Loyalty – A Customer Love Fest
It’s Valentine’s Day today. Those of us that are involved with a “significant other” are thinking about love. Do a Google search or check out Wikipedia and you will see that the history and origin of St Valentine’s Day has much to do with love AND loyalty. According to The U.S. Greeting Card Association 190 million valentines are sent each year in the USA. When you include the exchange of valentine cards made in schools (remember your first?) the figure goes up to 1 billion. Wow!
But let’s think for a few moments about love and loyalty in a business context. One brand that seemingly does a good job of training its employees about the meaning and value of loyalty is Marriott. Almost universally when you check into any one of 2800+ hotels/15 brands you are genuinely thanked for your loyalty. This of course applies only if in fact you are a card carrying Marriott Rewards member. It’s such a simple thing, right? The front desk agent checking you in is looking at her screen and can clearly see that you are a participant in the loyalty program. And then she says it – “I see that you are a Marriott Rewards member. Thank you for your loyalty”. Simple. Elegant. Effective.
A well written blog “Despite Weak Customer Experience, Costco Dominates Satisfaction” attempts to crack the code on what a consumer will put up with and still remain loyal. The author Brian Cantor concludes - “The customer experience can absolutely add value to a brand’s offerings, and as customers work to maximize that value, it makes sense to complement great product lines with superior service”. Well said, Brian.
We know quite a lot about loyalty (or at least enough to be dangerous) so we push back on the notion that loyalty is subservient to the price/value equation or even the price/quality equation. Our clients know this too. That’s why they make the investment of having Trase Miller to act as their offline fulfillment partner. Our clients hire us with the understanding that we deliver premium quality with agreed upon service levels that may cost them a bit more but in the end delight their customers.