Entries in loyal customers (2)

Wednesday
Mar302011

What does a passionate customer look like?

"I can't imagine a world without your Brand"

Can you contemplate a customer saying that about your company? If they do, it has a massive impact on performance.  See results here.

 

  • You go to a party and see kids wearing branded shoes.
  • You neighbour only ever buys one brand of car.
  • You go to a great restaurant and never go back, but return to your favourite.
  • You only use one car rental company.
  • You only drink one type of beer.

 

What’s going on here?  It’s more than loyalty.  It’s more than satisfaction.  It’s more than habit.  It’s passion.

If someone is passionate about your brand, they will drive out of their way to find it.  They will literally wear your logo on their sleeve.  They will not entertain alternatives.

Customer service is about more than loyalty cards and nice service.  It’s about making an emotional attachment.

A recent Gallup article suggest three ways to drive passion.

1)    Brand Integrity – This means delivering what you promise.  Your service need integrity.  Which simply means, doing what you said you'd do every-single-time. I’ve written about this before but I especially love this one because my company name is Service Integrity.

2)    Treat staff like people – This calls on managers to manage front-line staff with fairness and respect.  My recent 4 post series “Shut up and serve customers” was all about this – see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4

3)    Resolve problems – This one is surprising.  Stuff happens.  If a customer has a problem, AND you resolve it quickly, your customer will be more loyal than one who does not have problems.

See related article – Exceeding the Customer’s Expectations - Not

 

Tuesday
May112010

How Revenue can be killed by efficiency

So what do Qantas and Elvis have in common? 

The answer is in the economic Supply and Demand curve, which does not always work as it should.

The theory is that as supply decreases, then prices increase.  If you are the only person selling Elvis memorabilia on eBay, you can fetch a high prices.

Some airlines such as Qantas are using the same philosophy.  When executives are rewarded on efficiency of stock price and resources, then crazy things can happen.

Using Qantas as an example.  From Sydney Australia, they used to fly all over Europe to places like Rome, Paris, London and Frankfurt.   Like all airlines, in order to be efficient, they have codeshare deals with other airlines.  All flights now go to Frankfurt or London for connections.

So to fly to Istanbul, Turkey you fly over Istanbul to Frankfurt, then connect to Turkish airlines for a 3-4 hour flight back.  Oh and instead of paying $2,500.00 you get to pay an extra $1,000.00 for the privilege.

Loyal frequent flyers who are prisoners of their programs are paying more money, for a more torturous flight, for worse in flight service, and get to pay an extra 40% for the privilege.  And the flights are packed – in fact a last minute booking through London (not that anyone would want to) is impossible.

Sounds like good business.  What’s the problem?  Flights are full and they are charging a premium.  The executives would be thrilled because they are meeting KPI’s.  However, there is a big problem.


Eventually whole groups of loyal customers (I am on the second highest tier) stop flying.  Eventually it gets to be too much.  Last year a similar situation caused me to fly Singapore airlines (wow!) and in two weeks I am taking Emirates.

My (forced) loyalty has been broken.  Eventually you cannot take anymore.  An the drop in business comes suddenly, without warning.  A point is reached when you have the most efficient business in the world, but you are doing the least business.

Higher price does not mean higher service.  Sometimes higher price is just… higher price.  When value is lost, the business follows.