Consumer loyalty & customer satisfaction

by Frank Price, President FL Price & Founder Birthday University.

Thanks Frank for letting us reprint this informative article from your enewsletter.

Consumer loyalty is built by front line interactions. Delivering a consistent, quality experience with each and every visit is key. Consistency is determined by your systems, training and limiting employee turnover.

Five Things We Learned From Talking With 100 Million People - By Service Management Group

SMG's research shows that less than half of all “satisfied” customers say they are likely to return and only 32% said that they would tell someone about your business and recommend you.

Here lies the gap between the ordinary - expected customer service and the “extra” ordinary a customer experience that sets you apart and drives long term financial growth. You must elevate your thinking that consumers that are satisfied … is good enough. Only when they get to highly satisfied … will they return and tell others your story.

According to the SMG report:

  • Highly satisfied customers are twice as likely to return
  • Highly satisfied customers are three times more likely to recommend your business to others
  • Businesses with highly satisfied customers have higher comp sales growth
  • As employee turnover increases - customer satisfaction decreases
  • Satisfied employees yield highly satisfied customers
  • Customers, who experience service shortfalls and their problem resolved to their satisfaction or beyond, become loyal customers. In fact customers who have had a problem and it was solved are more likely to return than a customer who did not and had an average transaction.

The Harvard Business Review adds a financial twist; gaining a 5% increase in customer loyalty will yield profits of 25 - 85% increases.

Loyalty is front line driven

Today's front line employee primarily falls into the Millennial category who expect the workplace will be similar to earlier life leadership experiences. Parenting, teaching and coaching styles have been more supportive, friendly and presented in a positive-psychological style throughout their lives. Add the instant gratification and feedback of technology and social media and their expectation of how they want to be motivated and managed, drastically contradicts current “Old school” management styles. 

They grew up with a constant stream of feedback and positive reinforcement. When they made a bad play in their sport, they heard “not your fault … just bad luck.” When they post a photo to social media, they count the immediate “likes” to reaffirm their status. When they send a text to their friends and say “Hey…?” they receive a dozen responses, instantly satisfying their craving for peer acceptance. Log onto a website, buy a product online or download an app and receive it instantly (or within two days) with a thank you and follow up offer. The typical Millennial has never known a world without nonstop, instant and mostly positive recognition. It's no wonder, as they hit the workforce, they are stunned to find out the world does not share the same beliefs. Instant gratification, recognition and personal reward are few and far between.

Millennial motivation

The Millennial generation has work values that are very different than those of their current employers.

Millennial motivators

  • Make it personal - Identify what is significant and meaningful to them … not you.
  • Make it immediate - The sooner you reinforce the behavior you want as it happens, the more impactful the reinforcement will be.
  • Make it often - The more you reinforce the behavior you want, the more of it you'll get.
  • Make it earned - Millennials respect leaders who deliver reinforcement based real accomplishment or action towards it, everything else is empty and meaningless.
  • Make it social - Amplify your rewards by sharing it and encouraging your team to share in everyone's successes.
    • They crave social and experience capital as much as cash. Make you reinforcement programs shared group experiences; fun, creative and beyond the personal short term gain of a lunch certificate.
    • Team attention and recognition is more powerful than individual recognition.
    • Competition amongst their coworkers for recognition is a downer and will fuel complacency or the opposite of productivity.
    • Getting a picture for Instagram or funny video for a Snapchat showing their world what a great employee they are and that they have a fun job is meaningful.

Did you notice it's all about them? Those of you who are determined to hold on to the old management and leadership styles, will remain frustrated, continue complaining and have the same outcome. When you make the epiphany that they are not going to change, but you must, your loyalty, both employee and guests, goes up. “They” have the ultimate choice whether “they” will choose to serve, engage and make a difference in this key element of your success, or not …. no matter how much noise you make.

For additional information on what Millennials want from a job, check out this Harvard Business Review brief.

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