Loyalty. What does it even mean? The first thing I think of for some reason is my two-year-old Golden Retriever, Sophie. Dogs are always synonymous with loyalty simply by their attitude. They are always there (except when they run down the street) always happy, always interested in what you are doing. Their genuine feelings towards you make you value them even more. As a dog owner, you strive to make them feel appreciated and loved through a variety of ways. Whether it’s a belly scratch, a bacon flavored treat or just a walk around the block- when you show them you care about them, they respond with radiating positivity. Not only do they feel loved and cared for, but you do too. As far as corporate America goes, we should try to emulate the very same feelings with our customers. Treat your customers like dogs.
Dogs are also synonymous with the term, ‘Man’s Best Friend’. Same rings true for customers. We shouldn’t view customers as the enemies because they sometimes bring frustrations to our attention, make us work hard, and in the worst cases are rude. Just the same as to why we don’t alienate our dogs when they go to the bathroom on the new white carpet, knock over the lamp wagging their tail, or chew up your brand new pair of Air Jordan’s. What do we do? We forgive, forget, and find a way for a positive result. We look to teach, grow, and improve the quality of life for both the dog and yourself. The same thing goes for customer service. We want to take problems, address them, and work towards a solution to ultimately create a sense of friendship. We aim to create an atmosphere where the feeling is that someone is genuinely helping another person, to improve the quality of service for the company and quality of life for the customer as a result. Customer loyalty is all about making the customer feel loved, cared for, and rewarded just for being them. Just for doing service (no matter what it is), the customer should leave the experience with the same beaming feelings of positivity that you will find in your puppy after you throw the ball in the yard with them for 20 minutes.
So why are dogs viewed as so loyal? Because they are treated with love and attention, giving the same as a result. Customer loyalty is based on the same principals. If you treat you customers with respect and attention, they will feel valued and appreciated-ultimately making them wanting to come back to you. And rewards don’t hurt either. Whether it’s Bonus Points for your customer, or Beggin’ Strips for your Collie, people are more loyal to places where they feel rewarded for their time. So next time you find yourself in a customer service situation, think about if they made you feel like your tail was wagging after you left. Chances are you will (or already do) go back to the places where it was. Loyalty-Treat your customers like dogs. Does it make a little more sense now?