Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Customer loyalty

I found two interesting articles at ConnectIT USA last month. They seem to be two sides of the same coin. In Risky Business: How repeat customers may jeopardize your future, Jeff Mowatt suggests the possibility that "some folks who spend their money with your organization may not enjoy doing business with you at all. As a manager, how do you know that your customers are in fact loyal? Ask. In a round-about way, that is." When you read his example, I'm guessing many will nod with pained recognition.

Mark Cox, in Strengthening customer relationships in times of crisis, posits:
During times of economic crisis, organizations struggle to communicate unfavorable news, from lower earnings and shrinking market share, to cuts in service and increases in prices. The conventional wisdom is that bad news damages customer relationships and breeds mistrust among consumers. However, a new Simplicity Survey...finds that delivering bad news is an opportunity -- if done in the right way -- to strengthen customer relationships and lay the foundation for increased trust and loyalty when conditions improve.

The common theme, of course, is communication, proper communication with customers. Seems obvious; apparently, it's not.

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