How many things do you feel you know for sure about how to create loyalty in customers? I can think of at least two basic truths. One is that customer loyalty is created by people—in your case, that means your work force. The other truth is that you can’t develop loyal customers very well with a work force that isn’t loyal to your company.
If you want loyal customers, therefore, the first question becomes: How do you build a loyal work force? Glad you asked, because, wow, do I have a great answer to that one. Please read on.
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IF YOU WANT “STICKY” CUSTOMERS, YOU NEED A STICKY WORK FORCE.
I have read volumes about how to develop more loyal customers. The most intelligent and honest experts on the subject will tell you that people do not feel real loyalty toward corporate entities in the abstract. They might feel loyal to a cause or a duty, but mostly people feel loyalty only to other people. The best experts also will tell you that if your employees feel no loyalty toward your company, they aren’t going to generate loyalty among your customers, either.If you want “sticky” customers, you need a sticky work force. So how do you create one of those? I have studied this question quite a bit, too. What my research turns up is a multitude of “tips.” For instance, pay your people well and on time. Put loyalty into your mission statement. Hire people who have proven to be loyal. Celebrate employees who stick around. Tips like those are helpful. I have no argument with them. However, a collection of tips does not represent a process that you can use consistently every day. I know for sure that if you want true loyalty, then building loyalty cannot be something you work on from time to time. Your efforts must be consistent, and they must be part of a coherent process. So let’s talk about an actual process for creating sticky employees. When I look at the incremental decisions that employees make in the course of developing a loyal relationship with a company, the decision-making sequence looks exactly like the one that customers use when evaluating your people, your solutions, and your company. Since these are the loyalty decisions that employees make, why not follow a process that appeals to each of them?