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  • Claude Tetreault

What Will You Be Loyal To?

One of the most important ways to build relationships and retain

customers may not be what you first think…

Once upon a time when I was a young dad with toddlers, I would get frustrated that they would suffer so many bumps and bruises in the home, no matter how many times I would catch them. Finally I asked a more experienced dad his thoughts and he simply

said, “get on your hands and knees and see things from their level”. And once I did, it became much more evident on where the opportunities were for safer landings!

The same is true in business - when we better understand the customers needs and they feel heard and understood, then the relationship elevates to a higher level. By continuing to cultivate an approach of genuine empathy and understanding, the relationship evolves from strictly business to a more mature level of connectedness. Simply stated – there is a direct correlation between our quality of relationship and its impact on our future


In a publication produced by Vernon Sales Promotion called The Vernon Mirror, they had a great article called “Six Main Reasons You Lose Customers”. It goes like this…

  • 1% will die

  • 3% move away

  • 5% now have a friend in the business

  • 9% leave for the competition

  • 14% are dissatisfied with the product or service

  • 68% leave because they think, perceive or feel that you don’t care about them

So here are some core reminders on what makes the customer

feel important:

  1. Check your loyalty – If your top priority is the sale, then you’ll be loyal to the money first, not the customer. Put the customer first, and the riches will follow along with a steady stream of referrals.

  2. Check your attitude – Customers may sometimes get frustrated, annoyed or unreasonable. Before we react, let’s pause and respond by putting ourselves in the customers’ shoes. Empathy first.

  3. Keep your word – If you set a date and time, be there. If you set a budget, honor it. If you make a mistake, apologize for it.

  4. Fix it now – Stuff happens. Spend less time finding fault in your support team or subcontractors, and find faster and better ways to get it right. Nothing builds a client relationship stronger than how you respond when things go wrong!

  5. Treat the customer with integrity –What you do to serve your customer when they are not around speaks volumes to your level of integrity. For example, do we tick up the pricing over time and hope the client won’t notice? Are we still as vested with longer standing accounts or do we start to take them for granted? Do what you say, and say what you do is a popular mantra that also defines integrity.

  6. Thank you very much –We have heard all our lives that they are the two most important words and yet, too often the box of thank you cards is collecting dust. Do the math – 15 minutes per week will generate two thank you cards, or approximately 100 cards during the year – that’s a lot of goodwill.

  7. Listen more – It has been documented that the number one need of a human being is recognition. Learn about your clients’ aspirations, family life and hobbies. Ask questions and put those two ears to full use! In time, your clients will see you as a trusted source who genuinely cares about them. And who doesn’t want that!

I leave you with a homework assignment: jot down your top 10 customers. Reflect on what they mean to your business, your income, your viability as a business. Now on a scale of 1-10, how important do you think you make them feel? Come on, dust off

those thank you cards, we’ve got work to do!

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value”. - Albert Einstein

Claude Tetreault Founder and President | Tetreault Advertising, Inc.

Originally published in a local chamber of commerce in 1987, Claude believes principal-based values are timeless. Vintage 1987 photo!


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