How have you been served?
We were delighted by Peter Shankman’s live discussion at the SAP Palo Alto campus on December 8th. Peter — an entrepreneur, speaker, and author — shared his game-changing philosophies about customer service and what he terms “zombie loyalty.” He is so passionate about it that he wrote a book, “Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans,” which I read cover-to-cover over the weekend.
The secret sauce for unwavering, zombie-like, bigger-than-your-company customer loyalty is … as it turns out, quite simple:
- Be transparent to build customer trust
- Be good at listening and communicating to connect with people and customers
- Be relevant to customers to gain engagement
- Be reachable and on top of customers’ minds to build a differentiating brand
Today with search and social media, information is abundant and easily obtained. Transparency is key to winning customers’ trust, both in good and challenging times. A company has to win customers’ trust first as the foundation for customer loyalty. These loyal customers work voluntarily for you as brand promoters and advocates, and most importantly, they bring all their family members, friends, neighbors, and colleagues to be your new customers … voluntarily … and Boom! You’ve got Zombie Loyalists. Peter cited that listening to customers, regularly reaching out, providing help, and delighting customers with an unexpected surprise, are all critically important. His research has proven that “companies that take the time to listen, process feedback, and actively make changes based on what they learn will ever create Zombie Loyalists.”
SAP’s corporate philosophy is a validation of Peter’s research findings. SAP’s vision — to help the world run better and improve people’s lives — is core to the company culture and to everything we focus. Leveraging our technology and solutions to support the UN-led Data for Climate Action campaign, to help medical professionals develop improved treatments, to enable companies to drive their digital transformation via Cloud computing, real-time data, and the Internet of Things, all are necessary for reshaping the business landscape and helping our customers to be at their best.
So, the secret is out: strive to build trust with customers at all times, by serving, listening to, connecting with, and delighting them, and they will turn into 24×7 enthusiastic, Facebooking, Tweeting, walking and talking referrals. And there, you are best friends with all the loyal customers who talk about how awesomely they have been served. Best friends bring their friends over to buy fun products, services and experience, and there you’ll have it … an amazing home run!