Is loyalty dead? Customer loyalty, employee loyalty, whatever kind. You’ve seen the studies that show that the greatest predictor of loyalty is when a customer has a problem with the supplier and the supplier resolves it well.
The same goes for employee relationships. Why is that? Because trust is built. And when you find someone or some company you trust, you stick with them.
Read this article on loyalty from Forbes for a great reminder on how trust is built. In it, this study from InMoment is cited as saying, To build trust, by far the most popular driver (55 percent) was that retailers must “deliver what they promised”.
‘Deliver what they promised’, last month Charles Reeves retired from Wilson Lumber. ‘Charles who?’ You say. You’ve probably never met him, but he is the epitome of loyalty and the epitome of ‘delivering what he promised’. He worked as what we call a long-haul driver. Meaning, he drove a tractor trailer to get materials to bring back to Huntsville for us to sell to you.
Charles worked for Wilson Lumber 48 years. Yes 48, it’s not a typo. I’m sure all 48 years weren’t perfect. I’m sure there were some ups and downs along the way. And I am sure he had problems with us that we needed to fix. But he is loyal, and there’s no one in the world I would want more in one of my trucks. Well, he viewed it as his truck. Which was one reason he was so good at it.
And delivering what he promised? If Charles says he will do something, that’s the end of the matter. It will be done. We trust him, because for years he did what was needed and kept his word. I wish I had 10 more like him.
By our best estimate, he has driven over 4,000,000 miles for us. That’s amazing. And it’s a great example of loyalty. But more important than what it does for a company’s bottom line, is the relationship that is built over 48 years. Well, that’s actually a little longer than I’ve been alive so I suppose I wasn’t building the relationship the whole time.
The point is, if one of your customers has a problem, remember how important it is for you to resolve it well. And if you have a loyal employee, tell them you appreciate them. If you are loyal to a company, tell them and tell them why. That also builds trust and deepens the relationship. And that builds loyalty. Ah, there’s a pattern here.
And of course, if you are loyal to Wilson Lumber, we’d love to know why. And we’d love to find out without waiting for you to have a problem we need to fix.