3 Steps to Building Client Loyalty and Evangelism

People buy a product or service for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes they just go with the cheapest price; sometimes they want the prestige of the most expensive option.

Some want a cheaper, short-term solution, while others opt for a durable, long-lasting choice.

Regardless of the forces that drive clients and customers to choosing you, it’s good when they keep coming back. It’s even better when they develop loyalty to you and your company that can become the most coveted free marketing there is: evangelism.

So, how does a company like yours develop a mob of fanatic evangelists who love nothing more than to tell a friend about how amazing you are?

First, Nail the Basics

It might be a while before your company cultivates a rabid fan base. Right now, though, you can lay the groundwork for that by shoring up your operations the best you can.

That might mean making sure you’re offering a superior product. Maybe you need to go the extra mile more often when it comes to customer service. Perhaps you can improve your company’s reputation as a great place to work. There’s always room for improvement in those three areas and a dozen others.

The important thing is to make progress on whatever will help make people feel good about being loyal to you and recommending you. No one wants to recommend an inferior, overpriced product. No one wants to direct a friend toward a place that won’t treat them like the most important customer they have. No one wants to love a place that’s famous for grinding their employees into dust.

Making an everyday effort to be the type of company someone is eager to recommend will build over time and seriously pay off.

Start a Lifetime of Loyalty with a Simple Acknowledgement

It doesn’t take much to pop on someone’s radar in a very positive way.

Imagine being at a live concert by your favorite artist. You’ve scored incredible tickets and you’re in the front row. It’s a great set… but what makes the concert legendary is that split second where the singer looks down at you, makes eye contact, and nods his head.

That’s it. In one second, his tiny, low-effort acknowledgement etched a memory into your brain for life.

Our days are filled with transactions, and almost no companies take the time to do anything about it. A company that sincerely reaches out to its customers just to acknowledge and thank them automatically vaults to the top tier in that customer’s overall experience. It only takes a second, so make the effort.

Provide Value, But Keep Increasing It

The phrase ‘provide value’ is ubiquitous in business and marketing materials. Everyone talks about providing value, but there’s more to it than that when it comes to building up to evangelism.

A friend was raving recently about a website he’d discovered, and after just two transactions he almost couldn’t stop talking about it. With his first order, they called after the delivery to make sure that everything was as expected and that he was happy. He went back the next time he needed something, and instead of the 3-5 business day delivery time, he was shocked to find that they’d overnighted the item to him for free… just because.

They didn’t tell him he’d won a free overnight shipping offer. They didn’t brag about it or follow up. They just did it and he was thrilled.

They acknowledged him, provided value, and then increased that value -- and after that, it would be virtually impossible to pry him away from this company.

These three steps on their own won’t get you an army of fans; building loyalty and evangelism takes a never-ending, multifaceted approach. This framework will get you started on the efforts that will help you improve your business, retain customers, and encourage them to tell everyone they know about your business. Like many things, it’s a process. Have you started?

Rodney Steele