(The following is an excerpt from the weekly newsletter “Winning at Work”)
Every business has loyal customers. These are the people who you see most frequently, and ultimately the people who are your heaviest users. Loyal customers are critical to the success of any organization, and you would think that these people would be treated like royalty. But interestingly, that doesn’t always happen. In fact, sometimes it’s exactly the opposite that happens.
One of the big traps that we can fall into is to begin to take these customers for granted. A sales associate will ignore the regular customer and take the new customer, believing that the regular ‘will understand’ that it’s busy. A company will expend their efforts chasing new business, comforted in thinking that their existing customers will stay with them forever. It’s a trap that has led to catastrophic results for many, many organizations. Here are some guidelines for dealing with loyal customers:
- Don’t take loyal customers for granted. These are people who value the relationship they have with you. Make sure that they know you value them as well.
- Don’t get comfortable At any time there are other companies trying to woo your customers from you. You have to keep working on the relationship.
- Get to know them The better you understand your customer, the better you will be able to understand what they are looking for and meet their needs now, and in the future.