Just about every week my wife and I get to experience the best customer loyalty program in the world.
The great thing is, this “program” is not limited to just one company. There’s no patent on it. No system or program to buy and learn. And, the companies that use this “program” didn’t hire a consultant.
Their system is simply. And it works great.
They talk to their customers.
And they remember their customers.
The two businesses that do this notably well are both restaurants. Both are managed by their owners. Both are very successful. And both have been in business less than three years.
But, in that short time they’ve built a loyal customer base that keeps them as busy as they want.
At both restaurants, the owners work hard helping things run. They bus dishes, they seat customers, they ring up bills.
Even better, they spend a lot of their time talking with customers. As busy as they are, every time we’re there they find time to chat for a few minutes.
We learn about their kids and their garage sales and their pets and everything else friends talk about.
When I hear about all the latest and greatest “customer loyalty” programs spit out by so many companies, I cringe a little.
Because I know most of them don’t really work.
They don’t work because they’re not really customer loyalty programs. They’re “customer retention” programs. Their purpose is to retain customers.
Retain means “to keep or hold in a particular place, condition, or position.”
You see, their focus is wrong because it’s all about benefiting the company. So, it serves the company, not the customer.
My friends who run the two successful restaurants are focusing on the needs of their customers. They serve their customers. They befriend them. They provide an environment where people WANT to come back.
That’s how you develop loyal customers.
Forget about customer retention. Forget about what YOU want.
Focus on what your customers want.
Create a business where your customers want to come back and they will.
And it doesn’t have to cost a penny more than what you’re spending now.