The biggest mistake you can make regarding client loyalty is assuming you are highly relevant. If the only measurement you have is the opinions of yourself and your team, then you are at risk of reduced sales and margins.
How relevant are you to your market and your clients? Do they need your specific style of service? Do you stand for something that they align their personal values with? Are you their first thought when your product or service is considered?
If not, then consider you may be totally irrelevant to them, and there’s a strong indication they’re just satisfied with you. This means you are in the price trap with all the competition. After all, any relationships we truly appreciate in our lives are very relevant to us.
In the last 30 days in all of your dealings as a consumer, both personal and business, how many 10/10 ‘WOW’ experiences have you had? Experiences so exceptional, that you have gone out of your way to tell others so they may enjoy the same experience as you? Think this over and recall the number of experiences that confirm this, when you were happy to put your personal reputation on the line to recommend them.
From the thousands of people who have been asked, it averages around 10-15% of people have had a ‘WOW’ experience. How about you? Can you say, “Yes I’ve had a 10/10 experience and referred it to someone?” If so, in the last 30 days, how many experiences have you had?
In the last 30 days how many dreadful 6/10 or fewer experiences have you had where you will never go back or go out of your way to tell others about it because you’re not only unhappy yourself but want to protect them from experiencing the same frustration? More people recall this negative experience over the 10/10 ‘WOW’ experience. There is a lot more emotion around being upset than delighted, and the stories are more expressive!
The next question is critical and memorable to most people, and many have said months later that this question of relevance had a big impact on their team.
How many transactions do you think you have done, both personal and business over this same 30 day period? The average is approximately 300 transactions. It only takes six-seven transactions per day, and you have 200 in a month. The result is over 95% of the transactions made have not stood out enough to be relevant. They were just fine, OK, got what I 'expected', nothing wrong, business as usual. This situation of complacency could be costing you a lot more than you realise!
How relevant are you?
- When you are 10/10 you’re highly relevant, clients love you and tell others
- When you’re 6-0/10 you’re very relevant, clients dislike you and tell others
- Everything else means you’re irrelevant they tell no one and rarely remember you
Know your client
If you don’t know what your clients consider a 10/10 experience, you have no chance of knowing how to train and replicate this experience with predictability. Most of your client experiences will be a standard of satisfaction that keeps you mostly irrelevant and constantly having to invest in marketing, loyalty programs or discounting to stand out from the pack.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make regarding client loyalty is assuming you are highly relevant. If the only measurement is the opinions of you and your team, then you are at risk of reduced sales and margins.
Have you ever experienced driving in a thick fog? One moment you can see ahead and in the next moment, you are blinded to what’s ahead. The only predictable factor is the uncertainty of your vision until the fog clears, so you go slow and focus on the immediate threats right in front of you with no idea of anything else. It’s much the same when considering you are client relevance.
As the diagram shows, you are relevant at 10/10 client experience, you are relevant at 6-0/10 but at 9/10 or less you are in the ‘Fog of Irrelevance’. You can have all the gimmicks but you are only in focus for a second, and then you are gone again.
The real challenge is that most transactions are not bad or negative, they’re just average and average service doesn’t earn the highest margin. As an absolute minimum you have got to provide a 9/10 experience with your clients, and even then there is a still a degree of risk with their extreme loyalty and degree of irrelevance.
Client loyalty must be understood as a very serious game in your business. In any game, you have a winner and a loser. What helps in business is that many clients are creatures of habit, and as long as you are okay you expect most of them to return. However are you getting the wallet share you can from them, are you enough? How confident are you that this strategy is a long-term performer? Would you rather have the ability to be in control of how your market feels about you?
Make certain your team is clear on the distinction of relevance. Your front line team must be clear and never in the fog. It is your responsibility to ensure they have the tools and the skills to know the difference. If your team has the belief that when it comes to client experiences, any score 9/10 or under is a good enough standard, then you’re missing out on a golden opportunity that’s there for the taking.