How Do You Convince Your Customer Base to Stay?

by Joe Lavelle on March 10, 2010

No Gravatar

If you are in business for yourself, you know that a loyal customer base is essential for your professional reputation and long-term success.  When two friends are discussing car troubles over the backyard fence, you want your name to be mentioned as the best mechanic in town.  If a large party dines at your restaurant to celebrate an important occasion such as a graduation or an engagement, you want everyone in attendance to remember that night with fondness, both for the delicious food and the attentive care they received.  I have no doubt that referrals will result.  The specific nature of your business doesn’t matter–customer satisfaction and trust always matters.

So, how do you recover when your business is tarnished in a very public and devastating way?  Is it possible to keep your customer base in the wake of revelations concerning the quality of your products or the ethical practices of those in positions of leadership?  Many companies, both large and small, have folded after bad publicity.  How have others managed to weather the storm?

Toyota is asking itself all of these questions right now, and we are beginning to see the results of their public relations efforts throughout the media.  There are new television commercials featuring actual workers at Toyota who share their determination to make things right and actual customers who pledge their continued loyalty to the brand.  Board members have testified before Congress and promised a complete review of all safety standards and a renewed effort to make their cars ones you can trust.  Will all of this be enough?

I’m sure you are familiar with the difficulties Toyota is facing and that you’ve seen some of their attempts to make amends.  How do you think this major car company is handling the crisis?  What is working for them?  What isn’t?  If you were advising those in charge at Toyota, what do you recommend as the next steps?

Be Sociable, Share!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Fatal error: Cannot assign by reference to overloaded object in /home/customer/www/ on line 176