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How To Develop Lasting Customer Loyalty

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/20/2006 | Business and Finance
Do you have trouble making money in your business? Do you not seem to be able to get people to buy from you? And the few who do...do they rarely if ever make a repeat sale...much less demonstrate any deep loyalty to your business?

You've heard the business slang flying around the internet. You know, words like 'CRM' (Customer Relationship Management) that we're supposed to spend thousands of dollars on to learn how to develop wonderful customer loyalty...deepen trust...to get repeat business.

And yes...it is true. All of those things are important. But it is so easy to get caught up in the details that we often lose sight of the 'BIG' picture. We swallow the camel while straining at the gnat.

While I believe that CRM and all those other things are very important for running a business, we just need to use a little common sense. I know...I know...you're going to tell me that common sense isn't so common in most businesses this day and age. And you would be right.

But before I get to the point, let me try to illustrate what I mean with a short story. Maybe it will help clarify what I am getting at.

I had an employee I ended up firing due to some rather 'unloyal' actions on his part. He soon got a job with one of my competitors...which turned out to be a really beneficial thing for me as he kept me up-to-date on what was going on over there.

He lives just a few houses down the street from me and would come by every once in while to say 'hey' and shoot the breeze. Once he came by and told me about this big seminar that he was going to be attending.

His boss was paying for his 'ridiculously' priced ticket to some 'CRM' seminar. The idea was that they wanted everyone in the company to learn how to manage their customers. Right?

So anyway, after all is said and done, I asked him how it went. He said it went great. But the only problem they were having was that his boss wouldn't implement any of things they had learned there.

Listen! They had spent a lot of money to send the whole staff to this fantastic (expensive) seminar, but then wouldn't let the employees put anything they learned into practice. Can anyone say 'common sense'?

Sometimes, we (yes, I am included here) get so bogged down with all of the little things we need to do that we lose our focus. If you want to 'manage your customer relationships' just keep it simple.

Think 'Golden Rule' simple.

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!"

Can you imagine how loyal your customers and clients would be if you treated them like you would want to be treated all of the time?

Uh huh!

So, take a few moments to sit down and imagine yourself walking into your business. How would you most likely be treated vs. the way you would want to be treated?

Think about ways to wow your customers and give them more than they bargained for. Do you really want loyal customers or not? You say you do...but your actions don't show it now. Do they?

So, simplify your life of all that 'fancy CRM' stuff you deal with...and get into your customer's shoes. Give them the experience of a lifetime. They will give you the lifetime of loyalty you seek in return.