Can you offer some tips for building customer loyalty and shareholder value simultaneously?
I think the question would be tougher if you asked it this way: Can you offer some tips for
building customer loyalty
build shareholder value? To me, the two are completely intertwined. Whenever we are talking about the value of customers, what we are really referring to is the way that companies make money -- create revenue, generate costs and build profit, and generate value for the shareholders. We're talking about two forms of value that come from customers. Customers are, if you think about it, the only source of revenue, by definition, that a company has. If that's the case, then we have to look at both ways that customers create value. The first way is that customers pay us money right now; we make money from them this quarter. Most companies are pretty good at measuring and managing that. But there is a second way that customers create value. Customers, based on their experiences today, are more or less likely to do more business with us in the future, to recommend the company and the products to their friends and otherwise create value in the long-term. Most companies are woefully inadequate at measuring the
future value of customers
and the value that's going to be created for shareholders from those customers in the future, as of today. And yet, once a company starts doing that, building customer trust becomes an imperative, because you are never going to build the future value of customers unless customers trust you in such a way that they will come back over and over and they will say good things about you to everyone they know.
We think it's inextricable to think about customer loyalty and shareholder value together. They come in the same breath, the same thought – we cannot build future value for a company without having customer loyalty and therefore building shareholder value.
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