The Onus of Loyalty

When you hear “customer loyalty,” what do you imagine?

The Happy Couple
The customer gleefully spending all their money with you out of some sense of belonging.

The Ol’ Ball & Chain
The customer is locked into a relationship with you because of terms and conditions or simply a lack of better choices.

The Gold Digger
The customer only stays with you because of the ‘gifts’ you give them.  Once the flow of giving stops, so does the love. 

I saw a billboard for U.S. Cellular the other day.  It read, “We Believe Loyalty Matters.”

It was unclear what they meant by that and it made me think.  I wondered, “Whose loyalty matters?”

Businesses today are so focused on creating customer loyalty.  It is a lofty goal to aspire to be such a great company that people will not leave you for a lower price or better rewards program.  How do you do that?  Which above version of customer loyalty do you pursue?

What if we completely changed our vision of customer loyalty to something like this:

Be loyal to our customers.

Now, what does that change?

Thanks

I just want to give thanks today:

Thanks to you for reading my blog.  I’m grateful for my audience, no matter how small.

Thanks to David Walker and the folks who put on Tulsa Techfest this week.  They did a great job organizing a very impressive event.

Thanks to those who came to hear what I had to say about Word of Mouth Marketing.  I had a great time presenting and my favorite part was the sharing of audience comments and ideas during and after the preso.  Thanks for participating!

Living Among Critics

Last night, I attended a meeting held by my daughter’s teacher. She was explaining the structure of the class and led us through some sample exercises she uses with the students.

Occasionally, she called upon us parents for volunteers to read or give answers.

I was stunned by the silence and awkward glances downward.

The teacher shared her observation that her students were much more eager to participate than their parents.

It gave me pause to wonder – why were we so hesitant to speak up, give answers… hesitant to take even the smallest risk?  Much has been said of our fear of failure, but failure was not the deciding factor here.  It’s not like our success would be dictated by how well we read “See Jane run.”

How come parents paused when our children would have eagerly spoken up?

I think somewhere between 3rd grade and our 3rd year of college, we have been beaten, chiseled, hardened and restrained by perpetual criticism.  We’re a cynical society.  We make snide remarks all the time about someone’s speech impediment, religious affiliation, choice of wardrobe or choice of friends.  The constant wear has made us paranoid… even as adults.

It’s obvious in politics.  Candidates like McCain, Palin, Obama and Biden know the very words they speak will be used in an attempt to hang them later.  But should they let the critics dictate their speeches, let alone their policies?

How about you?  Are you paranoid because of living among critics?  And how much power do you give them over your life?

More on this from Seth.

Innovation @ Fight Club

Brian Clark at Lateral Action put together a great list of Tyler Durden’s 8 Rules of Innovation.

The list is based on statements by Brad Pitt’s character in Fight Club. Below is my favorite:

Tyler’s Eighth Rule of Innovation:

“This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time.”
Brian does a great job of expounding on this statement and seven others.  It is well worth the two minute hiatus to check it out.