Customer Loyalty

How do you build customer loyalty?

I had my annual mammogram today. It’s not something I look forward to – a little uncomfortable, never seems like a good time for my schedule, and I get nervous waiting for the results.  However, I caught myself smiling as I left the office and walked out to the parking lot.
Why?  From the initial email reminder that I needed to schedule a mammogram after a certain date (so that it would be covered by my insurance) to the user-friendly online scheduling application to the reminders of my upcoming appointment with links to the directions – getting to my appointment was easy.
Once I arrived, I was greeted warmly by the receptionist, greeted again with a smile by the young lady completing my registration, and greeted again by my technician as she took me back to change into a cape and lock up my belongings in one of the lockers labeled with the names of strong women leaders.  (I chose Sandra Day O’Conner today.)  She apologized for the 15-minute delay but left me comfortably in a nice waiting area with lots of reading materials.  By setting my expectation for a slight delay, I wasn’t anxious or annoyed.  The technician told me every step of the procedure what she was going to do and approximately how long it would last.  She encouraged me when she said that we were halfway through. Before I Left the procedure room, she had already scheduled my mammogram for 2020.  She told me that I could expect to receive my results in 1 – 2 business days and reminded me to check my email. And when we were done, she escorted me back to the dressing area to retrieve my belongings and change back into my clothes.  She pointed out the touch-screen customer satisfaction survey next to the exit from the changing room and wished me a good rest of my day.
After I completed the survey – 7 questions that I could complete in less than 30 seconds – I was on my way into the hallway to the lobby where I had the option of completing the same survey if I had bypassed the first machine.  I was thanked by another technician and told a cheery “good-bye” from the receptionist.  And when I got home, I had a confirmation email of my appointment in 2020 that was automatically added to my calendar.
Is it any wonder I gave this organization top box scores on all seven questions?
Certainly, some of my experience was enhanced by their use of technology, but they didn’t rely only on that.  Every single person I encountered seemed genuinely invested in my having a positive experience although I only use their services once a year.  Do I have other options for where I get my annual mammogram?  Of course, I do.  Will I explore them?  No, why would I?
What could you do in your organization that would provide a customer experience that goes beyond customer satisfaction, beyond customer engagement, to true customer loyalty?  Remember that this example is for an encounter that I almost dread. However, this organization has thought through each step of the encounter looking at it through the eyes of its customers.  If you did that in your organization, what might you see?
How do you create an exceptional experience like this?  You have a compelling vision, mission, and values that are used in your recruiting, hiring, and onboarding processes.  You design value-added processes for the convenience of your customer.  You train staff in customer service standards.  And then you measure the effectiveness of all of these to see if you’re achieving your goals for excellence.
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