We have two dogs. They’re both Basset Hounds.
They’re great dogs. They are the living, breathing personification of the term “companion animal.”
Both our dogs are in their senior years. One of them, our male, (Lenny) is starting to show signs of wear. He has arthritis so bad he can only take short walks these days. This is a big change because these hounds live for their walks.
The female (Maggie) is fine. She could walk all day and all night.
So you might think we take Lenny on short walks, which are all he can handle, while Maggie gets longer walks, which are good for keeping her in shape.
But that’s now how it works with our dogs.
You see, as much as Maggie loves to take us for walks, she won’t go without Lenny. We’ve tried. She just stands there and looks back at the house. As long as he’s not with us, she refuses to go.
At first, it was frustrating because we knew Maggie could use the exercise of a longer walk.
Then we realized how important it was to her that we all walk together.
Now we take two walks. First, we take a short one with both dogs. Then, a longer one with no dogs. (We humans need our exercise too, you know!)
While it’s sad to see our puppies age, it’s sweet to see the loyalty they show each other.
It makes me wonder what that kind of loyalty would do for a business. Any business.
What if your employees and colleagues were that loyal? What if everyone in your company or on your team decided they were all in it together? So, everything they did, they did with the strength of a team that could not be separated.
Would that make a difference in how your company operates?
Would that improve the quality of your product or service delivery?
Let’s take it a step further.
What if your vendors acted with the same unyielding loyalty to you? How might that change how your business is able to operate?
If you knew you could count on your vendors like they were family, would that enable you to deliver a better product or service to your customers?
Then let’s take it one more step.
What if your company could build that level of loyalty with your customers or clients? I think Jack Burke would call that “Level Five” customer loyalty.
Think of how much more you could do for your customers if you could count on their loyalty from year to year. Think of the resources you could reallocate from advertising, marketing, sales and invest into serving your customers better. And, if you did this well, you’d create even better relationships with them, which would lead to stronger loyalty.
As icing on the cake, do you think such strong loyalty might translate into more referrals?
I think it would.
As you ponder the eternal question of how to attract and keep more customers, think of Maggie and Lenny, our loving, loyal basset hounds. How could you create more loyalty in the relationships that make your business work? How could you strengthen the bonds with your employees, managers, vendors and, of course, customers, so they wouldn’t even consider going elsewhere.
Figure this out and you’ll be miles ahead of your competition.
And you’ll have a much more valuable (not to mention fun) business.