The Science™ has done it again!

Over the last 40 years, one academic study after another has confirmed the startling Secret to Customer Loyalty. According to The Science™, the keys are:

  • Price
  • Ease of Doing Business
  • Quality of Customer Service

These shocking findings – when applied – will revolutionize your business!

(Yes, that’s the subtle whiff of sarcasm you detect.)

Nobody needs an ivory tower academic to tell you that Price, Service and Ease of Doing Business matter. All else being equal, customers prefer businesses that treat them better.

But all else is never equal, is it?

Suppose, in spite of your efforts, customers still drop you the instant they find a better price?

How to Measure Customer Loyalty

Let’s look at the problem from a different angle.

The three elements I cited above all generate a particular type of loyalty: Transactional Loyalty. You exist on one side of the transaction and the customer exists on the other.

The motto of transactional loyalty is:

“You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.”

As long as you continue to deliver on Price, Service and Ease of Doing Business, then your customers will (probably) continue to maintain the relationship.

However, such customers are not loyal to the relationship; they are merely loyal to the transaction. Transactional loyalty goes only one way.

To be sure, transactional loyalty beats no loyalty at all. But transactional loyalty can’t survive the normal ebbs and flows of a long-term relationship. For that, you need relational loyalty.

The motto of Relational Loyalty is:

“We’re all in this together.”

Relational loyalty beats transactional loyalty all to heck. Relational loyalty goes both ways.

As Wizard of Ads partner Ryan Chute constantly preaches, great businesses are built from relational customers, not from transactional customers.

How to Change Customer Loyalty

So how can you transition your customers from transactional loyalty to relational loyalty?

Two words:

  1. Suffering
  2. Enemies

When human beings suffer together, they develop deep, long-lasting bonds of relational loyalty to one another. You observe relational loyalty in soldiers who serve together, people who survive catastrophes together, and athletes who train and play together.

“That’s all well and good,” you say. “But we didn’t go to war together. We didn’t survive any catastrophes together. We didn’t play team sports together. How do I share suffering with my customers?”

Good question.

That’s where Enemies come into play.

Enemies cause suffering. People who feel they’ve suffered at the hands of a shared enemy will also feel great loyalty to one another. This is obviously true with silly things like politics or sports. It is no less true in business.

Why Should You Love Your Enemies?

“You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies.”

– Doctor Who

When your customers discover that you share a common enemy, then relational loyalty quite naturally blooms.

So, we arrive at the crux of the matter: how do you identify your common enemies?

You will know them by the problems you solve.

To identify your common enemy, frame the problems you solve in terms of Emotions and Behaviors. This is easier than it sounds.

  1. First, list whatever painful emotions compelled you to create your business.
  2. Then, identify the behaviors or circumstances that triggered those emotions.

Here’s an example:

Suppose your business makes and sells heirloom-quality furniture. What painful emotions compelled you to start that business?

“I was exasperated I had to spend my hard-earned money on furniture I had to assemble myself. It made me angry that it fell apart after just a few years of normal wear and tear. I was frustrated because it was uncomfortable and ugly.”

The painful emotions were:

    • exasperation
    • anger
    • frustration

Now, what behaviors or circumstances caused those emotions? Let’s say it was:

    • Shoddy workmanship
    • Cheap materials
    • Bad design

Now you have identified the painful emotions and the intolerable circumstances or behaviors. You have identified the enemies responsible for your suffering.

Now that you’ve got the right message, you just have to deliver it. Tell your story to the world. Share those painful emotions. Talk about the intolerable circumstances that led you to create your business.

Practice consistence and patience. Relational loyalty won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.

Need some help? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Contact me or any of my other Wizard of Ads partners. We can help you.

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