Can customer satisfaction and retention marketing actually be destroying loyalty?
Einstein’s quote is a fitting start: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” This applies not just to you individually, but to you as a team, to you as a department team, to you as one total business person team in synergy living today for the miracle of truly earning customers loyal to you, team and business.
If you comprehend and accept what you just read, are you willing to switch course and focus solely on the cause of earning the miracle of customer loyalty for life? Is it worth the effort?
Two recent corresponding short auto industry articles are worth your time to read. The second article is where we I get the topic quote from a President of a prominent industry vendor which he references another industry leaders support from the first article. Both of these articles connect with each other, and both of these leaders I have great respect. We just differ a bit!
First Article: http://tiny.cc/4w2t5w
Second Article: http://tiny.cc/qz2t5w
Why has loyalty shrunk to near zero?
Our conventional western (American) top-down management business model is the culprit. Here we live in the world of results first, instant gratification, WIIFM (What’s In It For Me), satisfaction scores we can measure, retention marketing, everything centered on the sale. With blinders on, we fail to satisfy customers enough, retain them on price enough to even have them consider loyalty. Even if customers were to consider loyalty, this business model attempts unsuccessfully to hide loyalty within retention hoping no one recognizes the difference. The hiding stops here.
The articles point to a ‘new’ (truly old) idea completely centered on more retention marketing. The first article’s title was in the form of a question: “Is a Marketing Manager the Answer to Fixed Ops Revenue?” which, by the way, was the headline Key Note address at a fairly large conference in early October. I wanted to scream out the answer in the biggest font possible to cover everything I wanted to say in just one two-letter word: “NO!”
Retention’s ugly side
Here’s a statement of fact you’ve never heard before, yet I will prove it true right here: “Retention destroys loyalty!” Want proof? A leading automotive research and marketing company concluded a five-year study earlier this year that showed Dealer Service Market Share shrunk every year since 2008, dropping near 24% by the end of 2012, while Independent Repair and Aftermarket businesses grew 40% during this same period. When customers are fed up, when customers are not feeling appreciated by people of the business, they run from “retention” practices. This decline is a 100% retention decline! Loyalty was not measured, retention was measured. How do retention marketing companies attempt to correct a retention decline? Devise another retention marketing idea!
Comparing Retention to Loyalty is like comparing a dead planet to our living earth
Retention is 100% price-driven! All retention marketing programs (including customer loyalty programs) are price-perk driven attempts to keep customers “retained” to (and by) the business. Customer retention marketing is all centered on “the moment” of: snag them, get them in, sell them, give us a top score, hope you come back and if you need a price incentive we’ll have it, next, wait and hope and whenever necessary price incentivize them again, repeat. Loyalty does not, cannot exist here! Why? Retention lacks people relationships!
What is true customer loyalty?
True Customer Loyalty is 100% people-relationship driven. It is the opposite world of today’s conventional business model, and considered by some business owners as the “opposing” world of business. Why? Simple! It’s all about power. In the conventional business model the business has the power and doesn’t want to relinquish it.
In the Quality-First True Customer Loyalty business model the customer and business persons of the business have the power. It is a different power; a better power! Here in this true customer loyalty business model power is actually in the real, true, honest relationships with and between real business persons of the business and every customer and prospect, not some product brand or business brand, building or address.
There are very few RV owners that do not own a car or truck. RV’s are predominantly a purchase ‘want’, while cars and trucks are predominantly a purchase ‘need.’ Today most RV and auto dealerships are profitable with little forward thinking of: “what happens when this up-period turns its head south again?” Don’t think for a minute that the consistent year-over-year market share loss in auto dealerships does not have a direct impact on your RV dealership. Those same people in auto dealerships having negative retention feelings and “near zero” loyalty feelings are the same ones considering an RV purchase or where to get their RV serviced.
What is needed most is for the RV industry to take the lead here in proving to earn and keep true customer loyalty for life since this great industry already has better reputations than the auto dealer industry as a whole. Obviously, there are many highly regarded dealerships, yet the numbers give the median, and it isn’t pretty!
How do we know we have true customer loyalty?
Oh, you’ll know it, see it and live it —when they share you and teammates everywhere with everyone they know and bring their friends to you! Every defining communication, process and relationship moment counts in customer loyalty. It is rare for customer loyalty to be solely between one customer and one business person. It thrives in teamwork where they are loyal to more than one person in the business.
Are you really giving power and control away by turning over customer loyalty to your team? The power of the team earning and keeping customer loyalty strengthens team loyalty that strengthens the business in every way. Don’t think of this as power or control so much as strength. You will be shifting strengths exactly where it needs to be — real relationships.
Quit selling! Earn their trust by validating everything and being totally transparent with them. If they think you’re selling, it is impossible for loyalty to exist here.
Not everyone will do this, right?
Believe it or not, each and every one of us is born with the same intrinsic motivation to learn and have joy in learning. What goes wrong is we lose consistency for all the myriad of reasons. Contrary to popular beliefs, there truly is a leader born in each of us, and that leader is a “Selfless Servant Leader.” In this Customer Loyalty-For-Life world all “Selfless Servant Leaders” learn, practice, teach and sharing best example loyalty habits daily to become uniquely better serving others so uniquely better causing the earning and keeping of customer loyalty for life.
WIIFM destroys loyalty! WIIFT (Them) builds sticks-like-glue loyalty! Loyalty only exists in a WIIFT ‘Selfless Servant Leadership’ world focused 100% on the cause of loyalty that proves to return better results than deserved! Built on trust, totally validating and being completely transparent is the foundation rock where loyalty thrives.
David Goodison’s ProResponse is an excellent example of the effort being made to develop loyalty in dealerships, as is Craig Lockerd’s AutoMax training. You can expect to see more collaboration with and between some businesses going forward to advance into this customer loyalty for life movement.
To gain a complete understanding how true customer loyalty will be earned starting when you start to focus on it; go to: www.CustomerLoyaltyForLife.com , and in Guest box type 4 characters, click Enter and in less than 30 minutes of a recently recorded live broadcast, you and your team have every most positive reason to start to earn it today.
Come to believe that if you are not first here in loyalty, you will not like it at all when loyalty sticks like glue with and between others that then excludes you. Lives change for the better only when habits change for the better, so when you and your team better loyalty habits together you will be influencing loyalty with and between teammates and customers all the time. Is it time to lessen your efforts to retain them and put 100% effort into the cause of earning real, true Customer Loyalty-For-Life?
LINKEDIN members: Automotive Customer Loyalty Best Practices group welcomes you to join as a member!