Tag Archive: loyalty

Are You Developing Close Relationships with Your Customers?

May 17th, 2020

During turbulent times, relationships move faster than at any other time. Will they move in a positive direction or a negative one? That is the only question. In fact, customers will be reevaluating what they buy and when they buy it. Consumer behaviors are evolving and business buying behaviors are evolving. Are you in the loop with your customers as to what is top of mind? Listen to our conversation with an expert in creating customer loyalty on our Navigating Through Volatility webinar series on creating a Forever Transaction.

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?

As a customer, I have less patience with slow response when I need it the most. Our customers are no different. On the other hand, a few suppliers stand out in my mind in making my life easier and being ahead of the curve. I will remember that as the pandemic winds down. Identify your top customers and make sure your relationships are moving rapidly in a positive direction. In fact, it is appropriate to drop low priority or unprofitable customers. Otherwise, your key customers might not gain the value they would otherwise.

Look for opportunities to provide value. Ask questions to understand your key customers’ current situation and what would help. Simply look for opportunities to help your customers be successful. If you can offer help and/or ideas, it can go a long way! Don’t worry about expanding business during your conversation. Provide value and your customers will be more successful. When your key customers are successful, you’ll be more successful as well. I’ve addressed this topic as well as your strategy, priorities, key trends, and your restart recipe for success in my eBook,  Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain Post COVID-19 

Please share your stories, challenges, ideas and successes. Contact us and please join in our free webinar series and listen to our archives.

Southwest, JetBlue and How People are the Brand

July 2nd, 2018


I heard Ann Rhoades, former VP of People for Southwest and JetBlue speak at an Executive Forums meeting.  When JetBlue surveyed their customers to find out what influences loyalty, the results were a bit surprising in that products/ services, operational performance (on-time arrival) and pricing weren’t critical (even though they are known as a low cost airline). Instead, people were the key!   

People are the brand and create customer loyalty.

According to Fortune, the companies that perform best on inclusivity, trust, pride and camaraderie outperform the rest.  Companies that placed in the top 25% by this measure saw higher revenue growth than the ones in the bottom 25%. In essence, people create the brand – and results.  It is logical but do we behave as though this is true? Are you creating a place people want to work?

One tip to implement this week:
In today’s Amazon impacted marketplace, customer expectations are high, pressure on costs is immense and it is quite difficult to find top talent.  Perhaps it is just the time to figure out how to create an attractive work environment to outperform your competition – and enjoy your day-to-day work life.

As Ann said, creating this culture starts with values.  What values do you stand for? Do your employees know your values?  Are they apparent in how people behave or are they just on a piece of paper?  Are you willing to let your top performer go because he/she doesn’t live up to the values?  

 When I was a VP of Operations, we re-set values after barely escaping bankruptcy to set our path forward. It was pivotal to the profitable growth that followed.

Perhaps take a step back and think about your values, talk with your executive team and think about how to “make them come alive”.

Are You Ready for a Surprise Inspection of Your Service?

March 14th, 2017
Who is responsible for service in your organization?

A commitment to stellar customer service is an ongoing process in which resources need to be dedicated to continuous improvement and exceeding customer expectations.

In almost every client, trade association and trusted advisor meeting I attend, service emerges as a hot topic. In today’s Amazon-impacted world, our expectations are high. Although we might not complain, good service is no longer sufficient.

If you don’t meet and frequently exceed expectations, you will lose customers. There are countless options available and loyalty runs only so deep. Thus, it makes sense to put aside time to think over key questions with your team:

1. Who is responsible for customer care in your organization? Are they able to impact service?

2. How do you measure servicing success? And how does it align with how your customers measure it?

3. Are your employees empowered to handle requests without annoying approvals that delay the customer?

4. Do you view ALL people who interface with the customer as key to customer satisfaction? For example, the truck delivery personnel, the technician and the doorman?

5. Do you know what your customers value — delivery on-time, in complete, quick turnaround, frequent communications, suggestions that aid the customer, etc.?

Did you like this article? Continue reading on how to be the Strongest Link in your organization:

Why Customer Service Trumps All

Why Customers Rule 


Chicago Cubs – Playing the Long Game…

November 7th, 2016

supply chain

108 years! I wasn’t too sure I’d see the Cubs win the World Series in my lifetime. After all, my dad missed out. We were both Cubs fans. While growing up, I watched almost every game with my friend Vonda. And I remember waiting for my dad to get home from work to go out and play catch in the yard. We even went to Wrigley Field for day games in the summer from time to time — such great memories!


Certainly, being a Cubs fan requires a long-term view, loyalty and determination. Although we wouldn’t want to wait 108 years for anything in business, a bit of these qualities can go a long way to achieving success.

One tip to implement this week:

We definitely cannot wait 108 years while making progress in a week! So, let’s think about what we could do in such a short period of time in relative comparison….

There is quite a bit of effort required to be loyal — whether for a few years or 108 years. Perhaps we should find a “cause” worthy of loyalty. Does your manager inspire loyalty? I was recently asked by a group of students which industry within manufacturing and supply chain was best. My answer is that they are all the same; what matters is the leader. Even though committing to several years is a hardship for graduating students today, my advice is to give it a try if/when you find an excellent leader. Does your company support a cause that encourages loyalty? Take a look around you and think about what inspires you — or should inspire you — to be loyal. Sometimes the best results start by taking stock of what’s around you.

Soon, we’ll address one of my favorite topics — determination. My success stems from this concept from an 80/20 perspective

Looking for more ideas to keep your supply chain connected? Access more tips and resources on my blog. And keep connected by subscribing to my newsletter and email feed of “I’ve Been Thinking…”


Never Giving Up & the Cubs

October 19th, 2015

supply chainI adored the Chicago Cubs when I was young. My childhood friend Vonda and I used to watch every game. She loved Ryne Sandberg, and I loved Jody Davis. It was great fun! We even went to Wrigley Field a few times. As my Dad just passed away, I am reminded that he indulged our fanaticism and took us to some games – and played catch quite a lot when he got home from work. Since they are in the playoffs, it seems appropriate to bring them up. The last time the Cubs won was 1908 yet they still have amazing fans. I know they are down 2-0 so far but you never know……..

Why do Chicago Cubs fans never give up? For as much as they have lost over the years, it is a good question. Yet the Cubs carry on. Do you inspire this sort of loyalty in your fans/employees? In today’s marketplace, those who do will succeed.

One tip to implement this week:

Think of what you could do if you didn’t give up so easily. I can assure you that I would never have been a VP of Operations & Supply Chain or have started my consulting practice if I didn’t have persistence. I learned this valuable trait from my Mom. Give it a try. When things look down, think about what you want to happen. How can you make it come true? Think of new angles to try. There’s no reason to give up too soon. Actually I find that most people give up right before amazing success. Try just a little bit longer, and you’ll be amazed with the results.

Looking for more ideas to keep your supply chain connected? Access more tips and resources on my blog. And keep connected by subscribing to my newsletter and email feed of “I’ve Been Thinking…”