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The Three Important Steps to Building Loyalty

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Executive Summary.

  1. Why this is important.
  2. The three steps – Value, Trust, Extra Mile

The Loyalty Equation by Andrew Clare

andrewThree key factors that determine your clients' loyalty.

Much research has been undertaken on the key factors for determining client loyalty. The most recent of these highlights the following three steps. These are very much in keeping with the feedback from over 100 learningRelationships engagements that I have undertaken in South and Southern Africa.

And never forget that loyalty equates to trust, the first step in attaining the revered "Trusted Advisor" status

These are;

  1. The value you add
  2. The degree of trust you develop
  3. The extra mile you are willing to go

The key, I would suggest is value as more and more, clients are looking for solutions that address their specific challenges. It is the value they will receive that is the primary decision criteria. This doesn't negate a vendor's ability to deliver on SLA's at all. In fact, this is how trust is developed and enhanced.

Value add

coinSo, a client's loyalty is largely influenced by how much value you many have added. Generally speaking, adding value is improving your client's condition. This may be solving problems, increasing productivity, improving effectiveness, anything that improves the status quo for the client.

There are three aspects to creating value, these being;

Core value - that for which you were awarded the work or agreement.

Surprise value- exceeding the initial scope. Giving additional insights and advice.

Personal value - every person has ambitions, so this refers to how you might assist the client in attaining these ambitions during your engagement with them.

Developing Trust

trustTrust has to be earned. However there are some pre-requisites such as integrity. Integrity equates to honesty as well as doing what you say you are going to do. It is also honouring confidential information and not leveraging what you know to further enhance your personal agenda.

Mostly though, trust is based on one's competence, ability and delivery. Delivering on what you committed to by when you committed to do so, is the single most important step in building trust. Consistency in achieving this builds up your trust bank account, with lots of credibility.

Going that extra mile

extra_mileSetting aside your own interests and doing something extra for the client; when the client perceives that you have assisted them in some extraordinary way, that's a big step in building loyalty. It could be something as simple as listening to their problems and challenges or undertaking that extra assignment which will add huge value, but not requesting additional fees.

Footnote: This article draws on input from 'Making Rain' published in 2002

 

 

 

Andrew Clare is Managing Partner of reLiance a business to business relationship marketing practice. I focus on improving client profitability through developing, implementing and measuring sustainable, collaborative business to business relationships.

Cell: +27 83 326 2451, E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Web: www.rassa.co.za, LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/andrewclare

 

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