Does Loyalty Matter?

Posted by on Jul 16, 2014 in CHI Contemplation, CHI Insight
Tags: customer loyalty, elgin sweeper, us radar inc., supply chain services, hlr engineering

Today, this headline from Equipment World’s e-newsletter caught my attention: “Construction worker reportedly fired for flying Alabama football flag at Texas A&M jobsite.” Whether or not you consider the offense egregious enough to justify firing the crane operator, hoisting a rival flag when you are working on the Texas A&M stadium, at minimum, shows a lack of sensitivity and appreciation for where your paycheck is coming from.

Credit: Doug Keegan/@doug_keegan on Twitter

Credit: Doug Keegan/@doug_keegan on Twitter via Equipment World.

At a chamber of commerce meeting in our area, a Sam’s Club employee was all but bragging that she shops at Costco. I can think of lots of reasons to shop Costco over Sam’s Club, and no doubt there are certain products available at Costco that are not available at Sam’s Club, so the employee might be able to build a case for occasionally going to Costco; however, someone who collects a paycheck from Sam’s Club certainly shouldn’t broadcast—especially not at a meeting Sam’s Club paid for her to attend—that she shops at their primary rival. Whatever cliché you want to use—“Dance with the one that brung ya,” “Know which side your bread is buttered on” or “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you”—loyalty to the brand or business that is helping support your lifestyle just makes good sense.

From the first days of Cooper Hong Inc., which opened in 2006, we established certain core values. One of these is this: “Our clients pay the bills and keep the lights on. We owe them our loyalty, and we will be billboards for their brands.” Executing this value isn’t always easy, especially because we are a business-to-business agency, so our clients don’t always make or sell products or services that we use personally or for the business. For instance, we’re not currently in the market for any brand of street sweeper, ground-penetrating radar, engineering services or electronics recycling services. But you can bet if we learn of any business that is looking for any of those things, we’ll refer them to Elgin Sweeper, US Radar, HLR Engineering or Supply-Chain Services, Inc., respectively, because these are among the CHI clients who help pay the bills and keep the lights on.

Beyond direct referrals, though, loyalty to our clients means we are always looking for opportunities to promote their brands—keeping abreast of relevant industry news, staying in touch with key media contacts, looking for events and activities that might allow our clients to showcase a new product or service or otherwise build brand visibility. It also means watching for issues and concerns that may be affecting the loyalty of our clients’ customers and working with our clients to address and publicize changes and fixes that can help rejuvenate customer loyalty.

We could have an entire conversation on why nurturing customer loyalty matters, but two reasons go straight to the bottom line:

  1.  You’ve already made the investment to get the customer; keeping them happy costs a lot less than getting a new customer.
  2.  Loyalty helps insulate your business from price competition.

The point is that loyalty matters. It’s a quality we want to nurture and build among customers, and it’s also a quality we should expect of our employees and service providers. So when you’re working on the Texas A&M stadium, leave your Crimson Tide flag at home.

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