Is “Loyalty” Smart in Business?

Dustin AndersonI was brought up learning that loyalty is a character trait that builds strong and lasting relationships. It’s one of those traits that has been a building block for my life personally and in business. What does that even mean? It’s simple: I think there is loyalty from glazing contractors to suppliers, from glazing contractors to their clients, and from glazing contractors to their employees. Now of course, loyalty is a two-way street. But we can’t very well control how loyal our suppliers or our clients are other than by treating them with respect and showing them loyalty.

 Some of my suppliers may not be the cheapest nor the quickest. That being said, if something is wrong with an order or there is a job that needs to be rushed, those suppliers make those corrections happen 99 percent of the time. In addition, the quality that we look for is consistent to our needs and we rarely have issues with orders being wrong. For our company, that customer service, or “loyalty,” is completely worth waiting a day or two more or paying a little bit more money.

The question becomes: is that smart for business? Or is it better for glazing contractors to find the best price and the fastest supplier in order to compete with other glass companies serving the same geographical area? I think the answer is yes for some companies. That business model works, and not only does it meet their needs, but they are essentially building the same loyalty with their suppliers based on their business needs. On a B2B level, it’s easy to see that loyalty is a smart piece of the business model.

Regarding the B2C side, we might not all agree that loyalty is smart. It’s safe to say that most glazing contractors have a handful of clients that they will run through brick walls for and loyalty is very much a part of that relationship. This idea of loyalty isn’t always a real thing with customers or clients. I’ve lost clients due to price and lead times on multiple occasions during my career. Losing those clients or “being fired” as I like to put it, hurts. In some cases, you might be treating that client as one of your loyal clientele only to find out that you’ve lost them to a competitor over a cheaper price.

It’s not easy to identify when this will happen. For the most part, in the B2C world of glazing contractors, loyalty can cause heartache. But our goal should remain the same: treat every customer with the same standard. At least this does lend itself to a certain level of “loyalty” in return. 

I almost forgot, loyalty with employees. Well, that’s a topic for an entirely differently blog.

Dustin Anderson is president of Anderson Glass, a glass shop located in Waco, Texas. Contact him at dustin.anderson@andersonglasstexas.com.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Comments

Login to post comments