James Kane & Loyalty
What makes a customer loyal to a company, brand, or organization? James Kane is the leading expert in the field of loyalty and he helps companies and non-profits take customers from satisfied to loyal. Loyalty, he explains, is beyond satisfaction, when the customer is thinking about what the company did for them yesterday, and moves the customers to think about what they can do for the company. One of the best examples of company loyalty is Apple. Talk to any iPhone users and you know they will sell you on the product. Imagine having every single one of your customers as a commission free salesman for your company. That is the strength of social media, but you have to have loyal customers to make it really payoff.
Kane works with a lot of associations and I was lucky enough to meet him at the Special Libraries Association Leadership Summit in Atlanta last month. Jim is conducting a Loyalty Pilot Project with five chapters of SLA to determine how to expand loyalty and build membership. The themes of the project are membership, leadership, remote members, vendor relations, and community. Each of the SLA chapters took one of the five main themes and spent months developing new programs and trying new strategies to enhance loyalty. Overall the message was clear, the way to build loyal members is to get them involved. The members develop a sense of belonging and purpose which keeps them involved and they sell the value of the association to their peers.