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HBOK 1-264

Title Customer Loyalty:  Playing for Keeps
Author(s) Laura Struebing
Source Quality Progress
Topic Listening to Customers

Qualities of Customer-Focused Organizations

Abstract Going beyond customer satisfaction means paying attention to lifetime customers, finding out what customers want, solving their problems, managing their moments of truth, rewarding them, and encouraging involvement from both customers and frontline employees.  It pays to cultivate the loyalty or retention of customers who already expect to be satisfied.  A loyal, lifetime customer increases profits and reduces lifetime expenses.  At Minute Maid, the value is put at $1 million per lifetime customer.  To earn their loyalty, ask customers what they want by using hard measures, such as market share and revenue data, and soft measures like focus groups and surveys.  Complaints and return transactions provide valuable information.  Customer problems should be solved quickly and with style.  Prepare for moments of truth that shape customer perceptions.  For example, one vice president at Disney World tries to prevent parking lot problems.  Database marketing and mass customization can also delight customers.  Loyal customers deserve rewards, such as the homecoming event sponsored by Saturn.  Involve customers in developing products and services.  Engineers for Ford’s 1994 Mustang modified their design to incorporate ideas from a team of 200 customers.  Frontline employees must be involved, too.  If they are empowered and have the skill and incentive to solve customer problems immediately, then customers and employees will be delighted.
Access Restrictions ASQ members and journal subscribers
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Reference Code 1-264

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