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Loyalty, Like Trust, Must Be Earned


Special Article by Julie Cook on creating a better customer experience.

Our building is situated on an acre of woods, and it’s the norm to feel like we’re in the middle of a Disney movie as we watch the deer, rabbits, squirrels and birds congregate on our property.

Here he is, our loyal friend.

One day last summer a cute collarless Jack Russell terrier emerged from the woods, scampering through our yard, clearly out of place and clearly an escapee from

a nearby neighborhood. We scooped him up, named him Scrappy Doo for the day (although he was much cuter and far less annoying than Scooby’s annoying cousin), put a notice on Craigslist, and by the next day, the pup and happy owner were reunited.

Well, today he’s back. Scrappy Doo (we never got his real name) freed himself once again and ended up at our doorstep, obviously remembering all the love, the playing, the cuddling, the lap-sitting we gave him those short few hours.

Okay, so it was the food.

But my point is, he chose us when he could’ve sniffed at the door of any other business or home in the area. When he had the freedom to choose, he knew we would have the goods he wanted. It was burned in his memory, if not his belly.


And so it goes with customers.

They can go to any of your competitors, but they will keep choosing you if you make every experience unforgettable. Make it forgettable and they’ll go somewhere else. Loyalty can be built overnight and lost just as fast.

What can you do right now to build loyalty? Take a look at my list below. How many do you have in place? How many can you start working on tomorrow?


1. Make me feel important.
Every employee must be genuinely interested in making me feel like royalty when I walk in the door. It starts with a smile and eye contact.

2. Make your facility smell nice.*
It’s called scent technology and you won’t believe what’s possible with scents specially formulated for a business or retail environment.

3. Make it look nice.
If your decorating scheme is more than 10 years old, it’s probably time for something fresh, even if it’s just new carpet.

4. Make it sound nice.*
No local radio station blaring overhead (awful! And illegal!). Use custom overhead music that fits your brand.

5. Make the wait great.*
Don’t leave me sitting on hold in silence or suffering through radio commercials (again, awful! and illegal!). I think either of these two alone leaves a caller feeling more forgotten than anything.

6. Be an expert.
Know your product and your industry better than anyone you know. If you’re smart, you make me feel smart for choosing you.

7. Understand my problem before you try to help me.
Ask lots of questions before you launch in with advice. Getting it half-right makes it all wrong. Train your employees to ask questions first, talk later.

*Easy On Hold specializes in these services. Ask us for advice and solutions.

Be unforgettable to your customers and they’ll keep coming back…just like our little canine friend.

Julie Cook


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Founder of Easy On Hold and Brandi Music. Thinker, writer, speaker, tinkerer, husband, father, musician.


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