What Makes You a Loyal Customer?

by Joe Lavelle on February 28, 2010

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dunkin

What needs to take place at a restaurant, department store, or accounting firm (just to offer a few examples) that will make you want to return for another visit?  Even beyond that, what causes you to form an attachment to a certain business to the point that it becomes a needed part of your routine?

I have friends who tell me that going through the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru (I’m showing my regional preference here …  and family loyalty) for a coffee is as essential to their morning routine as dropping off the kids at school.  Why?  Is it the quality of the product?  Is the fact that the employees are smiling or that they always get the order right?

In a recent post on his blog Sanders Says, Tim Sanders reminds his readers of the importance of loyalty and how some business owners and entrepreneurs overlook the value in a loyal customer.  He asks us to think about the emotional component of loyalty, not just the financial benefits.  Two important points Sanders writes are:

Customer loyalty creates a positive work experience for talent and an inspiring place for leaders.

and

Loyalty is more than repeat business, it is an emotional attachment with working with YOU.

When loyalty happens in a professional environment, everyone involved in the relationship feels good.  Employees like to know that their work is valued and desired, and will make it a priority to perform even better to maintain that connection with a client.  Customers, in turn, build a greater trust in your business over time and enjoy having their expectations exceeded on a regular basis.  If you let a client/customer know he is genuinely appreciated, you are going to receive loyalty in return.

So, I return to my question at the top of this post.  Who has done a good job of inspiring loyalty in you and why?  Maybe your experiences will help other readers develop new techniques at building their own loyal base of customers.

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