While visiting the home of a dear friend, I was shocked to see her grandson rifling through the freezer without invitation. “What is he doing?” I wondered, “this isn’t his house!” Yet, he was so comfortable at Grandma’s, he felt right at home exploring. Later, I discovered Grandma used to surprise him with his favorite cookies hidden in the cookie jar. “I have cookies for you,” she would tease, “but, I can’t remember where I put them…” During each visit, the game was won as a tiny hand grabbed a big chocolate chip cookie from the cookie jar.
The toddler who once searched for cookies, now, as an adolescent, digs in the freezer for pizza. Apparently, it is not unusual to see him and his hungry friends enjoying a meat lover pizza—and by that, I mean, one entire pizza per buddy! Grandma inadvertently fostered loyalty with her “program” of playing Hide & Seek, having plenty of favorites on hand, and welcoming friends. Her grandson and his friends, in lieu of many other choices, are repeatedly drawn to her warm and generous home.
When you think about the loyalty you wish to foster with your clients, teammates, and family, what are you using to attract regular visits, repeat purchases, and positive reviews? Do you have regulars who feel right at home and invite their friends?
Here’s how Grandma does it:
- Play Games: Gamification incorporates healthy competition, point scoring, or other game-like elements to encourage engagement. This timeless technique works for kids of all ages. A lighthearted, playful approach can be fun for you and your team as well. (Just don’t get too cheesy, leave that for the pizzas.)
- Provide Favorites: In order to offer your clients, teammates, and family their preferences, you must first know what they like. That means you ask about, listen to, and refine options. I know this sounds obvious, but a financial bottom line and selfish viewpoint can lure you away from the best interest of those you wish to attract.
- Invite Others: True loyalty occurs when clients have a choice and yet, visit (only) your business regularly, promote your business relentlessly, and insist their friends experience the same. If you offer something your clients don’t share with their friends, then your service, product, support, and appreciation needs refinement.
Grandma unknowingly developed a great loyalty program. She created a fun environment, offered things people love, and ensured others were welcome. Where can you add a friendly game? What do you need to learn about your clients (and team members)? What would make your offerings more inclusive? For years to come, Grandma’s will enjoy visits from her grandson and maybe his family… That’s “Cookie Jar” loyalty!
— Join a Synergy Group where we will discuss what the
Bible says about Loyalty. —
|ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle Sugerman, an Executive Business Consultant with Leading Synergies, helps high-performing executives refine strategy, inspire teams, and delight clients (specializing in information technology, project management, consulting, and franchise management). She also leads Synergy Groups, weekly 55-minute virtual business mastermind calls for REALLY BUSY Christians in leadership. Michelle lives in Colorado where she hikes fourteeners and enjoys gourmet meals with her loving husband of 21 years.|