At precisely the promised time, there is a respectful knock on the front door of our home.
Upon opening the door, a familiar warm smile, a polite greeting and introduction greet me. Years have added a few more lines to the face. But those lines seem to have deepened the warmth that radiates off the gentleman who has arrived to fix a finicky dryer.
Tony has been repairing appliances around Ottawa for 30 years. For almost half that time he has repaired appliances in our home. He is the only person we would ever even think of calling to fix whatever ails our domestic machinery. We are unwavering advocates for Tony's brand.
Over the years we have referred Tony and his company to friends, family and colleagues. Without exception, the reviews are glowing. We've never asked how many times people we have directed to Tony have consequently referred him to their friends and family. We bet it's happened a few times.
“Brand Loyalty is a powerful competitive advantage built in many different ways”
Companies and organizations that build brand loyalty can have a distinct competitive advantage.
An advantage that can be almost impossible to overcome. Customers buy their products and services without even considering alternatives. When brand loyalty is strong competitors' marketing, advertising and special offers fall on deaf ears.
Can Brand Loyalty be Bought?
Rewards programs from Air Miles to Amazon Prime are created to build legions of loyal customers, and yes, they do work. But what if your organization doesn't have the reach, budget and infrastructure to introduce an effective loyalty program?
Coupons, discounts and special offers can generate a form of loyalty, but it usually only lasts until a better offer comes along. Appealing to the wallet doesn't always build brand loyalty. Appealing to the heart does.
Earning Brand Loyalty
Gaining an army of brand loyalists, like Tony, doesn't have to be complicated. Keeping it simple is always the best way to go. In other words, follow Tony's lead:
- Answer customer inquiries promptly.
- Always show up on time.
- Focus on the quality of your product or service.
- Over-deliver whenever possible. By the way, it’s always possible.
There was one thing done differently by Tony when we last saw him. At the end of his service call, he presented his invoice and provided a link to the Google Reviews page for his business. A smart fellow that Tony.