Hundreds of companies have customers who admire them, but only an elite few have true advocates—passionate, vocal, loyal fans who tell the story of their brand experience and how much they “love” the brand. These companies thrive and prosper because their customers and employees become an army that grows their business for them. You need to create a culture that makes your customers give your name to others and tell your stories to others.
How do these companies elicit such customer advocacy and what do they all they have in common? Jeanne Bliss, author of I Love You More than My Dog: Five Decisions for Extreme Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad, has found the five decisions and practices that make beloved companies immune to the competition and thrive—in good times and bad. Jeanne Bliss chose the title of the book to remind business leaders that people are bound by emotion to the things they love. What binds dog lovers to their pets is the constant devotion they receive from them.
1. Decide to believe
2. Decide with clarity of purpose
3. Decide to be real
4. Decide to be there
5. Decide to say sorry
Any company that develops a culture around these five areas and regularly does employee training to foster the culture will turn their company into one that customers love and can’t live without. Your company will develop true customer advocacy. The key is the company culture. It is the driving force behind extreme customer loyalty, and your decisions and actions create your company’s culture. It is a good exercise to do a culture audit to determine if you are an “everyday” company who needs to market and advertise, or a “beloved” company who grows through customer and employee word of mouth. Here are some questions to ponder:
* Do your decisions today earn your company beloved status (or not)?
* What decisions do you make to honor employees and customers?
* How can you be like the beloved companies who have clarity for how they impact customers’ lives?
* What decisions drive reliability, peace-of-mind and growth?
* How do you make saying sorry an important “peace process”?
In summary, do you understand the power of the choices you make and how those choices impact the business you’ve created? In other words, if you’re wondering why your company or is NOT beloved among your employees or your customers, or if you have a hard time building a downline in a network marketing company, just look at the decisions you’ve made — and what they say about what you really value.