Since the completion of the 2017 Business & Leadership Conference (BLC), I’ve been reading a lot about building loyalty. The BLC session conducted by James Kane left many people intrigued by the contrast between customers that are predisposed to buy from you vs. those with “true loyalty.”
I’d like to share a secret regarding how NSCA has developed that next level of loyalty with its members. This process is repeatable, allowing you to execute this same approach when dealing with your best clients – and it could be an important next step in the journey toward developing loyal customers and a healthy recurring revenue stream to fuel business in the future.
Several years ago, led by board member Dave Ferlino and our marketing team, we rebranded NSCA to be: “Your Voice, Your Business Resource, and Your Trusted Advisor.” Along the way, we reinvented ourselves, shifting from being event organizers to becoming trusted business advisors. It was a promise we didn’t take lightly. Today, NSCA lives that promise – as many of our loyal members will attest.
As we shifted (pivoted) to living our new brand promise, we developed more member-driven tools and programs to offer a more accessible portfolio of services that help integrators think of us first when they need business development resources. This allows our members to “follow us home” from events like BLC or Pivot to Profit. It’s a concept that is best explained in a great book by Jim Blasingame titled “The Age of the Customer.” We now have member engagement year round vs. a few days a year. It’s just like when you complete one project for a customer and then walk away – we wanted more than that, and so do you.
To us, this is such an honor – and it’s so humbling – to think that the best integrators in the entire world now stay connected to us in a way they never used to. They see our passion, they know our niche, they understand how we’re different than any other organization, they value our expertise, and they look to us as a trusted business advisor. With a similar effort, your best clients can think of you in that same fashion if you live up to the promise.
BLC attendees “followed us home” this year through our website (with access to tools like the Project Contribution Simulator and the Technical Assessment Tool), our video clips and webinars, and our communications tools and apps. When our members call, we answer the phone and talk to them. We try our best to stay small and be responsive.
You can do the same with your best customers. This was a journey for us, and it will be for you, too. Purposely transforming the predisposed to become loyal clients takes a lot of effort.
We built a community of like-minded people who we encouraged to be connected with us on a regular basis. We became authors, storytellers, advocates, experts, emphatic listeners – and we have to travel a lot.
The key to all of this is making absolutely sure that your clients know exactly how you are relevant to them in every business and technical challenge they face. This is hard work. It took us years to accomplish – but we know that you can do it, too. -Chuck Wilson, NSCA Executive Director