In the last few months, we have all heard the phrase “new normal” more times than we can count. The way we socialize, attend school, participate in activities, and work have all been adjusted due to COVID-19. Whether these are short-term changes or more enduring is yet to be seen. However, as much our lives have been a bit upended and the way we go about our daily existence has been altered, some needs and wants remain the same. And while so much upheaval has affected both our personal and professional lives, it is important that we continue to identify and exercise the principles we most value.
Loyalty is an indelible quality that we should all strive to provide, engender in others, and regularly nurture.
So, what is loyalty? Simply put, it is the act of showing dedication to a person, cause, or ideal. Oftentimes, loyalty is the act of putting the needs or wants of others ahead of your own even when it is not ideal or convenient.
On a personal level, loyalty is shown through trust, selfless acts, dedication to your relationship, and a supportive mindset.
When it comes to professional loyalty, the Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of your profits often comes from just 20% of your customers. With this in mind, the two goals for any business should be to keep that 20% happy and to attract more customers like them. Acknowledging, engendering, and rewarding loyalty is an essential in doing just this. Following are 10 principles of loyalty that will serve you well if understood and embraced:
- Always deliver excellence. You are not expected to be perfect, but your effort should always be excellent. When customers can depend on that, you will be rewarded with their loyalty.
- Give to receive. Whether you are a restaurant that gives free breadsticks with every order or care service station that vacuums out a care before you return the vehicle, go above the norm. When you give a little more, you receive a lot back in return.
- Know your customer. It is so rare these days to be on a first-name basis with your dry cleaner, mail delivery person, or teller at the bank. Take a minute to acknowledge people by knowing their name. That moment of relationship building will create a foundation for mutual loyalty.
- Be accessible. Customers have far more faith in companies where they can actually reach a live body than companies that only have email and recorded messages. Make yourself accessible.
- Reward loyalty. For customers and vendors that have been with you since the beginning, be sure to grandfather them in whenever possible when you make shifts to your business model.
- Respond to customer feedback. If customers are willing to share their needs and wants, listen and respond. It’s a great way to show them you care.
- Lead with service. The customer should want to come back because of the service they receive, not because of convenience or price. In fact, many people are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.
- Know your business. Customers want to have confidence that you are an expert in what you are providing. So, make sure that you are.
- Appreciate your employees and vendors. Your employees and your vendors are the lifeblood of your business. You are dependent upon both to keep your business running smoothly and for representing your company. Make sure both feel acknowledged and supported.
- Maintain your principles. While loyalty requires some sacrifice and compromise, it should not come at the expense of your integrity. Be true to yourself and the mission of your company and you will engender loyalty.
John Peitzman (JP) is a Certified High Performance Coach™, professional speaker, Best-Selling author, and creator of The BUILD Framework®: A Heart-Based System for Personal and Professional Growth. He has served over 20 years in the corporate environment as an executive – which has included running global operations for multi-nationals, leading thousands, working with the FBI and Secret Service, and managing budgets in excess of $100 million. He is a distinguished meditation teacher and 5th Degree Black Belt martial arts Head Instructor. JP leverages his broad background and experience to clearly articulate to his clients around the world how to successfully integrate ancient techniques such as meditation and proven business methodologies, along with high-performance concepts, habits, and practices into their lives to obtain their next level of excellence and success. For more information, visit www.johnpeitzman.com.