Posts Tagged ‘Customer Loyalty’

Newsday Article-Customer Loyalty

Here is the link to an article in Newsday about customer loyalty to which I contributed. http://www.newsday.com/columnists/jamie-herzlich/small-business-customer-loyalty-retention-1.4295932.

Storytelling, Fly Fishing and Me

 

Last week I travelled to Arkansas to “talk loyalty”  with 350 tourism professionals attending the Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism. Most of my audience either owned or managed tourist destinations, lodging, dining or some combination. “Find your firm’s  signature story” was one of the loyalty strategies I shared. Customers learn through your story and come to care about your business because of it.

Jim’s Story

Take resort owner,  Jim Gaston.  This 69 year old can talk Facebook marketing strategies with the best of us.  But Jim’s signature story began more than 50 years ago when his father Al bought 20 acres of White River frontage including six small cottages and six boats.  In 1962, Jim (then in his 20′s), took over the operation. “I didn’t have a clue how to grow the business, so I had to learn,” says Jim.  And grow it he did!

Today, Gaston White River Resort covers over 400 acres with two miles of river frontage and houses  79 “cottages” ( including a two-story with ten private bedrooms) and a fleet of 70 boats with a massive state-of-the -art dock to hold them.  A restaurant, three  nature trails, a fly fishing school, swimming p0ol, tennis court, airstrip and conference lodge complete this one-of-a-kind resort.

Says Jim, “People still visit us who were guests of  Gaston’s back in 1958. Many of them were children then and now visit us with their children.”

Jim’s secret sauce? “It’s a host of  little things that bring people back,” says Jim. For example, if we notice a guest has a flat tire, we get their cars keys and fix it. There are no scared cows in this business.”  Wise words from the man who just this month was named Arkansas 2011 Executive of the Year.

Loyalty Lesson

What’s your firm’s signature story?  It can separate you from your competition while building  a pathway to the hearts of your prospects and customers.  Bottomline, it helps your buyers care about your cause.

Gather your team and brainstorm on your signature story.  Whether you sell healthcare or hamburgers, you have a compelling story to tell.

Capture  it.

Then start sharing it with the world!

Already Have A Signature Story?  Please tell us!

3 Ways to Enhance Your Loyalty Marketing Program

Loyalty expert Jill Griffin was featured in Deliver Magazine. The US Postal Office publishes this great publication which you can subscribe to online. Jill’s latest book Taming the Search and Switch Customer addresses how Google and online search are changing the game of customer loyalty.

This article was written by Pamela Oldham and is crossposted at oddpodz.com

Loyalty marketing has significantly evolved in the last two decades — and there are pitfalls to not keeping up. Marketing guru Jill Griffin, author of the best-selling Customer Loyalty: How to Earn It, How to Keep It, explains how changing your approach to loyalty can help you win more business from the customers you already have.

1. Evolve with Your Customers
Customer needs are changing, constantly evolving, be it business-to-business or business-to-consumer. “Customers can help you stay on top of the ‘value curve’ and help you find ways to deliver exceptional value,” Griffin says. “But you can’t depend on them to spell it out in a focus group. You have to dig for that info.” Find the behaviors of your best customers, understand why customers are walking away from you when they do and put together the pieces of the value puzzle.

2. Keep Up with Loyalty Marketing Trends
Right now, it’s less about redeeming for merchandise and more about access and enhancing experiences — for example, a credit card company giving customers the ability to get great tickets for a major rock concert before they go on sale to the general public. “Bigger retailers are recognizing that customization of experiences is a big deal,” Griffin says. “And the payoff is that customer spending increases significantly over the months following an event.”

3. Identify and Monitor Your Best Customers
Don’t just amass customer data, truly wade through it and make it strategic.Look at spending. But don’t stop there. Also look at future lifetime value and share of wallet. Marry geographic and income data with that to see if that person has a larger wallet and a larger potential to spend long term. “You want to invest in that potential,” Griffin says. “It’s not just who’s spending the most money with you right now.”

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