Business and Operations
Ten Commandments to Create Lifetime Customers
By Tra Williams
How The Ten Commandments of Value Creation will create customers for life and improve business relations
By Tra Williams
Here are the Ten Commandments of value creation and earning a customer for life.
1) Technology Reduction: In today’s technology immersion, human touch matters more than ever. Each reduction of human interaction is a missed opportunity to earn a lifetime customer, who judges the value you provide by metrics that you define…not just speed. When someone takes real time to provide personal enhancements to an individual experience – that’s impressive. Real service innovation comes from the people within an organization.
2) Focus on front-line staff: It’s the front line employee who is friendly and patient, who smiles all the time and who remembers the customers’ names and business needs. Make sure your culture emphasizes treating them with the time and attention they deserve and they will treat your customers the same way.
3) Have a real relationship with your customer:You should add value to their lives in ways that are unrelated to the transaction. Look for ways to be a resource, not just a provider.
4) Develop a customer-first culture: Take your time and hire the right people. Then focus on their development. They will grow the business. Customer loyalty is built by people, not in spite of them.
5) Cultivate Reciprocity: We are hardwired to do more for those who do things for us…escort clients to their car.
6) Eliminate Policies: “That’s just our policy,” should never be uttered in business. They reveal to your customer that your culture values adherence to arbitrary rules more than customer satisfaction.
7) Empower your team: If you’ve followed Commandment #2 and #4, then this one should be easy. Every team member should feel empowered to do what is right in each specific situation. “Let me ask my manager” tells your customer that you don’t trust your employees’ discretion or decision-making.
8) Celebrate: Customers want to feel like the money they spend is making the world a better place. Publicly celebrate your wins, your anniversaries, your employee accomplishments (both in and out of work), your growth, your community engagement, your awards and your achievements.
9) Raise the Stakes: Service innovation means you are challenging traditional expectations. The flip side of this coin is that doing something new is also a new opportunity to fail. Fortunately, studies have shown that customers value effort nearly as much as the result. Consistent mediocrity is still unimpressive.
10) Have a mission: People are not motivated by what; people are motivated by why. Where you spend your money is a major part of your identity. Customers align themselves with organizations that mirror who they are, or at least who they’d like to be.Instead of conjuring new ways to complete a transaction faster, make the experience so amazing that the customer will never want it to end.
Tra Williams is a celebrated speaker, business consultant and author of the forthcoming book Feed Your Unicorn. He is a nationally recognized thought leader in small business, franchising, leadership and entrepreneurship. Tra works with people, professionals, and organizations to help them define success on their own terms and build the framework required to sustain it.