … Write On!