3 Ingredients You Need to Build Unbreakable Loyalty
Published on: 25th April, 2022
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Whether you’re working with customers, employees, or others around you, loyalty is usually a good thing. But how do you build it? Episode 39 of Faithful on the Clock reveals the three key ingredients you need to get people to stick around.
[00:35] - Professionals typically talk about loyalty in terms of keeping customers and employees around.
[01:31] - Individual loyalty is a third arm of loyalty we ought to pay attention to. Today, there’s a heightened danger that we will take a sense of personal value or worth from loyalty metrics, because it’s harder to forge deep personal connections even though our desire for loyalty is high.
[03:39] - There are three main components you need for good loyalty, the first of which is consistency. This is based on the fact God has designed the brain as a predictive organ that seeks patterns.
[04:33] - Because the brain is predictive, you have to be consistent in your messaging or other efforts to build trust.
[05:25] - Empathy is the second component of loyalty. We are called to support each other, and as followers, we should follow Jesus’ example of trying to understand others.
[06:20] - Cognition is only half of empathetic understanding. Experience that connects to the emotions is the other half.
[07:23] - Experiencing more of what others have experienced will allow you to emotionally read between the lines more and make better inferences about what they might need from you.
[08:33] - Balance is the third loyalty component. It’s especially necessary in communication.
[09:44] - You can consider balance more broadly to build loyalty, such as your ability to respond to differing customer needs over time.
Professionals often talk about loyalty in terms of customers and employees. But personal loyalty is also relevant and important.
Today’s environment might make it more difficult for people to connect, but the desire for loyalty and connection doesn’t go away. Some people might struggle because of this and get caught up in using metrics to judge their worth or identity.
Consistency is the first component of loyalty, because people naturally trust based on reliable patterns of behavior.
Empathy is the second component of loyalty. We are stronger together and are called to model Jesus in trying to understand. But empathy isn’t just cognitive. It also requires experience that helps us relate on an emotional level.
Balance is the third component of loyalty. It applies not just to communication, but also to elements like scheduling and customization.
Whereas people can be unreliable and leave, God has promised never to forsake us. You can take heart in His perfect loyalty.
Regularly reflect on your behaviors to evaluate your level of consistency. Seek to be reliable and leave no room for people to doubt the result they’ll get with you.
Go experience as much as you can to improve your emotional empathy. Take training on active listening whenever possible, as well.
Consider people with a big-picture perspective and be mindful of their larger journey. Try to find ways to balance their needs, whether that’s in scheduling, communicating, products, scheduling, or other areas.
What’s coming up next:
The world is never static, so professionals need flexible minds. Episode 40 of the Faithful on the Clock podcast explores mental fixedness and how to break it apart.
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Hey, everybody, welcome back to the show and thank you so much for joining me today. I’m Wanda Thibodeaux, and this is the Faithful on the Clock podcast, where I’m gonna work super hard to get your work and faith aligned. I’m really excited about today’s show because we’re talking about loyalty. It’s all about how to get it, maintain it, and the influence it’s gonna have on you and your business. Let’s go ahead and jump in.
All right. Loyalty. So I think as professionals we focus on this a lot in two main areas. You’ve got loyalty from your customers, right? You want them to stick around, and we always talk about how it’s cheaper to keep customers than it is to find new ones. And that’s true. Depending on the industry and study, experts actually figure that finding a new customer is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive. So we have that, which is typically related to scaling and company growth. And then we talk about loyalty in terms of employee retention. Because again, the costs of finding replacements are high, and just from a productivity level, it’s really hard to always bring in new people because they don’t really know your culture and processes yet. You know, there’s a learning curve before things really gel or settle into a good rhythm or flow.
But there’s a third area that I think we don’t talk about as much, and that’s our personal or individual loyalty, the loyalty we get as individual professionals. And there’s a business aspect to that, to leadership, where you get into your reputation in the industry, as a mentor, all of that. But there’s an intrapersonal or internal component, as well. Because remember, I’m big on mental health. And as human beings, we are designed to want connection. We’re designed to want to trust and know that we’re safe. That’s why, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, those verses remind us that two are better than one, that we can lift each other up, because there’s strength and safety together. And so when people are loyal to us, when they actually stick around, that feels awesome. It sends the message to us that, you know, we’re good enough, that we’re doing things right. And I think that’s important to acknowledge, because I think what’s happening today is it’s harder and harder to get that reassurance. It’s hard to establish relationships on a deep level. But that desire for that trust, that loyalty, that doesn’t just go away. And so I think the danger for us today is that we start taking a sense of worth or identity based on our loyalty metrics. You look at your Twitter followers or the number of customers who renewed their membership or whatever, and then all of a sudden, you make a judgment about your skills or your place in the world based on that. And then if those numbers go down, you can start to question yourself or get depressed or stressed out. And I don’t want you to do that. I want you to get your sense of self from many different mirrors, OK? But at the same time, because connection, that IS important. So on top of the customer and employee loyalty, I want to help you to understand how you can get more of the personal loyalty that’s gonna help you have good self-confidence.
So whether you’re dealing with customers, employees, or you want those personal relationships, loyalty, it really takes the same components, and there’s only 3 of them. The first component you’ve gotta have is consistency. One thing you gotta understand is that, neurologically, God’s designed the brain as a predictive organ, OK? So we’re constantly looking at information from our environment and trying to figure out what’s gonna happen. That helps keep us safe on a survival level. You know, you see that a car squishes a person in the road every time, and your brain will learn to predict, hey, if someone gets hit by a car, well, I know what’s gonna happen. Or in the business space, you analyze some data, you see a certain type of ad hasn’t performed well, then you probaby drop that ad because you’re anticipating the way it will perform in the future.
So in terms of consistency, when it comes to being loyal, people are looking for a pattern of behavior. And they’re going to look at what you do, they’re gonna try to make some predictions about whether you’re reliable or not. And if you’re not reliable, it’s just, then for them, trusting you is gonna be like pulling teeth. Because they don’t see a pattern that says, hey, yeah, I can relax a little, I’m safe, they’re gonna give me good things. So whether it’s in your branding messages or just keeping promises about following through, how you pay attention during conversations, do your best not to be wishy-washy. None of us are perfect. But if you teach people they can count on getting the same result, they’ll let down their guard with you and not look for those results somewhere else.
Now, the next thing you need to build loyalty is empathy. Everybody on this Earth, I don’t care who they are, what their title is, everybody wants to be heard. They want to know that other people understand what they feel and think, because it helps them feel like they aren’t alone. Romans 12:15 says “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” And then Hebrews 4:15 reminds us that Jesus, He’s the high priest, but he’s been tempted just like we are. He gets what life on this Earth is like in every possible way, so if anybody can empathize, it’s Him. But remember, not only are we called to support each other, but we’re called to try to be as much like Jesus as we can, too. So you have to do some leg work and try to get to a point where you really can understand, too.
Now, I know, I know, everybody when they talk about empathy, they talk about being a good active listener. You hear people out on a deep level when they talk to you. And it’s certainly part of empathy. But the other part is just experience. Empathy by definition is being able to relate to and understand what someone else is feeling or thinking. And cognition is only half of that. You can only empathize fully if you’ve actually been through the same things. Like, I lost my mom, and that stung a lot. And people, even if they hadn’t lost a parent, they showed sympathy. And I really appreciated that, for sure. You know, they weren’t heartless. But I still couldn’t really talk to them and feel connected to them about it because I knew that, at the end of the day, they did not know the emotional experience that comes with that kind of loss.
So when you talk about empathy and loyalty, the trick is that you have to be willing to, where you can, go and walk a mile in the other person’s shoes. You go see what it’s like. You go get a taste of their life a little bit. That’s when you finally can really know exactly what’s gonna help regardless of what they might say, because I want you to realize, too, a lot of the time, people can’t really articulate what their needs are very well, especially when things are hard or complicated. That’s normal. But if you’ve been through it emotionally, too, you can make some good inferences, read between the lines, and ask the right questions that are going to show them you’re someone to trust. And honestly, I think that was part of why Jesus kind of wandered around in His ministry. I mean, as the Son of God, I know there’s nothing hidden from Him. But I think that doing that, it proved to people that He was willing to see them for who they were. So hear people out, but go do things, too. It’s gonna give you a way better perspective that’s gonna keep people attracted to you, I promise you.
The third component you need for loyalty, and this kind of connects to the earlier point on empathy, you need balance. And if you look just at communication for a second, relationships, they’re very much built on give and take, right? We’ve even got mirror neurons in the brain that help us mimic and respond to the other person we’re talking to. So if you’re always just talking about yourself, or if you’re spewing all these sales or offers without ever getting customer input, you disrupt that process, and it makes people feel like you don’t think they matter. They end up feeling like you wouldn’t even care or notice if they left, because they’re not getting that natural balance and chance to have the floor a little bit that we all look for. But the same is true if you’re silent, if you don’t give anything back when they reach out to you. Because then they’re gonna learn that nothing they do gets a response, and they’ll go try to go somewhere else to get the validation they want. So building loyalty requires you to build a two-way street where you give something, they can give something back. Anything you can do to keep people engaged, that’s usually gonna help you.
But you can apply this idea of balance more broadly, too. Ecclesiastes 3, that talks about how there is a time for everything. And you can connect this not only to your calendar and responding in the right moment, but to the concepts of individualism and customizing, too. You know, people respond in different ways, they have different preferences. So can you balance the needs that they have? Can you be consistent on your values and still give people more than one path to connect with you? So I’d encourage you to use whatever tools and technologies you can, really ask yourself, “OK, what makes sense to give this person at this point in their journey? Why is that different today than it was yesterday?” If you can be responsive like that without sacrificing your voice or your integrity, that’s priceless.
So those are the three things you need to have to build loyalty: Consistency, empathy, and balance. And it doesn’t matter if you’re working with customers, your employees, or your personal network. If you give people those three things, trust is gonna develop that makes it a whole lot less likely that people leave.
The final thought I want you to take away is that, you know, loyalty with people, I know that’s something we kind of have to fight for. You know, that’s not promised. But Joshua 1:5, God says, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” And Romans 8:38-39 says, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height or depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” God is loyal. Jesus is loyal. And no matter what happens, no matter what your metrics tell you, no matter what your balance sheet says or what job you have, that is not gonna change. Take courage from that and don’t give up.
So let’s take a moment and pray.
Lord, when it comes to loyalty, there’s no better model than you. But we’re human. And that means that we’re gonna mess up. It means we have to work hard to show others it’s worth sticking around. So Jesus, I just pray that you will give us a deeper spirit of integrity that will deliver the consistency, empathy, and balance people need. And when we make mistakes, help us to reconcile in love as quickly as we can. In Jesus’ name, amen.
All right, listeners. That wraps up another one. Next week, we’re talking about mental fixedness. How can you break your usual ways of thinking to get the flexibility, agility, and innovation you want? And of course, by now, you know the drill, so I’ll just remind you quickly that you now can leave a tip at faithfulontheclock.captivate.fm. That financial help keeps everything ad free and consistent for you. But I also want to give a big shout out to my listeners in Russia, India, Germany, oh my goodness, I see you. Thank you so much for your time and commitment. Talk about loyalty. And for my other listeners around the world, let’s keep growing together, too. Every one of you matters and is part of this community. I’ll stick with you, and until next time, be blessed.
Faithful on the Clock is a podcast dedicated to ensuring your faith and work align. You won’t find mantras or hacks here--just scripture-based insights to help you grow yourself, your company, and your relationship with God. If you want out of the worldly hamster wheel and want to work with purpose, then this is the show for you. Hosted by freelance business writer Wanda Thibodeaux.
Wanda Marie Thibodeaux is a freelance writer based in Eagan, MN. Since 2006, she has worked with a full range of clients to create website landing pages, product descriptions, articles, professional letters, and other content. She also served as a daily columnist at Inc.com for three years, where she specialized in content on business leadership, psychology, neuroscience, and behavior.
Currently, Thibodeaux accepts clients through her website, Takingdictation.com. She is especially interested in motivational psychology, self-development, and mental health.