Jackie Huba

Gaining loyalty: sometimes it’s as simple as responding when a customer reaches out

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From CBS Sports:

Cade Pope, a 12-year old NFL fan, sent a letter to the owner of each of the NFL’s 32 teams about two weeks ago, asking for help deciding which team he should become a fan of. He has received only one response to date.

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson sent Cade a handwritten letter in response, according to KSLA12 in Oklahoma City. “Cade, we would be honored if our Carolina Panthers became your team,” the letter stated. “We would make you proud by the classy way we represent you.”

The team also sent Cade an autographed Panthers helmet singed by All-Pro star linebacker Luke Kuechly.

This is a great example of a lost art: responding to a customer when they reach out. Perhaps in our social media saturated word, it was too much work for the other 31 teams to respond to snail mail. The lesson here is that gaining loyal customers is day-to-day, nuts-and-berries-gathering type of work. We often get caught up in chasing down new customers when they could already be reaching out to us.

Side note: surprised that my Pittsburgh Steelers dropped the ball here. They are usually good at these types of things.

2 Responses to “Gaining loyalty: sometimes it’s as simple as responding when a customer reaches out”

  1. Pinny Cohen says:

    The lifetime value of that customer (especially because he is so young!) is probably the best investment of Jerry’s time. Kudos to him for recognizing that.

  2. Leah M Berry says:

    I think the key is to keeping our eyes and ears open for opportunities to serve our target audience. It reminds me of parenthood. Trying to give advice to our teenage kids when it’s convenient for us and when we’re thinking about it more often results in a one-sided conversation where our teenager isn’t really listening or open to our message.

    The key to getting your teenager to listen to you is to be ready to communicate with them when THEY are ready to talk. The trick is recognizing they’re ready to talk, which is often missed if we’re wrapped up doing something else. Then, if we actually recognize the moment to connect is now, are we willing to stop what we’re doing and focus on their needs?

    I think the same is true with our spouses, friends, and customers. We need to stop being so busy with our marketing and sales efforts that we miss opportunities to REALLY connect with our customers.

    A good goal is to open up and find an opportunity during the next week to give that extra service to someone reaching out or needing a little extra help. That’s where the real connections occur.

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