So, you think you know about loyalty? You’ve broken the bindings of some of the landmark books on the subject. You’ve memorized, and can recite to any senior executive in your organization, the statistics. A 5% improvement in customer retention rates will yield between 25 and 100% increase in profits.
Well, I’m here to tell you. You don’t know jack. Randi, actually. You see Randi is my eight year old Golden Retriever. And last night, I messed up pretty badly. As a result, I got a sobering lesson in what loyalty really means. However sublime in its outward expression, loyalty should never be taken for granted. And only when tested, will its true value be understood.
I got home late with the family. The kids were asleep in the car. So, my focus was on getting them to bed. Upon entering the house, my three dogs – two Goldens and a Chihuahua who is new to the brood by about two weeks – ran past me out the door to do their thing. After settling the kids, I let the dogs back in and went to bed.
When I awoke this morning to let the dogs out, I was one short. I opened the garage door and in came Randi running towards me from outside. Apparently, in the confusion last night, I didn’t make sure she was in the house. Rather than abandoning me or going out into the neighborhood to see what else was around, she dug herself a bed in my garden and waited right outside the door for me to find her. She greeted me with a prolonged tail-wagging, dancing, barking “hello”. In her way, she was telling me “I knew you’d come for me. I knew you wouldn’t forget about me. And, its o.k. I know you have a lot going on. I’ll always be here for you”
So, the next time the economy turns down and you turn your focus internally to cost cutting instead of paying attention to your customers, remember that it’s those customers that are silently waiting for you to come back; patiently anticipating your acknowledgement that are the real reason you exist as a business.