Customer Frequency Vs. Customer Loyalty

In an old episode of “Frazier,” he and his brother, Niles join an elite health club.  They are happy Gold members…until they discover that there is a Platinum level, even more exclusive.   And they want that even more.

They MUST have it.

I can identify with their passion for status.  I was a Platinum Delta Sky Priority customer…then they expanded the program and created Diamond.   The perks are not that different.   But everyone wanted them so they did more business with them.

Hotel chains like Marriott, Carlson, Hilton, Wyndham and the like all have their status symbols of membership.  I know and I am a member of their clubs with Silver, Gold and Platinum status in various ones.  Why?

Status sells.   I know if I stay with them more frequently I will be rewarded with status and perks that are little cost to them.  So I come more often.

People will pay top dollar to be given a designation that is superior to other people.  How else do you explain the success of Mercedes, BMW and Lexus during the recent economic tribulation, while Pontiac, Saturn and Mercury all went under?

The competition as to who will be a better customer is incredible today.  Loyalty is measured in degrees between members and customers.  These companies have learned this truth:

Customer loyalty is nothing compared to customer frequency.

How can you turn loyal customers into frequent ones?   Just being loyal isn’t enough, when organizations are competing on numbers of sales and frequent visits, enrollments, sales, hits, etc.   How does joining your organization, buying your product or being your customer make your community of followers participate with you more often?

Frequent customers know that their business is rewarded by the number of times they work with you.   They love the status this gives them, if that is what your reward them with.

Stop building satisfaction and loyalty.  Just being satisfied and “loyal” doesn’t insure they will use you more often.

Build frequency.  Raise everyone’s status for using you more often.

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