Book Review

Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless: How to make customers love you, keep them coming back and tell everyone they know.

Jeffrey Gitomer
Bard Press, 1998

This book is truly amazing! It is motivating, captivating and will truly humble you. Once you pick it up you won’t be able to put it down. Once you read it you won’t be able to go anywhere without thinking about the principles taught inside.

The word satisfaction is totally redefined in this book and so is the way you think about it. You will learn that building loyalty is the key to your success. He explains that “once you understand the difference between satisfied and loyal, the word “satisfied” will irritate you” and it does!

As compounding pharmacists and compounding pharmacy owners we are always thinking about marketing our products and services. But when we think of marketing, most of us are focusing on finding new customers, new doctors and new business to bring into the pharmacy. That is a lot of work and not to mention expensive. He explains that “most people fail to recognize that the daily interactions with customers can be turned into loyalty building actions with a little creativity and a willingness to step outside the “zone of comfort.” Why not use our existing LOYAL customers as free marketing? It’s less work and less expensive. Hmmm…Spending our marketing dollars on our current customers to create and spread loyalty, what a concept. He teaches that “word-of-mouth advertising is the most powerful form of advertising in the world.” If each of your loyal customers referred one person, that could double your business. The key here is loyalty though. He teaches that “satisfied customers will shop anywhere” but that “LOYAL CUSTOMERS will fight before they switch- AND proactively refer people to buy from you!” Creating loyal customers will create customers for life.He explains that “customers don’t make up stories about your business. It is up to you who creates them…the customer simply retells them. How the story is told, and what the content is, is up to you.” His messages are just so powerful!

In the book he tells many stories of his travels around the world and the experiences he has in the hotels he stays in and with the airlines he flies on. My favorite story was one about a doorman named Raymond. He created such a memorable experience when he first walked into the door of a hotel that he was sold. The doorman “WoW’d” him. He teaches that “if you make a customer feel like a million dollars, you could make ten mistakes and it wouldn’t matter. The customer is still on a high!” Those are the kind of customers we want in our pharmacies.

He talks about vision and mission. Can you recite your mission statement? He encourages you to create a mission statement that focuses on creating loyalty and that everyone in your company can recite and use every day. For instance, his example statement is to “treat every customer in such a memorable way that when the transaction is complete, the customer tells someone else how great it was!”

The concepts in his book are simple, yet so compelling and vital to the success of your business. It will make you think, it will make you change and it will make you successful. You and your staff need to read this book before your competitor does, because “in the end, the only perspective that matters is the customer’s.”

Reviewed By:  Dana Reed-Kane, PharmD, FIACP, FACA, FCP, NFPPhC
In:  Mar 2006