Are your customers telling a beloved-company story?

This is a guest post from Jeanne Bliss — customer experience expert and author of “I Love You More Than My Dog.” See the original post this is adapted from and more like it on her blog.

Beloved companies blend commerce with their humanity, they blend their personal lives with their business lives, and they make decisions that are congruent with honoring the person on the other end of the business transaction.

Beloved companies know they are defined in the fleeting moments of customer interaction. (These are moments of truth for the beloved company.)

Beloved companies know:

  • Actions that come from their decisions indicate what the company values.
  • Actions show how much the company considered the customer.
  • Actions reflect back on the company — giving customers a glimpse of who they are as people.

Customer love is a reward for (what some consider) irrational business behavior. Companies who grow because of their bonds with customers do so because they aren’t always looking over their shoulders at what each decision will get them. In a world where products and services are available in a hundred variations, beloved companies get a disproportionate piece of the pie because of how they treat their customers.

Studying the decisions made by beloved companies can give you a view of the inner workings that enable a company to become beloved. For beloved companies, making decisions that drive customer loyalty is how they enable moments of “Wow!” in a world of customer-experience “vanilla.”

Decision 1: Beloved Companies Decide to Believe
“We trust our customers. We trust those who serve them.”

Decision 2: Beloved Companies Decide with Clarity of Purpose
“Our iron-clad integrity and clarity guides the direction of our decisions.”

Decision 3: Beloved Companies Decide to Be Real
“We have a spirited soul, humanity in our touch, and personality that’s all ours.”

Decision 4: Beloved Companies Decide to Be There
“We must earn the right to our continued relationship with customers.”

Decision 5: Beloved Companies Decide to Say Sorry
“We act with humility when things go wrong. We will make it right.”

Take Action to Become a Beloved Company in 2014:

  • What story is emerging about who you are and what you value?
  • Are your decisions reflecting what you intended?
  • Do they indicate to employees and customers how much you honor them?
  • When you make decisions that respect and honor customers you will earn their respect — and eventually their love.
  • Are your decisions compelling customers to tell others to try your products and services?
  • Are your customers telling a beloved company story?

5 decisions of beloved companies

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About Jeanne Bliss

As “Chief Customer Officer” for Lands’ End, Mazda, Coldwell Banker, Allstate, and Microsoft, Jeanne got “customer” on the strategic agenda, earned 98% loyalty rates, and changed experiences across 50,000-person operations. Jeanne now runs CustomerBliss to create an actionable path for profitability and business growth -- through earning customer and employee raves. Her best-selling books are Chief Customer Officer and I Love You More than My Dog: Five Decisions that Drive

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