Understanding the 3 major types of client loyalty

It can be said that there are three basic types of loyalty, the most powerful being emotive and progressively decreasing until you reach inertial. They can be defined as follows:

• Emotive Loyalist: Emotive loyalty is the strongest, most long-lasting and of the greatest likelihood to result in your clients becoming ambassadors for your cause. It is interesting to note that current business measurement now assesses loyalty by a client’s likelihood to recommend you rather than the other way around. Clients who have deep loyalty generate 80% of positive word of mouth. These clients are loyal to a particular brand, irrespective of the functional attributes. This bond forms by exceeding their zone of tolerance for expected performance repeatedly, and also by appealing to their values, ego and sensibilities. These customers are committed, and will seek you out. They associate with you at an emotional level and are proud of their connection with you. Apple carries a lot of customers who have deep emotive loyalty. (see: videos below)

• Functional loyalist: They only stay with you because you are meeting their needs today. This is often because the product or service that you offer is considered superior to other suppliers. It’s a logical recognition of your unique selling proposition. Attaining functional loyalty occurs when you’re able to offer something unique that creates an advantage over what other suppliers offer today. These customers are likely to stay with you if you continue to outperform other suppliers.

• Inertial loyalist (complacent): Inertial loyalty is by far the lowest on the chain. They haven’t chosen you because they are believers or because they believe your products are superior. There is a lack of compelling reasons to stay, still they are simply not motivated enough to find a different supplier. This relationship could have been initiated through a momentary convenience or through some other temporary opportunity. These clients stay because they lack the motivation to leave.

The further you go down the list, the greater the susceptibility to alternative suppliers. However, the further you go up the list, the greater the responsibility to deliver on the expectations of the relationship. The opportunity is always there to upgrade your clients to high tiers. Moving from inertial to functional requires delivering clear advantages either in terms of price, product advantage or best total solution. Once clients recognize the functional advantage, it means they understand your value proposition. Only then do you have the opportunity to appeal at a deeper level and build a relationship that will cause them to sell you and your products without even being asked.

One of the greatest advantages in business is to have clients who can’t help but tell other people about you because of how deeply they believe in you and what you’re all about.

Things apple fanatics say: part 1 & 2

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