Friday, October 4, 2013

More Than a Fair Exchange of Value

You all know I follow a bunch of blogs. You've probably read a blog or two on my blog roll. I read them because they challenge me. They challenge my thoughts on retail. They challenge what I think I know. A few minutes ago, I read this on a blog about Customer Loyalty.

5) Deliver a “fair exchange of value”. Too often retailers want to create “delighted” customers. Many retailers spend far too large a percentage of their revenue trying to create “delighted” customers. The reality is that customers want a fair exchange of value and rarely expect a retailer to delight them. Give them a good value, provide a comfortable and efficient shopping experience, work with them through any issues, solve their problems, and they’ll become not just loyal, but committed.

Can I agree to disagree?

Yes, customers expect a fair exchange of value. I grant that. But a fair exchange of value is the minimum. It is the bar. You have to do that just to keep them from flaming you on Facebook or Yelp. Do anything less than a fair exchange of value and you're screwed. It is the lowest level of entry into the game.

Customers expect a fair exchange of value from frickin' Wal-Mart!

If all you give them is a fair exchange of value, then you're no better than Wal-Mart. And in today's retail environment, that is not good enough. It might get you a thanks, but it won't win you loyalty.

After you give them a fair exchange of value, you have to delight them. You have to make them say WOW! You have to make them think of you not as a store, but as their new bestie. You have to delight them to the point they cannot wait to tell their friends, tell their co-workers, tell their family.

Loyalty doesn't come from a discount or cash back. You aren't loyal to your friends or family because of the financial kickbacks. You're loyal because of your shared values. You're loyal because your friends and family have your back. You're loyal because at the end of the day, you know those people care.

If you want loyalty from your customers, you better first give them a fair exchange of value. Then you better have their backs, you better share their values, and you better care.

My own personal belief is that too often retailers don't do anywhere near enough to delight their customers. Yet that is where the loyalty is hiding.

-Phil Wrzesinski

PS This doesn't mean I'll stop reading that blog. There is always something to learn. The true key phrase in that passage above is, "Customers... rarely expect a retailer to delight them." Just think how much you will stand out in the crowd when you're the exception to that rule.

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