…is to do today’s work superbly well”

These words of wisdom from Sir William Osler are timely on two levels. First, many of you are personally and/or professionally preparing for an uncertain tomorrow – planning your goals for 2013 and beyond.  Secondly, doing today’s work superbly well speaks to, among other things, making every interaction with your customers a Moment of Truth. During this current economy, moments of truth are significant to every business owner, corporate and non-profit leader that recognizes the importance of loyal customers and donors.

So what is a loyal customer? Over the years in many customer-facing positions in business services and non-profit organizations, I see the following traits as indicative of loyal customers compared to the satisfied customers we traditionally strive for:

• A loyal customer will proactively tell others about your service to others. A satisfied customer will tell others if you ask – maybe.
• A loyal customer will buy from you over and over again because you make it a no-brainer to do so. A satisfied customer will buy again – if it is convenient.
• A loyal customer is loyal because you continuously and routinely exceed their expectations. A satisfied customer has their expectations met – sometimes.
• A loyal customer is looking for, and gets, solutions to their business issues. A satisfied customer buys your products.

Because loyal customers typically represent less than 20% of your total customer base, on average, the remaining customers represent an opportunity for both you and your competitors. The opportunity is yours when you create and align your moments of truth (i.e. every interaction with the outside world) to create a consistent value-based experience for your customers. However, the advantage goes to your competitors when you fail to provide consistent value and create a void in customer expectations.  The failure of leaders to identify and create consistent value both internally and externally creates an environment where customers, and your best employees, are now thinking about alternatives.

What does “Superbly Well” look like in your business to drive Customer Loyalty?

Lead Well.

Rick Lochner