Ten Ideas to Help You Obtain Customer Loyalty


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What is customer loyalty? I asked a number of business people the simple question, “What is customer loyalty?” The answers were mostly similar. Most agree that customer loyalty means the customer will come back, again and again.

However, what customer loyalty doesn’t always mean is that the customer is loyal to you, and only you. In other words, they may do business with you, but are also or still doing business with your competitors.

The concept of “wallet share” came to mind. I’ve been talking (and writing) about the concept of “wallet share” versus “market share” for many years. Quick explanation: The concept of market share has to do with how many customers that are able to buy your product actually buy it. For example, if there are 100 customers in a given area that could buy your product, and 60 of them buy it, then you have 60% market share.

Wallet share takes the concept of market share to another level. Of those 60 people who buy from you, how many of them will still buy from someone else? If they only buy from you, then you have 100% of their “wallet share.” If they split their loyalty between you and someone else, you only have 50% “wallet share.”

At the highest level of loyalty, your customer only buys from you. In other words, they give you 100% wallet share.

So customer loyalty has two tiers:

1. The first is that the customer is a repeat customer.

2. The second is a repeat customer that doesn’t do business with your competitors – just you.

This is where my Amazement Revolution strategy of “partnership” kicks in. You want a relationship that is so strong that the customer wouldn’t think of doing business with your competitors.

I put together a quick “Top Ten” list of simple ideas to help you get to the level of partnership and 100% wallet share. Realize that these are common sense expectations that are easy to do – and unfortunately, easy not do if you don’t stay customer focused.

1. Deliver great customer service. It’s expected.

2. Always do what you say you will do.

3. Don’t be late.

4. Don’t make excuses or blame others – be accountable.

5. Help solve their problems.

6. If you ever catch a problem, you call them before they call you.

7. Trust them, if you want them to trust you.

8. Be accessible and easy to reach.

9. Return phone calls, emails and social media comments quickly.

10. Create confidence. (Do all of the above and you will have a good start.)

So maybe the goal shouldn’t just be customer loyalty. It should be 100% customer loyalty.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Shep Hyken
Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. As a customer service speaker and expert, Shep works with companies who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. He is a hall of fame speaker (National Speakers Association) and a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author.


  1. There have been a number of recent customer loyalty-related articles and blogs appearing on CustomerThink. Most have a similar theme: How to optimize customer loyalty behavior. Building on research on hundreds of b2b and b2c companies around the world conducted by our organization (Market Probe), we would strongly suggest that advocacy, as both a concept and a metric or framework, best describes the kind of high-end loyalty behavior to which your tiers and advice applies.

    Consulting organizations such as McKinsey, Forrester, IBM, Hitachi, and others have pretty much defined advocacy the same way. Here is our terminology: “Advocacy is the highest form of customer (client) involvement in a brand (business). It is strong emotional connection with the brand and enthusiastic support of the brand.

    More specifically, customer advocacy can be defined as the degree of kinship with a brand and the level of favorability and trust of brands as a direct result of personal experience. Principally, advocacy identifies both the sources of brand affinity and the monetizing downstream customer behavioral impact of offline and online informal communication, by individuals on a peer-to-peer basis (and as it influences their own downstream behavior, i.e. the self-perception effect) as a result of personal experiences).”

    We find that advocacy behavior consistently drives the highest customer retention rates and share of wallet, the most positive perception of value delivery, and the lowest complaint level. Importantly, and a point made in your blog, the higher the level of advocacy for a brand or supplier, the more the customer will reduce the consideration, or evoked (competitive), set.

  2. I enjoyed reading your article, Shep. Point five – help solve their problems – resonated most with me. In fact, at TeleVox, we've just completed a healthcare study that illustrates how to use communications to help customers solve problems. Our research found that three out of four Americans (83%) admit they don't follow treatment plans they've been given by their doctor exactly as prescribed. However, healthcare professionals believe with the proper motivation and coaching the majority (80%) of their customers – in this case patients – will take the necessary steps to do what’s required to become healthy. And, their patients agree – more than two in five (42%) people who feel they could better follow their prescribed plans would be likely to do so if they received encouragement from their doctors between visits. And, more than one-third (35%) believe they could better follow their treatment plans if they received reminders from their doctors via email, voicemail or text telling them to do something specific, like take medication or check blood sugar levels. This is, at the core, using communications to help people solve real problems. The end result is 100% loyalty and healthier customers! I hope this example helps illustrate how businesses truly can leverage communications to help solve customer problems.

    Scott Zimmerman, President, http://www.televox.com


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