Loyalty

How to become more trustworthy, from Fast Company magazine

While it seems like being honest and reliable is enough to make us trustworthy it's actually not. People trust people who notice, understand and assist them without being asked. 

Fast Company: The Three Habits Of The Most Trustworthy Person In Your Office, 2016-Apr-1 by Karissa Thacker

It’s all too easy to get locked into patterns of perceiving and behaving that don’t build trust, leaving us unaware of them and even further from understanding what things we actually can do in order to build it. As a result, our own feelings toward others—how much and whether we trust them, and vice versa—remain a bit of a mystery.

Changing that can dramatically improve how well your team works together, and it starts by understanding what the most trusted people actually do in order to get that way. Here are three of the primary habits of those who command others' trust at work.

According to @KarissaThacker

They consider the signals they're sending Are you behaving in ways that send similar signals that others can rely on you?
They take time to understand the pressure others are under We tend to trust people who listen and pay attention to us more than those who don’t.
They help out unexpectedly Make the conscious effort to do something nice that you don’t have to do.

Loyalty to suppliers and supporters: Ina Garten

Otherwise known as the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten has built a sustainable empire from a food shop to media brand. Strategically, she knows exactly where she wants her business centered: writing cookbooks. She builds a broad variety of relationships, and not everyone survives, but she clearly makes it a goal to find a partner around whom she can stabilize her business and her personal life.  IStock_000021085297XSmall

Loyalty appears to be instinctive for Garten, but we can all learn from her approach: find someone who fits your values and grow together. When our partner changes, look to growing with them. When we have to change, be sure and try to bring them along. 

Eater: Ina Garten Does It Herself, 2015-Sep-30 by Choire Sicha

This endless parade of friends and visitors only highlights her strange and extreme loyalty. Barbara has been with her in the kitchen since 1999; her marriage to Jeffrey is almost half a century long. She has been with her agent Esther Newberg at ICM since ages. Ina has never changed cookbook publishers; in fourteen years, she also has not changed producers of the show....

She is ready to crush this next cookbook. "I'm actually more interested in writing cookbooks now than I was when I started," Ina said. "I think I was really nervous about it then. But I could just do this forever — and hopefully I can, until they drag me out by my feet." 


Be loyal to your contribution, not your employer

Loyalty to our employer is never going to be compensated in the way we expect. Enterprises are not capable of keeping everyone employed, even if they are inclined, which most are not.  Tq151015ld

When we have an employer, we owe them good value for the money they pay us, and we owe it to them not to undermine their success by anything else we do, until we resign. Being a loyal employee is a matter of self-respect for ourselves. When I am loyal, I respect myself, but I don't expect a company to be able to do any more than treat me fairly. Louis Gray does a great job of explaining. 

LinkedIn: Layoffs and Loyalty in a Liquid Valley*, 2015-Oct-14 by Louis Gray

Loyalty is wonderful when you find a passion and team you can believe in. But it can all be discarded in an instant, through a fight with a manager, or a merger or acquisition that sees you as redundant. A stock market crash. A change in heart. A bad quarter.

Layoffs happen. They can make you question everything you worked for. All the thousands of hours you put in caring about the little things that got you to where you are. All the conversations and debates that made the product you own.

You have to reexamine what’s important and decide on a new trajectory....

*article also available at Louis Gray's blog


To add new loyal customers, make sure your web site's personas are fresh

We know our web sites are most effective when they are regularly updated, but we may overlook an important reason to update: a new category of customer. While we may find a few exceptions, we generally want to expand our market to new categories. And the easiest way is to keep an eye out for new customers who don't fit our existing personas. At the same time, we need to be sure our existing personas still fit.  IStock_000028882264XSmall

Kissmetrics: 5 Ways to Align Data and Storytelling for Business Growth, 2015-Sep-24 by Shayla Price

To target the most influential consumers, data identifies which buyer personas have the most impact on lead generation. Teams then can create focused messaging to grab the customers’ attention.

Plus, research shows that by adopting marketing personas websites are two to five times more effective and easier to use.

For personas to be helpful, the data must be accurate.


The customer experience of abandonment cuts both ways.

One of my most memorably bad experiences was in the service area of a car dealership. I was clearly not of the recognized regular customers. And I arrived in a bad mood, as a consequence of some problem with my car. The service manager punished me by overlooking me for all the other customers in the area. There was no queueing system that might have protected my turn.  IStock_000020658318XSmall

As I stood there and stewed, I had plenty of time to consider what I had done to contribute to the situation and how I wish things had been handled differently. If any of the personnel has made eye contact and said, 'you're having a rough morning,' I would have relaxed. If they knew I needed to wait they could have directed me to a place to sit and told me how long to expect to wait. None of that happened, and I never returned after that first experience. 

Customers do NOT want to school your employees. If we already have a great deal of loyalty, we may go to the trouble of asking or mentioning unfair treatment. Confrontations are draining, and if we don't have an investment to protect, why should we bother? It's your business, after all. 

LoyaltyOne: Dysfunctional customer experiences risk billions in retail losses, 2015-Jun-1 [emphasis added]

It may seem counterintuitive, but retailers should welcome the irate shopper who vents her frustration in an animated scene on the sales floor. That’s because it’s the mistreated customer who walks out the door in a silent huff who places the most revenue at risk, according to a collaborative study of dysfunctional retail touch points conducted by LoyaltyOne and Verde Group with Professor of Marketing and Psychology, Dr. Deborah Small, at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

The March 2015 survey shows that approximately half of 2,500 U.S. consumers polled reported experiencing a problem on their last shopping trip. Of those customers, 81% decided not to contact the retailer about the issue. Among these silent shoppers, 32% said they were unlikely to recommend the retailer to friends and family, putting these shoppers at-risk of decreasing their spend with the retailer.

By comparison, the study shows that shoppers who did notify retailers of their poor experience and had their problem completely resolved were 84% less likely than silent shoppers to be at risk of decreasing their spend.


Can We Make Loyalty Bankable?

Evan Malter has been a small business owner serving small business owners. Now he is innovating ways to help them finance their growth. His new venture, ZipCap, IStock_000020168756XSmallprovides 12-month term loans to small businesses which can get 100 or more customers to pledge to spend a minimum amount during the year. The amount of the loan is based on the total amount pledged, and it's early days to know whether this concept will work. 

Based on my experience with small business owners, I do think this idea has good prospects. New owners often get freaked out about short-term profitability, which is understandable--sometimes their home is collateral for the startup capital! If ZipCap can get the owner thinking about customer retention at least as much as they do about monthly net margin, benefits will accrue all around. 

Entrepreneurs' Tank: ZipCap Turns Customer Loyalty into a Line of Credit, 2015-June-24

“There has been very little friction with making the commitment as far as following through – we have found significant enhanced loyalty. Customers are more engaged than they would be without the commitment. It is a binding contract that they have agreed to, but even more important – they feel obligated (a social pressure) to follow through. Its important to note these are local businesses in their communities that they love going to. It almost takes more effort to default on the commitment than it does to follow through. It is also self fulfilling — we are engaging these customers in new ways that strengthens their bond and makes them want to come back”.

For the next level in building customer loyalty, go from managing relationships to engagement to success

At the leading edge, our competitors are now focusing on customer success in order to grab more market share. Relationships are all well and good, but the way to know if a relationship is really working is to monitor the success of our partner. IStock_000019396834XSmall

CRM software is designed to help us manage ALL our relationships: customers, prospects, teammates, and suppliers. Now we have a new software platform called Customer Success Management. Developed for companies that depend on software-as-a-service (SAAS) subscription renewal and growth, the technology imports data from ERP as well as CRM and social media accounts to monitor growth. Now this service is moving into many companies who've already considered hooking up their accounting data with their CRM data. 

Are our customers more healthy and successful for knowing us?

Forrester Research: Customer Success: a hot new software category that helps you manage your customers, 2014-Nov-2 by Kate Leggett

Customer success organizations use an array of company and customer data to create a "health score."  Typical data used to calculate a health score include CRM data, billing data, customer support tickets, NPS from surveys, product usage data and more. The behavior of the health score at the company, subscription, and user level — its raw number, trends, and sudden changes — is at the heart of understanding and managing customer success.