From the Inside Out: Internal Processes and Customer Loyalty

Even the most professional brands can have poor customer loyalty. If that sounds like your business, you should examine its internal processes! Customers might never see the way your business is run, but its inner workings can decide whether they\’re one-time visitors or lifelong fans.

1. Find the experience that turns customers away

If customers aren\’t returning, there\’s a reason. To pinpoint that reason, do research! Consider conducting a survey of your customers. Done well, it can tell you about their experiences from the outside of your business looking in. Try a short, anonymous email survey, and offer a prize for completing it. You can also find existing research about your target audience. When they do business, what\’s their main concern? What keeps them coming back?

2. Find the internal process that causes it

Analyze the trends that emerge from your research. In general, most customer concerns can be traced back to an internal process. For instance, did many customers complain about poor service? That\’s a problem with employee hiring and training. If your product was less useful or more expensive than a competitor\’s, you need to revise production and pricing. And if your competitor is more widely known and trusted, your marketing and communications need an internal overhaul!

3. Find solutions

Take a look at the internal process that causes your key problem. You may need to revise it, implement a new one, or eliminate it altogether. Don\’t be afraid to share your research and delegate to coworkers or consultants; by definition, internal processes are deeply rooted, and it can take time and attention to change them. On the same note, make sure your solutions help in the short term and in the long term. Ideally, customers return years from now, not just tomorrow.

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