Customer Loyalty Is Not an Opinion

When I was a kid growing up in a small Alabama town, there was a little grocery store that was the only place to shop. Horace's wasn't much bigger than a modern convenience store, but it was the only grocery store within 15 miles of our town. Most everyone in our community did their shopping at Horace's. I do not remember anyone ever saying that Horace's had the best prices, selection, service, or the best of anything; simply, people shopped there because it was closest. If someone was passing through town and asked where a grocery store was, the answer had to be Horace's. If nothing else, Horace's had a loyal clientele because the same people came back every week. The family that owned Horace's enjoyed all the benefits of loyal customers. The family made a fortune because they were the only store in town.

When suburbanization brought a real supermarket to our town, the community suddenly had a choice of where to shop. The new supermarket was much larger, cleaner, and had more selection. Horace's was forced to either adapt or die. Horace's had never done anything to create loyalty except be the only grocery store in town.

Before the new supermarket moved in, the people of our town were demonstrating loyalty by shopping at Horace's every week. Their opinion of Horace's didn't make one whit of difference. The shoppers voted with their pocketbooks and the owners counted their votes in the store's cash register.

Horace's owners might have been able to do a lot of things to compete with the supermarket chain store, but they only did what they had always done. Over a relatively short period of time, the people of our town began doing most of their shopping at the new supermarket.

Horace's still had a good location, but the owners went from making a fortune to making a living. The people of our town still had a good opinion of Horace's, but given a choice, they preferred to shop elsewhere. Loyalty is not an emotion or an opinion, it is only an activity.

Why Customers Come Back. How to Create Lasting Customer Loyalty
Why Customers Come Back: How to Create Lasting Customer Loyalty
ISBN: 1564146952
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 110 © 2008-2017.
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