Breeding the Best Advertising: Loyal Customers!
|Copyright 2014 by Virgo Publishing.|
|By: Sue Weinman|
|Posted on: 04/27/2008|
As my quest to improve our company’s client service, I came across the book, Customer Satisfaction Is Worthless; Customer Loyalty Is Priceless, by Jeffrey Gitomer, a sales guru I have long admired. The premise of the book is that clients who are only satisfied will turn to the competition on a dime, while loyal customers will not only stay with a company for the long term, but they will go out of their way to rave about you to friends and business associates.
While recently designing a Yellow Pages ad for a client, I asked for his business’s competitive advantages. I was told the main difference is customer service. While that becomes the featured copy point of the ad, the proof is in the pudding.
Many storage facilities boast about customer service, but few truly deliver. Saying that customer service is your biggest selling point means you should be exceeding customer expectations not just providing a satisfying experience. The difference? A satisfied customer says everything was "OK," with feelings ranked somewhere between "impartial" and "happy." These customers haven’t had a negative experience, but you haven’t done anything to knock their socks off either, which would mean you had exceeded expectations.
A loyal customer, one who will rave about your customer service, uses the word "great" frequently when describing the experience. These clients are overly satisfied; they will talk about your service and actively recruit new customers for you.
The best and least expensive source of advertising is a loyal customer. Knowing that, what can you as a self-storage owner or manager do to convert satisfied customers into devoted fans?
The Customer Comes First
The lesson begins with educating staff on the value of a good customer relationship and how it translates to new business. Make sure your managers understand that the customer is the reason they receive paychecks; the boss is only the vehicle for delivery.
Encourage employees to engage customers in conversations to find out what they want, what they like and, equally important, what they don’t like. Promote creativity among the staff and reward excellent ideas as well as stellar customer service. Following are some areas of training on which to focus:
Back to the Book
In his book, Gitomer skillfully explains the earnest need to improve customer service and earn fans for your business. Here are some of the many important thoughts I feel are invaluable:
There you have it: The secret to winning the Super Bowl of self-storage success is first to spoil your customers with great service. Do you have what it takes? Turn this knowledge into practice and you’ll be getting rave reviews by your fans, who’ll also be your customers for life.
Sue Weinman is vice president, Yellow Page Services, of Michaels Wilder Inc., an advertising agency specializing in Yellow Pages, Internet marketing and talent recruitment for the self-storage industry since 1989. For more information, visit www.michaelswidler.com.