Create Customer Loyalty by Paying it Forward


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The term “pay it forward” refers to passing a good deed that someone has done for you to someone else in return. For instance, when a stranger pays a bridge pass fee for you, you don’t have to pay them back. Instead, you can extend the helping hand to another person who is in need of assistance. You may have read the novel Pay It Forward or watched the movie by the same title. This story is about a kid who performed three voluntary deeds for people and refused any form of payment. Instead, he asked the recipients to do the same to others who required their help and asked that they don’t break the cycle. This way, you will have paid forward the kindness of another person. The same concept can be applied in business to create customer loyalty.

How Companies Can Pay It Forward

Companies and organizations have different ways of doing community outreach to help pay it forward. Some of the ways companies engage in include:

-Encouraging employees to join and support a charity organization of their choice.
-Encouraging staff and employees to participate in the Pay it Forward day. They too can promote the day by engaging in doing beautiful things.
-Creating a departmental challenge where various departments compete to make the biggest impact on the community through different activities and charitable deeds.
-Provisioning funds or time to employees to participate in doing some generous deeds in the community.
-Donating funds to charities that are engaging in a particular drive.

Allowing employees or staff paid time off work to benefit local charities.

Charities are the most favorable places to pay it forward. Charities offer free services and goods to people who are most in need of the services. For this reason, by contributing to a charity or non-profit organization, you can be assured that your money will be used for a good cause.

Starbucks Pays It Forward

Starbucks is a great example of a company that promotes this concept, as they did this past holiday season. They even got in on the act, rewarding customers who paid it forward with a free drink of their own. One of their stores ended up breaking a record by documenting over 1000 customers paying it forward by buying the goods for the person behind them in line. In today’s day and age this kind of generosity does not go unnoticed. Starbucks was generously praised on social media and online for this simple campaign of promoting charitable giving. This is a fantastic example of the concept at work at a well known company. Other companies can benefit by creating pay it forward programs of their own to engage and inspire customers.

Paying it forward from a company’s perspective is a beneficial way to gain good PR exposure while inspiring good deeds in the community. The more favorable a brand or company looks in a customer’s eyes, the more likely they are to be loyal to that brand. We’ve seen this work in a negative way all too many times where a brand’s image gets tarnished by something they’ve done wrong. In this way, it’s refreshing that a controllable action or campaign such as paying it forward can garner positive attention to your brand and in turn in your customer’s minds. Kindness spreads like a wildfire, so many businesses should consider acting on this to foster customer loyalty.

Amelia Ranta
Ranta Consulting
Amy is a frequent blogger in topics such as tech, law, and business. She loves traveling and never stops learning.


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