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How to Create a Loyal Customer, not Just a Satisfied One – Shep Hyken, NYT Best-Selling Author

Have you ever found yourself paying more money for a product or service simply because of convenience? Offering options like delivery and self-service to boost customer convenience can help you build the foundation for your small businesses’ success, and ensure customers for life. On today’s show, ASBN’s Jim Fitzpatrick discusses this with New York Times bestselling author, Shep Hyken.

You can purchase Shep’s latest book, The Convenience Revolution, here.

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Jim Fitzpatrick: Welcome to the Atlanta Small Business show, Shep.

Shep Hyken: Thanks Jim. Thanks for having me here. Excited to talk about The Convenience Revolution.

Jim Fitzpatrick: I’ve got your new book right here, which is an absolute awesome book. For those of you we’ll talk about it in a minute because we all know providing an excellent customer experience is the key to running a small business. Talk to us a little bit about what goes into that.

Shep Hyken: Sure, and actually it’s the key to running any business, but here’s what’s cool. The other day I was at an event, and everybody in the audience was what I consider small business. The CEO of the franchise organization and he says, “Do we have a chance to compete against like the Amazons of the world?” And they all go, “How?” I said, “It’s David versus Goliath. And you remember who won?”

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s exactly right.

Shep Hyken: It was David. Small business can win, and here’s why. Because as a small business number one, we’re more nimble. We can make quick decisions, react and do things we have to do. Number two, when it comes to great service, we can typically outservice a large company, because of the relationship that we build, which is all part of not just service, but experience. And finally most important, we can outlocal them, meaning we can do local better than a huge chain of a national store.

Shep Hyken: I mean, think about it. Here’s a great example. My friends at Ace Hardware, there was an Ace Hardware dealership in the Huston area, Huston Texas, and a large Big Buck store competitor came in. Now here’s a small store, 15,000 square feet, here’s a big store, 85,000 square feet, and they outspend them 30 to one in advertising dollars.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Wow.

Shep Hyken: So what is this guy going to do. He thought about it for a while, and rather than try and say, “Oh I’ll consolidate all of my ad money to this area, and just focus on one. No he said, “What I’m gonna do is I’m gonna give a little bit of money to every school dance, every church function, every little kid’s baseball, soccer team, hockey team whatever. I’m gonna be the local sponsor to all of this. And guess what, he created this incredible relationship with the community. And that can’t be beat. He not only survived that Big Buck store, he thrived in the shadow of that Big Buck store.

Jim Fitzpatrick: What are some of the ways that small businesses can create a loyal customer, rather than just a satisfied customer?

Shep Hyken: Okay, so that’s a big important thing. Big difference between satisfactory and loyalty. The stats show that about 40% of satisfied customers won’t go back to the places that satisfy them, because they’re just satisfactory. In other words, on a scale of one to five, where one is poor and five is excellent, satisfactory lies in the middle where it’s average. And then once you break away from being seen as just average, then you start to move in to the opportunity to be amazing, and that’s a consistent, predictable, above average experience.

Shep Hyken: And when you’re deliver that amazing service, you have the opportunity to create confidence, because customers can predict what that experience is gonna be. Confidence will be the loyalty.

Jim Fitzpatrick: So how can a company stand out and disrupt a competitor, or maybe even an industry.

Shep Hyken: What I recognize is that the companies that seem to be disrupting their competitors, and even an entire industry, were just easier to do business with. I used Amazon as a case study for all six of the convenience principles that I identified. They reduce friction. One click, you find what you want. They use technology. It’s the most easy business in the world. And then there’s companies like Uber. Uber reduced friction to the point of really in some markets destroying the taxi cab industry.

Shep Hyken: Reducing friction, by the way number one principle that we have of the six principles. All six of them involve reducing friction, but you can use technology subscription service. There’s a great one. We’ve got delivery. Delivery mans exactly that. You take it to the customer. Self service is a great solution. Giving control to the customer. That’s when Amazon did it. It’s a self service shopping experience. And then finally it’s access, and that is hours of operation and logistics. Are you close to where people are? For example Walmart? 99% of the citizens of the United States live within 10 minutes of a Walmart. That’s convenient.

Jim Fitzpatrick: It’s a very good point. Well, Shep Hyken, thank you so much for joining us on the Atlanta Small Business show. We appreciate it, for small businesses owners, entrepreneurs, anybody in business needs to pick up the book and read it. You’ve got just some great techniques in here. Great case studies. I got a lot out of it when I read it. So thank you again Shep for joining us. Very in line, and hopefully we’ll have you back in a couple of weeks and talk more about some of the issues that are in the book.

Shep Hyken: I’m looking forward to it. Thanks for having me.

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