Recognizing which customers can become advocates
For the next level in building customer loyalty, go from managing relationships to engagement to success

Every business has to define what loyalty means for itself

I was reading about the difference between conservative and liberal worldviews, and the author classified loyalty as part of the conservative worldview. That makes sense, but I think it speaks to the traditional definition of loyalty as a sort of tribal value. 

Loyalty in a business sense is about an enterprise including in its long-term plans a commitment to recognizing and rewarding its supporters. Supporters will include customers and many other types of people who want the business to thrive. Loyalty leads to increased profits, or improved operating margins for a nonprofit. Loyalty is provided by people, not by 'customers' or 'vendors.' If we want our businesses to survive, we have to plan to allow people to show their loyalty. 

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Consultant Bill Hanifin notes that when Forrester Research analyzed what business leaders want from their loyalty technology providers, 3 of the top 6 were

  • Understanding the client's business
  • Strategic contribution to the client's business
  • Ability to design and execute innovative and differentiated programs

Loyalty Truth: What the Forrester Wave report on Loyalty really tells us, 2015-Apr-23 by Bill Hanifin

...while every company needs a well planned customer growth strategy, not every brand needs a “loyalty program.” As customer behavior trends continue to evolve, the highest mandate on brands is to deliver innovative strategies that engage customers first and establishes a foundation of trust through repeated interactions. Doing this successfully comes through working a carefully executed planning process whose outcome is to frame and define a company’s customer loyalty worldview.

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