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Marketing / Sales strategies

The one thing about customer loyalty every soloist can learn from toothpaste

Do you know there's a secret ingredient in toothpaste that's helped make tooth-brushing a habit for millions? Happily, soloists all have a secret ingredient too.

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Since it’s likely you’ve been brushing your teeth twice a day since childhood it’s hard to imagine that back in the day daily tooth brushing wasn’t a ‘thing’. So what got the world on to this now daily habit? It was the introduction of a product called Pepsodent.

Now, when it arrived on the scene, Pepsodent wasn’t the only ‘tooth paste’ on the market. It wasn’t better marketed, nor did it clean your teeth more effectively. But it did contain some crucial ingredients competitors’ tooth pastes did not: primarily citric acid and mint oil (and a few other things). And it’s these ingredients that got Americans (and then the rest of the world) hooked on daily brushing.

Why?

"Habits only become firmly ingrained when a craving is involved."

Because it’s those ingredients combined that give the cool, tingling sensation we all associate with ‘fresh clean teeth’ today. And it’s the craving for that tingling sensation that gets us in the bathroom before we head off to work each morning and before we go to bed each night.

Habits only become firmly ingrained when a craving is involved.

So what can soloists learn about customer loyalty from this?

Well if you can identify the secret ingredient you bring to the table, you can set things up so when your clients are presented with a certain situation, they start to crave you … and before you know it, you’ve become a habit for them!

Here are some examples of people/products I habitually turn to in certain times of need:

1. Reliability 

I recently had cause to send a client’s book off to a new supplier to convert into Kindle format for me. He (the supplier) was awesome: communicated well, was highly responsive and did everything in the time-frame he said he would. When it came time to send my book off to be re-formatted for Kindle on a short turnaround (i.e. no time to mess around), what was I craving? Reliability. Who do you think sprung to mind straight away?

2. Quality

Such a no-brainer, right? But this ingredient is missing from so many people’s services. Not my editor and proofreader however. Those guys are the bomb. When I have a book or an article just about ready for publication and am craving a quality finish on those items, opening up an email to those guys is a firmly ingrained habit.

3. Relief

What happens when I’m out for a run and start to feel a bit of a niggle in my knee? Well I crave relief from that pain. And the second I get home that craving drives me straight to the box that contains the kinesiology tape I favour. In the same way, whenever I get a letter from ASIC I have no idea what to do with, I crave the relief I get from handing that letter over to my accountant knowing they will deal with it.

4. Peace of mind

Similarly, whenever I find myself fretting about finances, I immediately start craving the peace of mind that comes from my finance guys running our household numbers through their system and confirming that yes Kelly, you’re A-OK. All it takes it one sleepless night to have me reaching for the phone to call them.

5. Making things ‘easy’

Ever found yourself scared to email your Graphic Designer and ask for one more small change? Ever traveled on a certain airline and had a steward/stewardess roll their eyes at you for requesting a pillow? When faced with a problem, big or small, I just want someone to take that problem away, and not make me feel like I’m a pain in the butt for having it! Which is why just about every supplier or service provider I use possesses the ‘making things easy’ trait.

So these are just a few secret ingredients that certain soloists in my life have used to trigger a craving in my brain when the situation calls for itNow have a think about your own offering. What can you bake into your products or services that will create customer loyalty have your clients habitually reaching for the phone or typing in your website the second a certain craving hits?

Any ideas spring to mind?

Kelly Exeter

(former Flying Solo Editor) is an author, editor and ghostwriter with particular expertise in helping non-fiction writers get their book babies out into the world. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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