Entrepreneur Michael Vizcaino also contributed to this article.
In today’s fast-paced, hurry about world, where we all expect instant information, respect and answers, do we keep building and earning loyalty top-of-mind with our associates (employees) customers and vendors? History tells us that loyalty is one of the most precious things in life and in business. It drives lifetime value and stability. It is indeed a competitive advantage.
Loyalty stands for commitment and dedication to your values and mission statement, it is being true to yourself, the key to a good night’s rest and a clear conscience. The act of being loyal involves being devoted and vulnerable; but never naïve. It is, without question, a risk worth taking. Remember to be loyal to the past and lessons learned.
The foundation of loyalty is integrity and being consistent, day in and day out. The challenge is to never give up on yourself or your dreams. Forgiving an employee, customer or vendor who is disloyal hurts, but all wounds heal in time. Loyalty is our moral compass, which drives and influences our business decisions – a two-way street for certain.
When we earn the trust of our customers, they stay the course with us. Think of the customers you respect the most, those who collaborate with you, share goals, in good or bad times. They will always have your back, in a true sense. Being loyal means not being afraid to express your opinion or point of view in a professional courteous manner. Be a leader people can count on because you follow through on your commitments.
Support the goals, objectives ambitions and dreams of others. Listen to your customer to learn and grow. Offer professional and positive solutions coupled with fact-based ideas. Accept more and judge less! Choose to give your loyalty to others, be honest and forthcoming about your reaction and feelings when someone takes advantage of your loyalty.
One must always remember loyalty is a key element of your company brand as an aftermarket professional. Earning customer loyalty is a strategic accomplishment. The idea of true business loyalty is to create a connection with your customers that transcends solely transactional interactions to a true partnership. It is based on shared values and an emotional connection.
Loyalty is a powerful mechanism and force that is deeply rooted in human behavior. We all seek loyalty in our life, and most tend to become too busy or forget to remember how important it truly is. It is paramount to human beings, socially and internally to be viewed as relevant and to define what loyalty means to you; and to share it with your associates (employees), customers and vendors. Make sure to harvest insights gained from customers showing appreciation.
I am reminded of a song from the band Alabama, “I’m in a Hurry.” It states “I’m in a hurry to get things done, I rush and rush until life’s no fun…” It goes on to express how life is a race and there is no room for someone in second place. At its core, this message is noticeably clear; due to what has become in our everyday “normal,” no one individual has taken time to think about the value of loyalty. Loyalty is something that, as stated above, is vital to everything we do. The relevance cannot be lost from a constant motion of always achieving excellence, that next sale, or even everyday occurrences.
Taking time to sometimes “smell the roses” can allow us as individuals, employers, employees, and customers to grow like a flower. Just as a flower, however, if the components that make up our sense of self and wellbeing are not provided, we will eventually wither and die metaphorically from mental malnutrition. Take a look inside yourself and point out a moment in your life where taking that extra second to help someone, remember that feeling. It can be said that a single act of selflessness or kindness can inspire many. This is true to loyalty as well.
That age-old interview question “Tell me a time that you personally went above and beyond to meet or exceed someone’s expectations…” That question is not to see how you will make the company or infrastructure you are attempting to become a part of more money. It is to decide whether or not you can show the capacity for making that difference, inspire that loyalty we all seek.
When you say that a person has a spark, what does this truly mean to you? In the world of business, it is a clear determination, insight and the perfect combination of qualities outlined in the diagram above that drive a loyal employee, or associate (employee) exhibit almost daily. That said, it is not that a healthy competition or drive between others is unwelcomed or unwanted. On the contrary, people with true loyalty to one another will push the other to strive further and achieve their utmost capacity and prowess for improvement.
This goes for customers as well. When a customer is challenged, there are two types of reactions: The first is the confrontational aspect; while the truly loyal customer sees it as an invite to better themselves to make the business’ life easier.
Keep a steady pace. The world will still be there in the end. The business “racetrack” is a long one. Nurture your mind, body, and soul allow it to grow producing loyalty, improving your entire outlook on life, through character development on several different fronts and indeed you will find the answer to the question, Is Loyalty Valued in Business?