Longstanding Loyalty

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Blue Sky Longstanding LoyaltyI used to go to the same Chinese Restaurant weekly growing up. My family celebrated birthdays, graduations, and other fun celebrations at this restaurant. It’s no wonder they memorized our orders and always recognized us when we came in.

When I went off to college, I moved out of my hometown and rarely, if ever, ate at this restaurant anymore. It’s been over five years since I’ve been there. This weekend, I was visiting home and had a craving for my favorite Chinese food. The restaurant was exactly the same with the same women working, the same décor, and the same diner-like booths. They did, however, have a new paint job and the fish tank was moved a little to the right. I was pleasantly surprised to see the ambiance was the same.

As I walked up to the restaurant, I thought to myself, they won’t possibly remember me. As I walked in, one of the servers seated me and I started looking over the menu. When my server approached the table to take my order, she said “It’s good to see you. It’s been a long time!” I. Was. Shocked. She recognized me! What’s even more impressive is she checked to make sure meat was okay in my egg rolls. My family used to only order vegetarian dishes because my brother was a vegetarian. Even though my family had not visited the restaurant in years, she still knew details about us. Impressive.

As I was reflecting on my experience, I was trying to understand what they did to make me a loyal customer. Emotional ties and memories definitely make up the majority of my loyalty, but there had to be more. I decided I would look online and see if others shared my feelings. Unfortunately, Yelp reported only three out of five stars overall. Reading their reviews, it looks like there are some areas they could work on.

Coming out of this experience, I have two pieces of advice. If you’re looking to build your base of loyal customers:

Personalize Your Service

It doesn’t matter what kind of service you’re providing. Whether it is a restaurant or customer support center, different customers have different expectations. While it’s impossible to know exactly what every customer wants, try to pick up on cues from your customers. Some people like attentive service, while others like to be left alone. Some people understand the industry jargon, while others don’t. If you tailor the service you provide, your loyal customers will grow.

Constantly Look for Ways to Improve.

Your customers may not give you verbal feedback on the service of your company, but there are so many other public places customers leave reviews. Monitor your Yelp, Facebook, blog, etc. Your customers are telling you how they want to be treated. Uncover your short falls and see what you can do to meet and exceed your customers’ expectations.

Think about what makes you a loyal customer. Once you figure out how loyalty is created, you can emulate it in your business.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

1 COMMENT

  1. “the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers” Richard Branson
    Why dismiss the emotional ties and memories in as many words?

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