Relationship versus One-Night Stand: Reward Customer Loyalty

Ever been frustrated that new customers get all the great deals and enticements while you, as a long-time, loyal customer, are forgotten about? I just wrote that and I can’t believe it still happens.

Reward loyalty.

Great Customer Service fosters loyalty
'nuff said

Those customers that have stuck with you. Those customers that think of you first before your competitors. Maybe they didn’t always get the best service or weren’t always 100% pleased with your product but dammit, they like your company and what you’re trying to do. They’re along for the ride. They pay you to be a walking, talking, engaging billboard for your brand. Don’t you think they deserve some recognition?

Author of “New Rules of Marketing and PR.” David Meerman Scott points to magazine promotions as an example. Why take 40% off the subscription price to entice new customers when your loyal fan-base is paying cover price? Sure your content might be amazing but it doesn’t take much to make a customer feel unappreciated.

I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Scott. Locally, we have two cable companies that vie for our attentions: Shaw Cable and Telus. Both offer amazing deals to sign up. Right now, if you go with Shaw, sign up for their Digital HD service and they’ll knock the price down for the first months and throw in the HD equipment for free. While Telus is offering a free HD PVR and Xbox 360 if you sign up for their Optik TV. Sweet deals but only for new customers. After you’ve completed the promotion, you’re back to paying full price for the length of your relationship. It’s like I’m being punshed for being married but much more attractive when I’m being courted (as is life). I know quite a few people that bounce back and forth between providers to get the best deal. And why shouldn’t they? Neither company is rewarding loyalty.

Companies need to look at the bigger picture rather than each quarter. Sure you’ll have a few more subscribers in the short-term but you haven’t really built a lot of relationships. Does your business want the relationship or the one-night stand? I do want to respect you in the morning.

5 thoughts on “Relationship versus One-Night Stand: Reward Customer Loyalty”

  1. Rewarding customer loyalty is definitely a key ingredient in the automotive realm. In fact, it’s a primary vehicle (pardon the pun) to help drive sales/customers into the dealership. I found a blog that illustrates that point and more that I’d like to share.

    1. Thanks for the comment Elizabeth (and love the pun). Happy, long-term customers are your best form of advertising. If treated right, they will take any opportunity to push your business to friends and family. What’s an example your business does to nurture and reward loyalty?

  2. A tip for Shaw, my mother taught me (sometimes works with Rogers too). Call Shaw Customer Service and ask them if they have any promotions running or any upcoming discounts. Point out the fact that you have been with them for years. One time I had my bill cut in half, another time I received the HD Movies add-on for a month. It’s not ideal, we shouldn’t have to chase it. There should be programs to reward customers for staying. If it wasn’t for Hockey season, I would likely cancel my Shaw cable service.

  3. Absolutely Russel. I find a lot of the cell phone providers are like this as well. My contract with Telus was expiring a couple years ago and I called to ask what kind of discounts they could provide me if I signed a new contract. After being told what they could offer me, I took a look at what they were offering to new customers. It was the exact same promotion they were offering me. No reward for loyalty whatsoever.

    1. Thanks for the comment Brad,
      I don’t think companies realize how little they have to do to keep customers loyal. Occasional rewards and recognition will keep us happy and not even think about jumping ship.

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