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7 Signs Your Customers REALLY Love You (Part 2)

Posted by Gorey, Aoife at Friday, 06/08/2012 3:12 pm
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Last week we covered four of seven key factors that ensure your customers are aligned with your organization and loyal! Just because your customers continue to buy from you does not necessarily mean that they REALLY love your organization. Make sure you go beyond simply satisfying customers to protect and grow your strategic accounts.

In case you missed last week's post, here are the first four:

1.Emotional dependence
2.Structural dependence
3.Business dependence

Read last week’s article for more details. Now for the remaining loyalty indicators!

5. Performance
This refers to how a product or service holds up to expectations and required industry standards, typically measured over a longer period of time. Performance is important but not the sole predictor of loyalty. BMW is a good example; they make outstanding cars that perform superbly when it comes to acceleration, braking, handling and quality. All these items can be measured against a standard. It is important to note that which elements of performance matter to your customers and which don’t.

6. Economic Value Proposition – EVP

EVP refers to the financial implications in the relationship with a customer. It answers the question, “How do we help each other make more money and stay in business?” Customers must have an appreciation for the ROI in your solution to be encouraged to remain loyal customers. Organizations can create this through helping the customer reduce and avoid expenses, and help them increase revenue and profits.

How to create mutual EVP
Focus on collaboration between company and customers; find out how they utilize your solutions. Make sure to document all information collected and communicate it throughout the organization. The more people that understand the value of your organization, the better.

7. Alignment and Fit
This refers to factors such as shared mission and vision, culture, collaborative practices, leadership and expectations.
Google is a great example; they place a high value on innovation but also intellectual and technical rigor. Oracle has also had immense growth through acquisitions. The company is in a constant state of change with an aggressive culture, yet they are still announcing technological breakthroughs and seven figure deals.

How to create alignment and fit

First, you need to have in-depth knowledge of your organization. Are there any common characteristics of customers that work best with you? Use this criteria to segment your customers into those that fit well, and those who do not. Make sure to always ask your customers “fit” questions as part of your strategic planning process.

Important rules for applying the 7 indicators of true customer loyalty

1. You do not need to track all 7 indicators
Each company is unique and you may not be able to measure each indicator. It is recommended to track a minimum of five and seven when appropriate. For example, in some organizations performance, alignment or fit may not be measurable or appropriate to measure.

2. Gather insights from multiple contacts in an account
Having multiple points of contact within an account is a sign of a healthy account. It is very important to gather insights from multiple players in all areas of the organization.

3. Knowledge + Relationship + Economic Value= Success
Your success will increase exponentially as you increase your collective knowledge, relationships and economic value. Remember, any strategic account is a valuable asset and must be managed accordingly.

4. Prioritize your loyalty building activities
- Where are you today?
- Where do you need to go?
- What needs to happen to get there?

Do your customers love your organization? How do you measure customer loyalty? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter and our blog.

Read the original article here

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