Create True Customer Loyalty: 10 Rules
True customer loyalty means making the relationship the most important thing you do. No one understood that better than Walt Disney. He called his customers “GUESTS” and we call ours patients. Patient loyalty will always come from having a very strong relationship with your patients. When they see you as a friend and ally, they’re reluctant to jump ship and go to the competition, even if it means they can get something a little cheaper.
Creating such relationships requires both the right attitude and the right behaviors. Here’s some advice on how to build relationships.
1. Make Relationships Your Priority.
Patients immediately sense if you’re using them (and the relationship) to work your own agenda. Put the relationship first and treat it as more important than making the sale. Your customers will sense you’ve got their best interests at heart.
2. Get Curious About People.
People are drawn to those who show a true interest in them. Honest (but non-intrusive) curiosity helps you understand how you can better help your patients, while giving you the opportunity to learn new things and make new connections.
3. Be Consistent And Reliable.
People only offer loyalty to those whom they trust. Patients decide whether to trust you based upon your day-to-day behavior. If it’s unpredictable, they’ll shy away. If it’s consistent over time, they’ll know you can be counted on.
4. Let Yourself Be Vulnerable.
Pretending to be Superman just alienates people. Building a relationship requires discovering the areas where you and your patient can work best together. This is only possible if you’re willing to admit your weaknesses and limitations.
5. Keep An Open Mind.
If you interact with a customer absolutely convinced that the patient needs only your offering, the patient will sense you’re close-minded with an attitude … “my way or the highway.” The patient will become close-minded in return. An open mind really helps the patient be open to the relationship.
6. Be Willing To Recommend Competitors.
When you’re open to the idea that the patient might be better served elsewhere, your patient will begin thinking of you as a trusted adviser and consultant rather than a salesperson trying to make his/her numbers by making the sale.
7. Have Real Conversations.
A patient meeting should be a conversation and never a “sales call.” Always spend more time listening to the customer rather than talking to the customer. (And never, ever talk at a customer. No sales pitches!)
8. Be A Professional
. Patients want to do business with individuals who are serious about what they do, and willing to take the time to achieve a deep understanding and education of their profession.
9. Cultivate Fearless Integrity.
Never be afraid to take a stand, even when it’s unpopular. “Honesty is always the best policy!” That does not mean picking unnecessary fights, but it does mean being willing to make decisions based upon what you know is right.
10. Never Stop Building Relationships
. Building great relationships is not just good business, it’s also great fun. Consider: wouldn’t you rather spend time with people whom you like (and who like you in return) rather than trying to manipulate people into buying stuff they don’t need?