How to Build Customer Loyalty Simply by Making & Keeping Credible Promises to the Marketplace

It’s no wonder that very few companies enjoy customer loyalty these days. Consumers are skeptical of the company’s promises. A “new” product is not really “new”. A good-looking item on an info-commercial works very differently from what has been demonstrated. The beautifully designed hotel room pictured on the website leaves a lot to be desired.

This is why in my new book, Strategy Activation: How to Turn Your Vision Into Marketplace Success, I show how your organization can build customer loyalty by delivering what is expected.

Because making promises is no longer enough

The Loyalty Engagement Index from Brand Keys, a New York-based marketing consultancy firm, shows that consumer expectations have been rising for a decade, up 28%. However, brands only kept up 7% of the time. The result: customers were perpetually disappointed.

In 2007 this changed dramatically.

Consumer expectations have stabilized.

“Consumers are more realistic,” said Brand Keys President Robert Passikoff. “Their wishes are now based on experience rather than expectations. Consumers who have been disappointed for so long seem to have given up.”

In other words, consumers now expect imperfect results from companies. They have become cynical and assume that certain things are probably not going to luxury brand refresh cnsulotant

go right. But don’t confuse expectation with acceptance. When the inevitable disappointment occurs, they look elsewhere for a new product or service provider. This is not a good situation.

Companies need to reverse these negative expectations. Making a promise isn’t enough to get people to come to your house. You need to give them a credible promise and a reason to believe your promise isn’t another empty promise.

For example:

– Promise me speed? Why should I believe you could actually deliver speed?
– Promise me luxury? How do you intend to offer the luxury?
– Will you promise me safety and security? Can you really keep me safe?

How to let consumers know exactly how you will deliver on your promises:

You need to communicate the “What” and “How” to your prospects and customers. The promise is “what” you say you do. The reason for believing is “how” you do it. For example:

– We will deliver speed by flying your packages overnight to your destination rather than hauling them. (Fed Ex) – We will provide the luxury by giving you the heavenly bed. (Hotel Westin) – We will safeguard you with our rollover protection system. (Volvo XC90)

Marketers call these the pillars of promise. They provide customers with the additional details they need to make an informed decision.

For example, Marriott Hotel promises “Achievement Guests” (those driven to perform and who thrive on personal excellence) an environment that inspires their performance. That’s a good promise. To support this, Marriott has developed three pillars to build credibility:

1. Reach. The professional, performance-oriented side of the hotel offers ergonomic, well-lit desks that move easily. This way guests can create the best working environment.

2. Revive. Luxury offerings include aromatherapy bath products, 300-thread count linens, and high-definition TVs that guests can connect to personal devices such as iPods.

3. Culture. The emphasis is on warm, friendly and sincere service, built on their promise to provide a pleasantly human touch in today’s fast-paced world.

How to create a compelling brand promise backed by compelling evidence

Large hotel chains aren’t the only organizations developing strategic pillars to back up their market promises. Dunlop Tires promises performance. Here are five credible reasons why you can believe they provide high performance tires:

Reason No. 1: new innovative products. “New” for Dunlop is the development of a different product: it doesn’t just make a small change to an existing product and calls it “new”.

Reason No. 2: Link to the most prestigious automotive brands in the world. Dunlop can point to prestigious car manufacturers using its tires, which creates credibility.

Reason No. 3: European heritage. This third reason for believing was based on its reputation as a performance leader in the European automobile and racing sectors that played on customers’ emotional bond with their cars.

Reason No. 4: connection to racing circuits. Dunlop has a solid reputation on motor racing and racing circuits in the United States, Europe, Australia and Japan.

Reason No. 5: state-of-the-art website. The site dares to be different