Build Customer Loyalty Into Your Business Structure

This evening I spent a couple of hours at the Apple Store getting my iPhone replaced and synced with the saved data on my Macbook Pro.  This didn't cost me a dime because I previously purchased the extended warranty plan with this iPhone.

2011.5.9 Apple Genius Bar

The technician at the Apple Genius Bar methodically progressed through the possible reasons for the loss of functionality. After finding only a partial solution, he took the final step of providing me with a new phone.

This is what makes it a pleasure to deal with Apple. Their products are exceptional, though nothing is infallible. So, the wise move is to spend a little extra on the warranty and know you are covered.

No questions asked.

My thought is that companies should consider building this into their business model – by not even making the warranty an option.  Sure, some customers may take advantage of it, but then that comes with the territory.  I'm sure the percentage is pretty small.

Zappos is another successful company that does the same thing, only differently.  They trust their customers not to take advantage of free shipping – both ways. If you don't like the merchandise or it doesn't like you, you simply send it back. And you have a full year to even do that! 

No questions asked.

What made me link these two successful companies together in my mind is the fact that I've noticed they have very similar cultures. First, the staff is friendly and respectful of each other and customers alike.

Though more significant is how they do customer service.  It's not something that they do for their customers – but with them.

You would think that cutting edge technology and selling shoes are about as far apart in terms of business models as you can get.  

Think again.

How could you use these ideas or borrow from other companies to build customer loyalty into your business structure?

Leave a comment below. And feel free to share this with your friends by clicking on the Facebook Like button.

And please consider subscribing to JeffKorhan.com to learn more ways to profitably grow your small business.

Until tomorrow,  Jeff

Photo Credit: wooly matt

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Comments

  1. Nice post! Many businesses invest in points based loyalty systems that are becoming more and more saturated in the marketplace.

    Here are some tips when choosing the right customer loyalty program for your business:

    Choose a web-based (cloud) solution that does not require local software

    Choose a program that separates your business from the crowd and allows customized rewards

    Beware of programs that cost $1,000s of dollars and require expensive card readers

    Keep it simple and focus on your business operations, not your loyalty program

    Make sure you have the ability to quantify the use of your loyalty program

    Choose a loyalty program that gives you the ability to easily change rewards at any time

    Choose a loyalty program that can also be used for direct email, mail, or social media marketing

    A loyalty program that allows your business to provide nonprofits a fundraising program using your merchandise, food, or services is a bonus

    Onc new program that is worth giving a try is Cinco Squared- http://www.cincosquared.com

    They have a free trial (no credit card or obligation) and guarantee 15-30% increase in revenue. Definitely a completely new twist on customer loyalty.