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Breeding the Best Advertising: Loyal Customers!

Sue Weinman Comments

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?

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