I must admit that I am a bit of a brand snob. I have my favorites and I’m fairly loyal to those favorites.
Note that I did not say that I am completely loyal because there have been times when a good deal or a lower price enticed me to try another brand. A great example of this is that I have been using Tide laundry soap ever since I moved out on my own. It was a brand that my mother used and therefore the one that I used too. There have been times when my husband bought another brand and I guess it did the job as I didn’t notice anything different in the way it cleaned my clothes. But when I go shopping, I always stay loyal to Tide.
Another example of this is which airline I choose to fly with. The airline industry has changed dramatically over the years; it seems that airlines are constantly trying to find ways to reduce the services they provide because of costs. I have always stayed pretty loyal to Alaska Airlines, although from time to time I have found myself flying on another airline. But when a company like Alaska Airlines continues to improve their customer service, it becomes harder to fly any other airline. Today I’d like to spotlight why Alaska Airlines just won me over as a loyal mileage member.
Today I found myself on a call with Alaska Airlines. I needed to change an existing flight because I need to attend a funeral. I was scheduled to fly to see my daughter graduate but needed to change my flight by a day so I could attend both the funeral and the graduation. The excellent customer care I received from Alaska Airlines was the best I have personally received in over thirty years.
My customer service rep Sharon was sincerely sorry for my loss. She made it clear that she was there to help me and was going to handle it. I felt taken care of and I felt that she truly cared. She changed my flight, she arranged my seat, and she even updated my husband’s mileage account. I thanked her for her excellent client care and told her how impressed I was with Alaska Airlines. She told me that she had worked there for sixteen years and that Alaska Airlines truly does always strive to improve their customer experience.
As an expert in sales training and customer care, I can tell you that Sharon hit a big home run with me. I can’t imagine ever flying with another airline after what I experienced today. Alaska Airlines has converted me to a truly loyal customer. At a time when I didn’t want to be spending my time changing flights, Sharon made it seamless, pleasant and she even told me how sorry she was for our family’s loss – and she meant it.
In business, your greatest asset is your brand. If you provide exceptional customer care, you will create brand loyalty. It is brand loyalty that carries a company through difficult economic times. It is brand loyalty that makes someone dig a little deeper into their wallet to pay a little more just to get the brand they love. When thinking of your own brand, ask yourself what it stands for.
Today I learned a powerful lesson about brand loyalty. It is the smallest of things that takes someone from being a customer to a loyal lifelong client. Thank you, Alaska Airlines, for making my experience with you so incredibly positive. And Sharon, clearly you love Alaska Airlines and your job because your tone, energy, empathy and desire to make the customer experience so positive was over the top.
So the next time you think about those little things you do in your own business, remember that those actions add up!