Focus on Customer Loyalty: An Interview with Noah Fleming

June 9, 2015

customer loyalty

Does your company spend too much time going after new customers? Noah Fleming is an expert on marketing and building customer loyalty. He has provided coaching and consulting services for thousands of business owners, executives, and individuals. He is the author of the bestselling book in Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service, EVERGREEN: Cultivate the Enduring Customer Loyalty That Keeps Your Business Thriving. Noah recently sat down with AMA to discuss this dilemma.

AMA: Many people believe that new customers are the key to making a business successful. But you say that companies should focus more of their time, their money, and their energy on keeping and expanding the business of current customers ‑‑ don’t go looking for those new ones as much as you might be tempted to, but instead pay attention to your current customers. Why do you think so many people believe that they can save their company by focusing on those newbies out there?

NF: Well, I think every organization, every business, needs new customers. I mean, without customers, there’s no business. But I think there are three reasons why this is happening. First, organizations are running around like adrenaline junkies. They’re chasing after every new customer, every dollar, everything they can scoop up. They’re jumping to every new platform, to every tool, to every service that’s promising to help them find more. And they’re doing this at the expense of their existing customers that they’ve worked so hard to get.

The second reason is they don’t really know how to maximize the value of the new customer or the existing customer, or how to build that relationship. So the classic metaphor in the business world is this concept of the leaky bucket. The idea of the leaky bucket is that every business has holes, and what happens is, they’re losing customers through the holes; the water’s dripping out. But instead of fixing the holes, they believe they can just add more water.

Now, the final and most damaging reason is that marketing is more fun. Marketing is glitzy. It’s glamorous, and we get this near instant feedback. So everybody wants a fix now, not later. So what marketing does is it substantiates our efforts quicker, and it’s faster than a long term play like building a loyal following.

For more marketing tips and advice from Noah Fleming, check out his AMA Edgewise podcast.

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American Management Association is a world leader in professional development, advancing the skills of individuals to drive business success. AMA’s approach to improving performance combines experiential learning—“learning through doing”—with opportunities for ongoing professional growth at every step of one’s career journey. AMA supports the goals of individuals and organizations through a complete range of products and services, including seminars, Webcasts and podcasts, conferences, corporate and government solutions, business books and research.

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