Today’s post is by Susan Baroncini-Moe, author of Business in Blue Jeans: How to Have a Successful Business on Your Own terms, in Your Own Style (CLICK HERE to get your copy).
There’s no disputing that retaining customers is far more cost-effective to a business than recruiting new ones. But it’s getting harder and harder to develop customer loyalty. On the flip side, some companies seem to be able to get it right from the start. What does it take to create loyalty so strong that your customers keep coming back for more?
The Three E’s
1. Empowered Employees
Your first loyalty is to your employees. Why do they come first? Because your employees are on the front lines. They’re the ones serving your clients and customers directly and they’re the face of your business, representing your brand every single day. If you want your customers to be happy, you’d better make sure your employees are happy. How do you create a happy work force?
Hire Well. You start by hiring well. Hire people who fit into the corporate culture and who will be team players. It’s not just their skill set that matters—skills can be learned. What you can’t teach or train so easily is the soft skills—people skills—and the way people think. Focus on hiring for culture and personality and put people in the right positions where they can succeed, then worry about any additional skills training.
Compensate Well. Make sure your compensation structure is competitive. The first, best way to retain top talent is to offer generous salaries and compensation packages, because employees who aren’t paid well tend to look at their jobs as “just a way to pay the bills,” rather than being truly invested in how well they do their jobs. When employees are paid well, compensated in a variety of ways, and shown appreciation for their efforts, they tend to perform well in their jobs and to care about the results they get for their customers and for their company.