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    14 Replies Latest reply on Nov 16, 2008 7:42 AM by Mongoose

    Why do you buy? Share some of the reasons that you become a "loyal customer."

    MP_of_MP Newbie
      The focal point of my business is strategic marketing...with an emphasis on "strategic." In many of my public speaking engagements I point out the fact that few...if any...of the businesses in Silicon Valley have a truly "unique" product or service. The "unique" qualities, the ones that clearly address and respond to the buyer's "What's in it for me" question, are what ultimately separate "must-have" products and services from the rest of the "I can live without it" pack.

      I'd be very interested to hear about products or services that you use on a regular basis. Why are you a loyal customer?
        • Re: Why do you buy? Share some of the reasons that you become a "loyal customer."
          LUCKIEST Guide
          I take my car in for service and walk into an auto showroom. "Unique" and Dangerous.
          I have last years model, I MUST HAVE this years.
          A marketing strategy is most effective when it is an integral component
          of corporate strategy, defining how the organization will successfully
          engage customers, in the market arena. It is
          partially derived from broader corporate strategies, missions, and goals. As the customer constitutes
          the source of a company's revenue, marketing strategy is closely linked
          with sales.
          I could write a book on being a loyal customer, UNTIL
          • Re: Why do you buy? Share some of the reasons that you become a "loyal customer."
            Score133 Adventurer
            I do business with people who tell me the truth about selling me something; truth in pricing, truth in product performance, truth in quality. But mostly I do business with people. It's the person behind the counter who smiles at me that keeps me coming back. It's the lady who remembers my elderly mother who gets my repeat business. It's the kid who knows where everything is and leads me there without making me feel like a dummy that makes me want to spend all my money at his shop. I am loyal to the people who treat me like a loyal customer...
            • Re: Why do you buy? Share some of the reasons that you become a "loyal customer."
              BDS INC Adventurer
              The property maintainance firm I use for my business is less of a vendor and more of a partner. I am a loyal customer because they take my business seriously. They understand that the more I succeed the more properties I buy, the more business they get. The company lives by a great principle, they are driven to help their clients succeed, because their clients success is their success.

              Now that is a company that understands service!
              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • Re: Why do you buy? Share some of the reasons that you become a "loyal customer."
                Ed O'Gee Adventurer
                BDS is right - service is why you become a loyal customer. Price can get your foot in the door, features may gauge interest but service will keep customers loyal all the time.
                • Re: Why do you buy? Share some of the reasons that you become a "loyal customer."
                  LT Lawn Care Wayfarer
                  This is an easy one. I buy products from the same nursery I did when I first started my business. I could likely go to a larger nursery now and get slightly better pricing but when I first started the owner took a chance on me. He gave me credit!!! 30 and 60 day terms when I had no business credit at all. He saw I was willing to work hard and he wanted to support my business.

                  Like someone else said - he knew his success was tied to my success.
                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Why do you buy? Share some of the reasons that you become a "loyal customer."
                    DomainDiva Ranger

                    My loyalty stems from the business being honest with me and giving decent customer service.
                    • Re: Why do you buy? Share some of the reasons that you become a "loyal customer."
                      DeniseMM Newbie

                      It's all about the "Golden Rule" and being treated like an individual.

                      I am a marketing mentor to small business owners and my clients know that I care. They know I go the extra mile for them. And, they know the marketing strategies I come up with to help their businesses are individual and there is nothing cookie cutter about them.

                      Now - about me as a customer. Again, I go to places where I'm treated like a person. When I go to Starbucks and they know my name and the way I like my morning brew - I want to go back. When there is a problem and a business owner wants to make it right - rather than make excuses - I want to go back. I used to go to a dry cleaning business. I spent a lot of money with them - in cleaning and alterations. Then they screwed up on three items. Instead of saying, "Gosh we're sorry - we want to make it right" they made excuses. Not good. I got them to fix the problem after having to gripe about it, but I never went back. Now they are out of business. So, they probably did that with a lot of people.

                      The challenge with marketing on the basis of great customer service - is that people have a hard time seeing it and "feeling" it in an advertising appeal at the level of mom and pop consumers - until they are without it. So that means one of the challenges in a marketing strategy is really defining what great customer service IS and not just assuming that everyone knows what it is.

                      After all, the biggest retailer in the US is Wal-Mart and their customer service sucks eggs. A lot of people just want those cheap prices. However, I've found then they are all bent out of shape when they discover that great customer service doesn't go hand in hand with "The Low Price - Always!" Same with Best Buy, IMHO. But that's not the only reason why I won't do business with Wal-Mart. I also won't do business with Wal-Mart because for a myriad of reasons I don't believe they are good for America in the long run. But I digress...

                      Oh, I also have four grandchildren and I won't be shopping at Toys-R-Us either for the holidays. Any of those big box stores that carry or carried the brands like Mattel and Hasbro that have been recalled due to lead paint problems with manufacturers in China - I consider them to be lousy corporate citizens and I won't shop there. I know I probably won't be able to find products made domestically (wish I could) but hopefully they aren't manufacturers that don't care about product safety because they're being shipped halfway around the world to children in the US.

                      Tough? Yes. But they're my grandkids. And I won't buy anything or support any business that is willing to jeopardize my health or the health of those I love.

                      All the best,

                      Denise Michaels
                      Author, "Testosterone-Free Marketing"

                      PS: Visit me online at
                      • Re: Why do you buy? Share some of the reasons that you become a "loyal customer."
                        Wordsmith Newbie
                        In a word: RELIABILITY.

                        While I'm always open to trying something new, whether it be a product or a service, I go back to the product or service that I know I can count on.

                        I've been going to the same garage for 16 years because I know they will do good work, will charge reasonable prices, and will do the job quickly. I've tried others for sundry necessities, but none of the others provided reliable service.

                        I generally buy my computer needs from the same online store because I know I'll get what I order quickly and at a low price. I've tried local stores (such as +Best Buy+) and other online stores, but none of them have been consistently acceptable.
                        • Re: Why do you buy? Share some of the reasons that you become a "loyal customer."
                          Stan_The_Man Newbie
                          If you really think about anybody's buying habits including your own (try this next time you are shopping) you will realize that we never buy any product or service for what they are --- we buy solutions to our challenges. In order to get so called "loyalty"is simple --- keep offering solutions to masses of people and you will never have to worry about competition or loyalty for that matter.

                          People buy solutions, not a product or service. Their bying is based on emotion and is justified by logic. Try it next time with your spouse when new unexpected item is brought home. Investigate why. Price of the item or service becomes irrelevant if solution is urgent enough --- "My kingdom for a horse!"

                          Now you know why I am a loyal customer.

                          Respectfully yours
                          • Re: Why do you buy? Share some of the reasons that you become a "loyal customer."
                            puzzleman Tracker
                            I become loyal because of the waitress who knows my order and has my drink without me ordering it.
                            I become loyal because when I bring in my vehicles for service, they listen to me and resolve the problem the quickest and cost efficent way.
                            I became loyal to my suppliers because when I would need help from time to time of getting product, they helped me out.

                            I do the same to my customers. I fix any problem with my products with out arguing, whatever they want done to resolve the situation, I do it.

                            Loyalty comes from connecting to the other person (not the business) on a personal level. As much as we want our customers to love our business, they are talking about a person. Whenever someones talks good about a company they are really talking about a specific person, not the business. Everything is personal!
                            • Re: Why do you buy? Share some of the reasons that you become a "loyal customer."
                              slavaret Adventurer
                              I believe most products and services have been commoditized, so most of my purchases are generally price driven.

                              The only areas where I tend to stay loyal are the ones that are VITAL to my business - i.e. ability to generate money. For me (I am a stock trader) it's a powerful computer, a fast Internet connection, and a robust trading platform. As long as I am getting good value for my money AND problems are taken care of fast - I will stay put. Everything else is replacable/dispensable.
                              • Re: Why do you buy? Share some of the reasons that you become a "loyal customer."
                                marktingcoach Newbie
                                Great question, Ed. I have a slightly different take on loyalty. Loyalty does not, in my humble opinion, translate into customer advocacy, which is what many of us are alluding to when we say loyalty. I am loyal to the grocery store that is nearby simply because it is nearby. If I were to move, I would most likely frequent the one that was closest ... at least until they did something to really tick me off.

                                However, I am a cheerleader for many companies I choose to do business with because they provide me with a product, service, and/or experience that is meaningful to me. As a result, they not only get my business and loyalty, but they also get the word-of-mouth advertising that I spread around.

                                Unlike the Golden Rule idea that states that you should treat others as you would like to be treated, I believe in what a friend termed as the Platinum Rule that states you should treat others as THEY each would like to be treated. Unfortunately, most companies do not attempt to do this because it requires that they leave the comfort of their hard and fast policies and procedures. But those that can find a way to work within their business model and offer individual service based on the individual's wants, needs, and desires have a special opportunity -- one that spreads and attracts more and more profitable customers.
                                • Re: Why do you buy? Share some of the reasons that you become a "loyal customer."
                                  You should consider "Why We Buy" by Paco Underhill. Get it on cheap. It's a classic text on the psychology of purchasing and what triggers the buy decision.