Simple Touchpoints of Loyalty

Lollipop Boy It’s always in the details, the little things, those human moments. Always. Whenever we let those slip, that’s where we miss out further down the line. Think about sales transactions where you feel like the salesperson is treating you like a quota. Think about customer service moments when you know the person doesn’t care, doesn’t want to help, and is wasting your time and theirs. And now, think about the opposite: those moments when someone earns your respect from the simplest of moments, what I call a “touchpoint of loyalty.”

Offline, these come easily. You can turn to a coworker, look them in the eyes, and say, “Thank you. I appreciate your work.” You might tip your server 50% instead of 20%. In person, it’s easy. But how do we create simple touchpoints of loyalty online? Some thoughts.

9 Simple Touchpoints of Loyalty

  1. Comment on other people’s blogs as often as you can.
  2. Reply to people or help them spread the word on Twitter and/or Facebook.
  3. Write posts filled with admiration for people you enjoy online, and send links to their work.
  4. Connect people with like-minded people before they ask (using LinkedIn or similar).
  5. Wish people a happy birthday, or luck with their test, or other related-to-them encouragement.
  6. Share job opportunities. You never know who’s looking for more when you’re drowning in too much.
  7. Invite people to coffee. Just 20 minutes might really change someone’s day, week, month.
  8. Write recommendations on LinkedIn to those whose work you can vouch for. Do it before they ask.
  9. Send 10 emails a day to people you’re in danger of falling out of touch with, and make them simple and request-free.

You can probably think of many more. Maybe we should list them in the comments section? What do you have? What do you think about when you read this?

Do you see how this applies in personal life as well as business?

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  • http://twitter.com/JudiCogen Judi Cogen

    Great reminder to thank people–it makes such a difference. I especially like the idea of sending emails to people you haven't touched in a while. Thanks for the great ideas!

  • msmaupin

    Hi Chris, in the spirit of your blog post, I'd like to share a comment. Last week a new biz (a cafe) tweeted an afternoon food special and I stopped in to take advantage of the offer. I met the owner and mentioned I learned about them on Twitter. They have since started following me, and I, them. Not only have I found a new business whose products and services I enjoy, but feel like I've made new friends. This is the power of social media. Thanks for helpful post. Cheers, Mike

  • http://www.bigpictureweb.com jlbraaten

    What a great set of recommendations. You sure are everywhere these days. Pretty much everywhere I look there is a glowing review of Trust Agents. Can't wait to read it.

  • suzanneboniface

    Thanks for thinking about thank yous!

  • janicedottin

    Thanks, Chris, I needed that. I do almost all, but #10 was a wake-up call. It's so easy to lose touch when we're flat out constantly. Excellent advice that will be passed along.

  • jenniferwalker

    Use the power of social networking to spread word of mouth referrals. If you have a salesperson you would recommend (car, furniture, real estate, etc.) spread the word via Twitter, Facebook, etc. You never know who in your list of contacts might be in the market and you can easily steer someone future business.

  • http://wordslinger.com/blog Britt Stromberg

    Super post. As a long-time consultant, I always tell young talent that relationships are everything. This is a great way to nurture those and take a few moments every day to express gratitude.

  • http://twitter.com/JesyHerron JesyHerron

    I think you covered them all, great post!

  • JeanneBrown

    I like all these, but I'd qualify #5…do this only in the most sincere manner. If you wouldn't normally know it's my birthday or send me a card, don't wish me happy birthday just because I pop up on your facebook page as having a birthday. Instead, I'd change this one to “send people a link to an article you think they'd like or is relevant” or something like that. The point is to make a personal connection in a virtual world.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Frank-Chiuppi/1058304537 Frank Chiuppi

    This is a great reminder of how and what to do in an online world. I appreciate it because, I am guilty of not giving “thank you” enough. Keep the great content coming! I learn a lot from your information.

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  • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

    Really great point. Don't phone it in.

  • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

    I love this. THIS is what Twitter is about. : )

  • carolyndouglas

    Funny enough I was just chatting about this with my support team this morning. I sent them your blog link and suggested that they subscribe. We have always tried to go that extra mile with our customers and our testimonials attest to that “wow” factor, but it's a constant reminder to always bring the personal touch into our daily work. Look for opportunities to connect and build a relationship – always on a personal, human level. It pays off huge in the end. Thanks again for your posts, I always get so much value out of them.

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  • http://twitter.com/kklichtig K. Ketels-Lichtig

    As always Chris, you remind us that technology should help us to do the things only humans can do…be human…I really appreciate that!

  • remarkablogger

    Recommend folks to others on Twitter outside of “Follow Friday.”

    Send great links/info by good ol' email… so much more personal and intimate than social media.

    Also: use technology to create reminders for yourself to do these things if remembering and setting aside the time is hard for you to do.

    Good stuff, Chris. Lovin' it.

  • http://twitter.com/Nat_Mich NatMich

    I really like the text message idea. I also know a lot of people who completely agree with you on the “snail mail” bit though I've always been a little skeptical about whether the time spent is worth the effort (that said, it's such a rare occurence that I handwrite anymore that I probably go slower than I should :P).

  • http://www.balsamiq.com balsamiqval

    I couldn't agree with you more, Chris. It's in my nature to notice when folks say “Thanks,” and the flip-side is, I notice when they don't. I will share this article. Thanks. :-)

  • AndyatGladhandle

    Chris,

    Awesome tips…as usual!

    Have you seen Gladhandle? http://www.gladhandle.com

    It's a new follow up to help people in business send something special, instead of boring emails and voicemails. It's very easy to use — it's even branded with your company logo and color scheme.

    It's free to use too.

    - Andy

  • http://twitter.com/Holly_Hanna TheWorkatHomeWoman

    I can see that I'm not the only one who enjoyed this post! If everyone would just do a few of these kind acts everyday – the world sure would be a better place!

    I would like to include send hand written thank you notes, birthday cards and thinking of you letters via snail mail – I know receiving this type of mail always puts a smile on my face. Thanks for the great post Chris!

  • http://twitter.com/joycecherrier Joyce Cherrier

    Love this. It's always nice to be reminded to keep a giving/gratitude state of mind especially while doing buisness. I think #9 is my favorite. It always means a lot to get those emails and know someone was thinking about you. Thanks, great job!

  • jeffsims

    I checked out that Gladhandle site. That is a v ery cleaver and powerful tool for follow-up. You can send cool emails, e-cards and even printed cards and postcards. All you do is drag and drop them on your contact name and off they go……very simple. Looks like they are a new start-up!

  • http://www.timmystutor.com JanVanBlarcum

    I agree… if you are going to thank someone… do it up right and thank them on your blog or their blog or twitter or Google maps….FaceBook….thank them in a social network way….. and let your words live on …. by saying thank you in this manner you give a testimonial that will help drive the customer to the business….so my message is….let the thank you become public!

  • pammartin

    The basics are nice aren't they? Sometimes when we're feeling so overwhelmed with all the digital housekeeping we have to attend to, it's nice to have you remind us that it's really about keeping in touch and making the connection, not so much about the technology and the app. Call, write, email…

    And nothing beats getting out and meeting people. After all, that's how I got to know you :) Wouldn't that have been a different experience online?

    Great post Chris!

  • http://twitter.com/DeweyC DeweyC

    Great stuff. GIVE value first, everything else will take care of itself. Thanks Chris.

  • http://www.agent-seo.com/ Jacob Stoops

    Great tips Chris! I think some of them I'll need to work on them (actually most of them), but I do pretty well about leaving insightful comments on other people's blogs pretty regularly :)

  • http://twitter.com/Terrillific Terrill Fischer

    Great guide of creating loyalty. It's the little things that count. Make others feel special and you'll always have a good day.

  • ilyagl

    Its a good thing to think about.
    Thought some of the advices that you've given are a bit time consuming- it take an hour to write 10 presonal emails, for example. but If i scale it to my life, its a really good benchmark

  • Kelley Sexton

    This was so simple yet so true. Thanks for the reminder.
    We all need little reminder each day.

  • Bill Leigon

    Thank you Chris for reminding us what is really important in life and business. Unfortunately it is all too easy to forget.

  • http://www.winedivergirl.wordpress.com WineDiverGirl

    Absolutely. And those moments, when I'm on the receiving end, take me by surprise, bring me into the moment and yes, change my day. I used to pay the toll for the car behind me. FastTrak has changed that…and I had a woman pay for my coffee in the car line at Starbucks. Random Acts of kindness in general are humanizing and just downright very cool things to do. Appreciate the reminder, Chris.

  • http://holisticmlm.ning.com/profile/OsnatBresler osnatbresler

    The fine details and nuances of building a lasting and heartwarming relationship never change. With all the technical tools currently available, instant connection is so easy to access! It would be a real shame not to make use of these to create loyalty.
    All we have to do is make a habit of doing this, on a daily basis. Designate an hour or two a day for doing the things mentioned above, and your relationships will blossom. :)
    I know mine are!

  • christiebj

    Thanks, Chris! It's more than good manners to extend “niceties”. It builds community and turns strangers into friends. Each year, the planet seems to get smaller as there are more and more of us alive, needing to share the same global resources. The population of the Earth has actually doubled since I was in school! Amazing! Kindness and gratitude smooth over the rough spots and make everyone more patient.

  • http://katandtonic.blogspot.com/ KatJaib

    This is really the heart of social media, right? Heart.
    When we show we care, in any of the ways you've suggested, we win friends.
    I'm going to save this and use it as a checklist. (Need to brush up on #3, 7, 8, 9.)

    And for the record, folks, Chris really walks his talk. He invited little ol' me for coffee when I'd been on twitter for like, 10 minutes. Was super gracious. Spent way more time explaining things to me than I expected. When I wrote my first blog post, he tweeted it, even though I didn't ask for that. Truly a giver. Does he have my loyalty? You bet your a**.

  • docwood

    I recently received a handwritten thankyou note from a student and I can vouch for its effectiveness! Warmed the cockles of my heart, I tell you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/barb.gonzalez Barb Gonzalez

    Chris–

    This is wonderful and heartfelt and just good common sense and common courtesy. Thanks for the post!

  • aejaie

    Chris,

    Thank for today's blog – it hit home and was just want I needed to move myself forward.

    All the best,

  • http://www.sayyess.com/ Bettie

    Very good suggestions. Thanking people with the intention of supporting them is so important. I would also, write notes and pick up the phone and call. Including people and quotes of their work in articles and blogs is also a way of saying, “thank you”.
    Thank you!

  • http://www.netwitsthinktank.com frank barry

    Chris these are all right and useful. As some have pointed out in the comments circumstance or your connection with a individual will dictate how far you go (i.e. wishing someone happy bday).

    I'm wondering what's your thoughts are when presented with a situation where you are trying to build a relationship, trust and to an extend loyalty with a person online and they don't reciprocate?

    I (or anyone else) could be doing a decent (even good) job following through on the things you list above (and others), but getting nothing (or little) given back. How long should you persist? When should you bail? Does perseverance pay off?

  • http://www.mylifechanges.com/ Terry

    Good point. I think it is even more important to connect with people in a global economy. At least put a face to the product. This shirt I'm wearing was bought from a sales clerk, handled in a warehouse, trucked across the country and shipped across the ocean. This shirt was manufactured in an Asian country and the cotton picked in another. Mind blowing. I should send a thank you note to all of them. :-)

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  • globalcopywrite

    Like many of the comments already posted, I like thank you notes; hand written thank you notes. I particularly like to send notes to the managers of employees who have given me great service. I don't tell them I'm going to do it. I figure in a week or two they'll have a very good day because of 15 minutes I dedicated to it.

    Most importantly, though, I work with my 5-year-old son to write thank you notes. We've been doing this since he was old enough to hold a crayon and scribble a picture. He does the artwork, I write the note. At 5, he dictates the letter to me on the back of a drawing/painting he's made. He writes his name, puts the stamp on the envelope and drops the letter in the mailbox.

    Here's the great thing about it: He often gets a letter in the mail back from someone he sent a thank you note to. I can vouch for the sheer delight a little boy experiences when he gets his own mail.

  • hugomesser

    Hi Chris,

    great article! I think appreciation is one of the keys to success in life (and I can definitely improve my amount of appreciative expressions, so I figured I just start with you :)). Thanks for the insight!

    Hugo
    http://linkedin.com/in/hugomesser

  • http://hameedullah.com Hameedullah Khan

    Wow! Great suggestions chris. Thanks for sharing them.

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  • http://twitter.com/lesliepagel Leslie

    I've been fortunate to spend the majority of my professional career studying the concept of loyalty and your comment is right on. Loyalty is about having a meaningful relationship (one from the heart), like the ones we have with family and loved ones, as you've mentioned. The companies that can establish this type of relationship with their customers outperform the market 6-to-1. It is incredible and a stat that is hard to ignore.

    Chris brings up a great point about creating loyalty virtually. In todays environment companies are dramatically cutting back on travel expenses. I've been wondering what impact has on their customer relationships. The technology and tools are available to help keep people connected, but do we know how to use them to build trust and loyalty. It seems like some get it and some don't.

    Thanks Chris for the great post!

  • http://www.wheatleytimmons.com robertwheatley

    It's an interesting shift in mindset, tone of any conversation, expectations. The daily grind of business, culturally, sometimes creates this systemic tendency to see consumers as targets to be convinced, and “bribed” (price promos) in some cases. What would happen to brand relationships if they evolved to friendships? What would you offer, how would you interact, what would your packaging look like?

  • http://www.wheatleytimmons.com robertwheatley

    Thanks, Leslie. Would like to know more about the backstory in your comment on the 6-to-1 performance advantage. Always looking for data to prove the theory!