Do These 3 Things and I Promise, You Will Earn Customer Loyalty. Pinky Swear.

It turns out I am pretty amazing in the kitchen. A few weeks ago I made caramelized veggie skewers with herby couscous. It was good. Like, slap your mama good.

Caramelized Veggie Skewers-with Summer Corn Relish and Herby Couscous

On Saturday afternoon while my husband and son played NBA2K on PS4 and my daughter danced with her earphones blasting, I had my own fun by making crispy citrus tofu with smoky black beans, mango salsa and farro. My husband loved this dish. He said this is his favorite vegan dish. Chef Myra takes a bow


Crispy Citrus Tofu 

Most of my life I was just okay in the kitchen. I didn’t get complaints, but I didn’t get a lot of compliments either. But that all changed when I found Hello Fresh. More about Hello Fresh in a minute.

Research my team and I have done has found that customer loyalty is achieved when 3 criteria are met. The service experience must:

  1. Meet the needs of the customer
  2. Be easy
  3. Be enjoyable

If the customer gets their needs met, the company is easy to do business with and the customer enjoys the experience, the customer is likely to be loyal. Not only loyal, but they are likely to share their experience with a friend, colleague or family member.

So, about Hello Fresh. My husband got a $40 off gift card from Hello Fresh when he ordered athletic outfits for our son from Eastbay. I know, a food service gift card from an athletic store. But anyway, he gave me the gift card and I placed my first order with Hello Fresh. I will use HelloFresh.com as a discussion topic for how to achieve customer loyalty using my 3 points from above. My order below will not flow with the above and that’s okay.

1. Easy Customer Experience

Signing up was easy. With one click I was able to select the vegetarian option. And the following Thursday, a box of recipes and perfectly proportioned ingredients for vegetarian meals was delivered to my door. The service experience so far was easy.

Hello Fresh

The recipes are step-by-step, include graphics and are easy to follow.

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I signed up for weekly meal delivery, but I can’t really get meals weekly because of business travel and occasional vacations. When I need to pause meal delivery, all I have to do is click a button on the Hello Fresh app or website that says “pause.” It takes like 2 seconds. Easy as pie.

2. Customer Needs are Met

My goal, or need, with this company was to prepare healthy, gourmet, jaw-dropping good vegetarian meals for my family. I also wanted to reduce the number of times per week we eat out and I wanted to spend less time at the grocery store. Since I’ve been getting meals from Hello Fresh, we almost never eat out. I only have to pick up a few items at the grocery store weekly. My goals and needs were 100% met.

 

3. Enjoyable Customer Experience

Was my experience with Hello Fresh enjoyable? Oh my goodness, yes! Hello Fresh sends me easy to follow recipes, all of the ingredients, and because the ingredients are perfectly proportioned, there is no waste. I enjoy not having to go to the grocery store as often. I enjoy not spending much money eating out. I enjoy cooking gourmet meals that satisfy my husband and result in lavish compliments. I enjoy the experience of cooking. It’s like creating art for me. Seriously.

After a couple of months of experiencing enjoyment, ease of use and having my needs met, Hello Fresh has won my loyalty. The formula for customer loyalty is simple. Just meet your customers’ needs, be easy to do business with, and make sure your customers enjoy their experience with you, your service or your products. When you do, loyalty will become a part of “the way business is done around here.”

Tonight I made Smoky Black Bean and Caramelized Sweet Potato Tacos.  If you’re interested in having gourmet meals delivered to your door, you might want to give Hello Fresh a try. They offer both classic and vegetarian meals. Save $40 on your first order with my code 5VNUYC at www.hellofresh.com

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Now you can give your representatives even more great skills for delivering the best customer experience and for handling difficult customer situations. Sign up for my email list and learn specific tips, approaches and phrases to help your employees help your customers.

The Beyond WOW Customer Experience

The explosive ideas in this book will help you go beyond the WOW experience to build, repair, and grow customer relationships. 

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by Myra Golden and Dr. Jeffrey Magee

“From the first page I was taken in!” 

“Beyond WOW is a powerful tool for those of us who work with customers on a day-to-day basis. 

“I refer to your book when I need to re-motivate myself.”

  • Completely restore customer confidence and regain goodwill after any service failure

  • Learn how to launch relationship marketing campaigns to strengthen loyalty with your current customers

  • Get your customers back from the competition with our powerful win back strategies

  • Discover why you need to forget customer satisfaction and strive for customer loyalty

  • Deploy more than 50 growth and retention tactics today

  • How to create a customer recovery plan

  • Converting ballistic customers into advocates

  • Customer winback strategies – the step-by-step process

 

Take a look inside:


View table of contents

Look at back cover

Read a sample chapter

Get your copy of Beyond WOW for $29.95. Buy now.

Or get Beyond WOW instantly in eBook format for just $20!

How Apple Got the Customer Experience Right

iPhone 5 by Myra Golden
iPhone 5, a photo by Myra Golden on Flickr.

I bought my daughter the iPhone 5, but I’m still rocking my iPhone 4s. Her iPhone 5 is faster, taller and far lighter than my iPhone 4s. But because I updated my iPhone with Apple’s latest iPhone software, I have tons of cool new features that make my iPhone 4s almost as cool as my daughter’s iPhone 5.

One of the many ways Apple creates air-tight customer loyalty is by consistently increasing the value customers get out of their devices.

Shortly after iPhone 5 was released, Apple announced iOS 6. The iOS 6 upgrade gave me over 200 new features for my iPhone 4s. All I had to do was download the software upgrade to turn my camera into a panoramic camera, get Siri to now make restaurant reservations for me or give me scores for my favorite teams and I now have a GPS on my iPhone. These are just a few of the more than 200 new features that increase the value and enhance the experience of my older model iPhone.

Increase the value of your service experience without increasing price and you’ll increase customer loyalty.

Apple keeps customers happy with consistent and valuable upgrades; FREE upgrades that enhance the customer experience in relevant ways. I can think of 2 other companies that enhance the customer experience with free valuable upgrades. Southwest Airlines and Zappos.com.

Southwest Airlines Enhances the Flying Experience with Drink Coupons. When you fly 10 or more one-way flight segments in a calendar year, Southwest will send you four complimentary drink coupons if you are over 21 years old. Merlot in a plastic cup after a keynote and long travel day sure can feel really nice.

Zappos Offers Free VIP Status, Which Means You Get Lifetime Overnight Shipping for Free. I’m not sure what it takes to qualify for it, but I am lucky enough to have Free Zappos VIP Status. This means I get lifetime free overnight shipping on anything from Zappos.com.

How might you increase the value of your customer experience without passing on cost to your customers?

Take the next step. Sit down with your team and explore how you might enhance the value your customers receive. How might you give customers more without charging more? What updates/improvements/upgrades can you offer to help customers maximize the potential of your product or service? Enhancing customer value inspires customer loyalty. Customer loyalty inspires bigger profits.

Related post:

Apple’s 5 Steps of Customer Service Brilliantly Executed

Apple’s Customer Experience Secret: Constantly Improve What Is Already Extraordinary

Your Job Isn’t to Keep the Store. Your Job is to Keep Customers.

Yesterday I was in Muskogee, Oklahoma for a football game that my daughter was cheering for. She had to be at the game an hour early. So, I dropped her off and drove to downtown Muskogee just to see if I could find something interesting to photograph while I waited for the game to start. It didn’t take me long to find that something “interesting.” I found this S&H Green Stamps sign hanging over what used to be a grocery store.

I immediately thought of my mother when I saw the S & H Green Stamps sign. When I was a little girl, I remember my mother specifically chose to shop at retailers that offered Green Stamps and she loved redeeming the stamps for gifts. S&H (Sperry & Hutchinson) introduced the world to customer loyalty programs back in the 1930s with Green Stamps.

Next, I thought about the purpose of S & H Green Stamps. The purpose was customer loyalty. There actually was a time when retailers truly understood the importance of customer loyalty. Consider this 1962 S & H Green Stamps commercial where the grocery store owner explains that his job “Is not to keep the store; his job is to keep customers.”

We need to get back to a true focus on customer loyalty. Customer loyalty can’t be a push of the month, a buzz phrase, or just fluff. The essence of a business truly needs to be about keeping customers. S & H Green Stamps was created to help retailers keep customers. The program worked because business owners understood the importance and critical need of keeping customers. Does your business truly “get” customer loyalty? Seriously, does your business get it?

Cheesecake Factory Forgot My Key Lime Cheesecake…But then they made me smile!

On Saturday afternoon my daughter and I swung by the Cheesecake Factory for a to-go dinner in between a spa appointment and my son’s football scrimmage. I got my favorite entrée, Jamaican Pepper Shrimp, and she got a chicken dish. Because I believe in loving myself, I also ordered a slice of key lime cheesecake.

We were in such a hurry that I didn’t check to ensure our complete order was in the signature Cheesecake Factory bag. I just assumed everything was there. I was heartbroken to get home to find my key lime cheesecake was not in the bag. Our schedule was too crammed for me to go back to the restaurant and I didn’t even have time to call. I did, however, enjoy every bite of my Jamaican Pepper Shrimp dish.

The next afternoon I went to CheesecakeFactory.com and completed the Contact Form. I complimented the restaurant for a great entrée and expressed my disappointment in my missing slice of cheesecake. Yesterday afternoon I got a call from the restaurant manager. He had a contagious energy vibe that instantly made me smile and I returned the energy vibe. The manager offered a heart-felt apology and made a great personal emotional connection with business-friendly small talk. He invited me to come back in for my slice of cheesecake and if that wasn’t convenient, he said he’d put a gift card in the mail.

I opted to go to the restaurant because it’s just a couple miles from my home. When I got there, I was greeted by Mark, a warm and friendly night manager. Mark apologized and we talked about his wife’s name, which is similar to mine. Mark and the manager I spoke to on the phone handled my missing slice of cheesecake so well that I am actually glad I experienced the mishap. I’m glad because I got to see Cheesecake Factory absolutely shine at the moment of a problem. They completely restored my confidence and managed to strengthen my loyalty.

What can you learn from Cheesecake Factory’s Problem Handling?
Take my experience with Cheesecake Factory and compare it to the way your business handles mishaps and service failures. What do you like most about Cheesecake Factory’s handling of my problem? What takeaways from Cheesecake Factory might improve your service recovery efforts? Problems are really opportunities for companies to make emotional connections with customers, restore confidence and strengthen loyalty. Take a tip from the Cheesecake Factory and make the most of problems your customers experience.

How Target Got Loyalty Rewards Right

From airlines to coffee shops to retail stores, everybody has some sort of loyalty rewards program. Some loyalty rewards programs are effective, but many are not. Next week I’m speaking about loyalty programs at a conference and I’ll be sharing how Target got the loyalty rewards program right. Target’s loyalty program, the Target REDcard, delivers big discounts, gives perks customers actually care about, keeps customers choosing Target over the competition and gets customers talking. That’s what you want a loyalty rewards program to do.

5 ways Target Got Loyalty Rewards Right

  1. The Target REDcard functions as a debit card that draws funds from any checking account. It’s not a credit card so it doesn’t scare away customers who are trying to eliminate debt and it doesn’t eliminate customers who have less than great credit.
  2. Target customers get the payout of their rewards immediately. REDcard holders get 5% off of every Target and Target.com purchase, even sale and clearance items. Customers don’t have to wait to earn discounts quarterly or after reaching a benchmark.
  3. Target’s rewards are so valuable that customers are choosing to shop at Target even though a competitor may be closer or cheaper. Consumers love saving money and they love seeing this savings immediately. Saving money immediately is a strong deciding factor for many consumers and this is working in Target’s favor.
  4. REDcard holders get 5% off at Target.com and they get free shipping on Target.com. Consumers see free shipping with online retailers as a big perk. (Think free shipping at Zappos.com and with Amazon.com Prime)
  5. Target makes loyalty card holders feel good with donations to education. Target makes a donation to education equal to 1% of all REDcard purchases. That just feels good.

If you’re designing a loyalty rewards program or re-visiting your current loyalty program, consider offering payout of rewards immediately, give perks customers find valuable, and see if you can also make consumers feel good about doing business with you. When you do, you’ll find that you’re not just “signing people up” in your rewards program, but you’re truly driving loyalty and reducing customer defection.