Friday, September 4, 2009
Build Store Advocacy Beyond Customer Loyalty
The trouble with you stopping at customer loyalty is that retail analysts have been pointing out for some time now how customers aren't all that loyal, even if they ever really were over the past few decades. Current customers may enjoy shopping with you, but with the exception of your family and close friends, unless you work consistently and vigorously to maintain that habit, current customers are not highly resistant to giving their business to somebody else.
The term "customer relationship marketing" is excellent shorthand for reminding us retailing professionals of the importance of every interaction between the shopper, on the one hand, and on the other hand, the staff members, the signage, the reward programs, the cleanliness of the parking lot, and on and on.
But as researchers from Memorial University of Newfoundland point out, customers don't often describe their interactions with retailers as "relationships."
Give your customers lots of specifics to praise you about as they talk to others. Go ahead to ask them to tell others about their experiences in shopping with you. To encourage them to practice doing this, regularly ask your customers how you are doing.