There’s no doubt about it; customer loyalty is key to profitability. A mere
five percent increase in your customer retention could as much as double your bottom line profits! On the flip side, it costs anywhere from 6-30
times more to get new customers than it does to keep the ones you have
– that is, if they’ll stay!
The key to customer loyalty? Creating consistently positive experiences time and time again. That involves knowing your customer’s expectations, delivering
service basics brilliantly, and maintaining an upbeat, can-do positive
attitude throughout every interaction and at each touch point. Here are 5
‘positivity pointers’ to keep in mind so you can reap the rewards of creating
more awesome experiences for your customers, co-workers and yourself:
- Positive thinking is a habit.
Some people are born with a positive outlook; others have to work hard at
shifting their focus away from depressing media stories and from the things
that are going wrong in their own lives. The great news for those born ‘attitude-challenged’
is: You can prevent yourself from being tossed about by the winds
of worry and negativity by making positive thinking one of your good habits
– it’s just like exercise and eating right!
- Positive thinking is a choice.
As with the creation of any new habits, the first step is to choose to do it, to commit to and intend to be positive. At first, learning
what keeps you in a positive state of mind and remembering to make time
to use those tools can be challenging – especially when you’re focused on
professional or personal goals that require a lot of your time and energy.
Sometimes it’s actually easier to stay stuck in a negative place than to
break the cycle, brush yourself off, take a breather and consciously change
your state of mind. That’s because we all love our comfort zones, even if
they’re bad for us!
Think back to past commitments you have made and kept to yourself. Think
about what motivated you and sustained you as you reached your goals. Can
you apply some of your strategies and techniques to becoming a positive
thinker? Then think about what you need to do to remind yourself to do frequent
attitude checks and, if necessary, adjustments. Would Post-it® notes help?
A timer that goes off every half hour? A daily phone call from a supportive
buddy? The extensive pay-offs of positive thinking (which you’re about to
get a peek at) are worth these efforts.
- A Positive Attitude makes change easier to take.
Change happens all the time in every aspect of life – and it’s happening
especially fast in today’s business world. If we don’t keep up, we fall
behind – and no business today has that luxury.
Some changes feel welcome and comfortable; others elicit resistance as they
push us out of our comfort zones. The fact is, retaining a positive attitude
about change makes it much easier to flow into. Example: Think back to when
the Internet began to catch on as a ‘must have’ form of communication. Those
who embraced the technology, or who were at least positive about it, had
a much easier time adjusting than those who resisted. They unlearned their
old habits and learned new ones more quickly, and benefited from the changes
earlier than later.
To stay positive during times of change, remind yourself of past changes
in your life that pushed you out of your comfort zone and into an even better
situation than you’d imagined. Remain open to the idea that change can continue
to create all-new possibilities and opportunities. Think about how your
self-esteem and self-confidence have grown every time you’ve risen to whatever
changes a challenging situation called for. Just thinking back to those
moments can make you feel great!
- Positive thinking is chock-full of benefits!
Optimistic people – people who believe the world is inherently ‘good’ -
are healthier than pessimists. Let’s count the ways:
- They have higher energy levels, stronger immune systems and, no surprise,
tend to live longer.
- Their optimistic viewpoint stimulates fresh and creative thinking -
it gives the brain the go ahead to stretch and to play with different
solutions and options.
- They may feel the fear of change or of trying something new, but they
have more energy to act despite the fear. You might say they have more
- Their faith in themselves enables them to more quickly learn from
- They interpret problems as challenges - not obstacles. That means
they experience less distress and more easily access the emotional boost
they need to get through tough times.
Clearly, we can alter and enhance our lives by altering our attitudes. Positive
or negative, it’s a choice. Choose the rose-colored glasses, the ones that
brighten up the view!
- No one likes you when you’re grumpy.
Sure the people who love you still love you even when you go through a grumpy
spell. But that doesn’t mean anyone likes you while you’re in a foul state
of mind. Customers don’t like a grump, co-workers don’t like a grump, bosses
don’t like a grump…nobody likes a grump!
Positive, life-affirming, optimistic people attract goodness to their lives.
They attract positive people and circumstances, and they achieve great results.
And why wouldn’t they? They’re a joy to interact with! Whether they’re waiting
on your table, checking you in at the hotel, repairing your computer, writing
you a check for your new mortgage, selling you a new network or solving a
billing problem at your credit card company, they can make a genuine difference
in the quality of your life in that moment if they treat you with a positive,
up-beat and can-do attitude. And you can do the same for your customers. It’s so much easier to keep customers and create profits when you
give your attitude some altitude!
JoAnna Brandi is the Publisher of the
Customer Care Coach® leadership program. She is the author of three books:
"Winning at Customer Retention, 101 Ways to Keep 'em Happy, Keep 'em
Loyal, and Keep 'em Coming Back" "Building Customer Loyalty - 21
Essential Elements in ACTION" and "54 Ways to stay Positive in a
Changing, Challenging and Sometimes Negative World" JoAnna is an accomplished
public speaker and a contributing author to numerous business publications.
Her work in customer loyalty has been cited in Fortune Magazine, Sales and Marketing Magazine, The Executive Report on Customer
Retention, US Banker, the Retail Advantage, The Kiplinger
Letter, The Competitive Advantage and dozens of others.
can subscribe to her bi-weekly Customer Care Tip for free and find more
of her work at www.customercarecoach.com and http://joannabrandi.wordpress.com/ .