Magazine article Talent Development

Customer Loyalty Pays Off: One Plumbing Wholesaler Learns That Creating a Loyal Customer Base Is Well Worth the Investment

Magazine article Talent Development

Customer Loyalty Pays Off: One Plumbing Wholesaler Learns That Creating a Loyal Customer Base Is Well Worth the Investment

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The following story was shared by Ferguson Enterprises, the largest plumbing wholesale distributor in North America.

CLIENT

Ferguson Enterprises, a diverse wholesale distributor in North America

PROBLEM

Ferguson determined to increase its sales and profits through a customer loyalty initiative.

CAUSE

In search of an effective way to increase revenue, Ferguson's president and CEO read a book that made a business case for customer loyalty--claiming that return clients who proactively refer others result in repeat and new business. Ferguson joined forces with the book's subject matter expert and training professionals to launch a four-year customer loyalty imperative aimed at bridging the gap between customer satisfaction and loyalty.

METHODS/TOOLS

The marketing division at Ferguson took leadership responsibility for the imperative, and a project team comprised of cross-department staff and training partner representatives executed program tasks. The team designed the following phased approach to efficiently and cost-effectively deliver training to Ferguson's 19,000 associates in more than 1,000 locations across the United States. Each phase was rolled out in a one-year span of time:

* Orientation workshop. The team custom-designed and delivered an eight-hour customer loyalty workshop to all associates, featuring real-world business scenarios and "voice of the customer" videos.

* Customer loyalty principles. Participants completed monthly online modules (each approximately 35 minutes in length delivered in a four-lesson format) via the training partner's LMS to apply what they learned in phase one. …

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