Last month, I went back to Aston University. The place I graduated from 12 years ago. Much has changed on campus; high rise tower blocks have been demolished and replaced by smart new student accommodation. The campus landscape looks remarkably different. But the feeling of the place is just the same. And for me that is a friendly, familiar feeling.
Perhaps they’re the feelings we feel when we return to a particular service, brand, person or place? A feeling we get when we are being loyal.
I was back at Aston University to attend a lecture on just that – Customer Loyalty. It was fascinating to ask ourselves, are we loyal customers? Or are we buying a particular service or product out of habit? And habit most certainly does not equal loyalty.
Loyalty nowadays has become commoditised and we are all extremely aware that companies try to “buy” our loyalty on a daily basis. We only need to look in our own purses and wallets at the number of “loyalty cards” we have. But none of these cards drive loyalty. I’m sure many of us have both a Starbucks and Costa Coffee loyalty card.
So how do we gain customer loyalty? By gaining their trust. And to gain trust, certainly in the translation industry, that means:
- Delivering on time
- Delivering the quality required
- Being consistent
- Adding value
- Being easy to work with
- Understanding what’s important to them
By delivering on this – and at times delighting our customers – we hope to gain their trust… and then their loyalty.