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The Pathway to Customer Loyalty April is Customer Loyalty Month, and we’re right in the middle of it.  What have you done to focus on showing your customers – both internal and external – a little love and appreciation?  This is a gentle reminder that it’s not too late to do something for your customers. Even if it is just a phone call or a note to acknowledge them and show some appreciation.  You can also do some training to remind your people how to deliver that stellar service your customers have come to know you for.  You can always copy some articles from my customer service blog or go to my YouTube where I’ve posted dozens of videos that you can use in a team meeting. Here’s some interesting and important information as it pertains to customer service and loyalty.  I just read an article by Mila D’Antonio in “1 to 1 Media” (April 15, 2012), and I’m compelled to share three of the statistics mentioned in the article.  It really makes a case for why it is important to make an effort, which may mean spending a little more money in order to make more money – to deliver an excellent customer service experience. 1. The most important drivers of customer loyalty are focused on customer service and quality.  Eighty-eight percent of respondents indicated that quality is a key factor in their decision to remain loyal to a brand; 72 percent identified customer service as a top priority. 2. Here’s the payoff: Eighty-seven percent of consumers indicated that they would tolerate more from certain companies or brands, such as paying more for a name brand. Seventy-seven percent of respondents noted that a company’s commitment to quality would cause them to tolerate more from a company, while 62 percent said customer service would cause them to tolerate more. 3. And another payoff: Seventy-eight percent said they spread by word of mouth about the brands that they love.  I call that customer evangelism! Our customers expect and deserve a great quality service experience.  If you don’t take care of your customers, then your competition surely will.  Don’t give them that opportunity.  Customer service can create the value that de-commoditizes your organization, separating you from your competition.  The value you provide will help create and foster confidence, which can ultimately lead to the pathway to customer loyalty. Shep Hyken is a customer service/CX expert, award-winning keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling author. Learn more about Shep’s customer service and customer experience keynote speeches and his customer service training workshops at Connect with Shep on LinkedIn. (Copyright ©MMXII, Shep Hyken)

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