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Do You Have Loyal Customers?

Loyal CustomersIt’s one thing to have a database of customers, but quite another to have loyal customers.  Online entrepreneurs work hard to build a list of subscribers, then convert them into customers.  Sad to say, many of them think that’s the end of the story.

I guess it is, if you want your business to end with some faceless number of people who have been converted into buyers.

If you want those buyers to continue doing business with you, though… if you want them to be happy, repeat buyers, raving fans, partners, affiliates and loyal customers… the initial sale is only the beginning of the story, not the end.


Let me tell you a true story that illustrates how a supermarket chain forged and unbreakable bond with its customers.

A supermarket chain?  Brick and mortars are not typically fueled by this sort of deep customer rapport, but this one is.

So listen closely, online marketers.  You have even more opportunity to build this kind of customer loyalty via social media, responsive emails and the rest.

Here, in the North Eastern part of the U.S. there is a large, Boston-based supermarket chain called Market Basket.  It’s a family owned business that was nearly destroyed by a feud between one of the family members, CEO “Arthur T.” and his cousin.

In short, Arthur T. was always great to his employees.  They loved this guy!  He knew people throughout his chain of stores by first name.  He attended their kids’ graduations, and visited them if they were in the hospital.

That’s his employees!

Why Market Basket Customers LOVE Arthur T.

Market Basket customers love Arthur T. because his mission has always been to keep consumer prices low and quality high while stocking the shelves with a wide array of high quality foods that weren’t even found in many of the competing stores.

But his cousin wanted to raise prices to improve the company’s “bottom line.”  He wanted to alter the entire way Market Basket had been doing business since 1954.  He portrayed Arthur T. as a soft-hearted guy who just didn’t know how to run a business.  So he and other family members got together and fired Arthur T.


Now, with most grocery stores, that would be the end of it.

But this true story has a true happy ending (as of late last week).

People got wind of the takeover.  Instantly, the employees, who Arthur T. typically and voluntarily paid above minimum wage, went on strike.  They stood in parking lots and on street corners with signs saying “Bring Back Arthur T.”, and an amazing thing happened.

Customers not only refused to break the strike lines, but they parked their cars and joined them.  Truckers refused to deliver supplies beyond strike lines.  Market Basket strike lines actually became popular events for the 6 weeks or so that the strike lasted!

This is when it grabbed my attention.

The employees and customers joined hands in an unprecedented effort to restore Arthur T. to the CEO position.  Even the Governor Patrick of Massachusetts got involved to try to end the mess.

It was a major local story that quickly blew up into a national debate as people marveled at the rally cry of ordinary folks on behalf of a company CEO.

The Story of “Loyal Customers”

Now why do you think people would take their time as customers, make up signs and join picket lines to bring back Arthur T.?  My answer is simple.  Because Arthur T. was all about customer service and fairness to his employees!

Since 1954 people were happy to shop at Market Basket because of fair prices, great employees that were helpful and enjoyed working there, and a CEO who thought the company made plenty of money, and didn’t need to improve their bottom line at the expense of loyal employees and customers.

Now I don’t really know the nitty gritty details of this story, but if you’re interested, just Google “Market Basket strike”.

The battle was ended when, a few days ago, Arthur T. put together the funding to buy 51% interest of the company, and resume his role as CEO.

People rejoiced!  Spontaneous parties with dancing and singing broke out in striking parking lots everywhere.  As trucks started rolling into the stores with supplies to refurbish empty shelves, striking employees left the picket lines, and took their own time to return without pay to re-stock the shelves so that business could resume as soon as possible.

But what sticks out most in my mind, is how customers flooded the strike zones to give the employees a hand in their zeal to restore Arthur T.  Off-duty employees and exhilarated customers were stocking shelves as the media trucks interviewed folks at huge parties in store parking lots.

Happily Ever After

It ended like all good stories do.  Happily ever after!

It was a pretty amazing scene to experience, and one I’ll never forget.  I mean, when was the last time you ever heard of customers being so happy that they volunteered to help a large food chain stock the shelves?

Even the truckers were happy to fuel up and deliver produce as fast as they could.  They put in extra hours to get it there well ahead of schedule.

What happy news!

So my friends, I wanted to share this story to illustrate the power of customer loyalty.

Arthur T. could have raised prices and cut out some employees and benefits, but he stuck to his ethics.  He put his customers first.

Sure, he made money, but he wasn’t money hungry.  This created a strong business and great rapport with eternally loyal customers.

The Marketing Moral of the Story

Let’s all take a lesson from this real life story and think to ourselves, as online marketers and entrepreneurs: What am I doing to create customer loyalty?

•    Are you pitching products without engaging with the people you are selling to?
•    Are you on the shiny object wagon, where you sell something that looks great, but is only here today and gone tomorrow?
•    Do you check in with your customers to see how they are doing?
•    Do you check in with your customers to see how you can help them succeed, not just with your product, but with their bigger online goals?
•    Do you write your customers emails to help them implement the features and strategies behind Product X?
•    Do you have the mindset to keep an eye out for your customers and catch them if they had made a mistake?
•    Do you treat your customers like they are your peers?
•    Do you show them your great appreciation for them?
•    Do you sincerely have great appreciation for them?

Your Blog Is A Sales Funnel

Take some time to examine your business, and how you are actually serving your customers and clients the best you can.  Because when you do, and when you demonstrate that you are not out for just the quick buck… you will begin to reap the well deserved benefits of having a business supported by long-term, loyal customers.

Many blessings,


Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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78 Responses to Do You Have Loyal Customers?

  1. Marquita Herald
    September 1, 2014 at 9:59 pm #

    I followed this story in the new and it’s great to not only see that kind of loyalty but the way the media shared it focusing on the good stuff for a change.

    I learned about customer loyalty from working for one particular hotel. Guests bragged about how many times they’d stayed there. At the time I was there the woman who held the record had vacationed there every year for 23 years. The thing that was truly amazing was this was not a luxury hotel – in fact we were tucked away in a resort surrounded by luxury properties, and yet our hotel ran the highest occupancy in the area. I remember one morning walking through the lobby and finding the general manager of the Embassy Suites in Los Angeles sitting in our lobby in shorts and a t-shirt reading a newspaper. There was an Embassy Suite property just up the road, but he stayed at our little hotel instead. His eyes got real big when he looked up and saw me – got a big grin on his face and put his finger up to his lips . shhhhh!

    Anyway, the point is our guests were true blue loyal and it was because of the people there that they’d made friends with over the years because our turnover was pretty much non-existent.
    Marquita Herald recently posted..In Praise of Simply Awesome MomentsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 2, 2014 at 11:34 am #

      Hi Marquita,

      Thanks for sharing that fine example of the Hotel’s loyalty. Funny how that general manager of another hotel was there enjoying himself.. Now that shows the difference!

      Oh my gosh, when it comes to staying at a hotel, I can see the customer loyalty there. I was at one in Washington D.C. at a conference. It was a luxury hotel, but it was all sizzle and no steak as we say in the marketing world. They had a good name, but they did not play the game.

      It was a nightmare when it came to going to their “upscale restaurant” and the service was the worst I ever experienced. Now I’m talking about paying over twenty bucks for eggs which was OK for me, but I’ll never forget the terrible time I and my guests had. I’ll never go back.

      Customer loyalty is earned just like anything else. Whatever business we are in small to large scale, we do need to put our customers first and treat them with kid gloves.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  2. Harleena Singh
    September 1, 2014 at 11:46 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    You raised a very important point from this post and a lesson for all of us as well 🙂

    Yes, Arthur T was truly loved by the customers and they wanted him back, so they went all out and got him back too, which happened because he was a popular person, thanks to the good work he did and the way he dealt with people, which comes foremost, be it any business.

    Customer relationship is so important and that’s what happens when you are so good and your customers show up their loyalty towards you as well, which speaks for itself.

    I haven’t heard of any such incident, but there are lots of stories our end too when people go on strike because the new management or person in charge has his different ways as compared to the earlier one, who was much better, just like Arthur T was, and when they don’t like his way of working, they just go on a strike!

    Arthur T had a great rapport with his people and it shows through his loyal customers, that’s why they vouched for him and wanted him back…it’e almost like us being good with our clients and they’d always want us back, isn’t it? 🙂

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted..Amazing Community Features and Giveaway at Aha!NOWMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 2, 2014 at 11:39 am #

      Hi Harleena,

      You got it right! The example of Arthur T. is just like us, the people keep coming back and that is the point of this story.

      How many times have we experienced some glitches or trouble on our blogs and/or social sites. We ask for help, and so many people run over to help us fix a situation.

      This is what I just love about the blogging community! We give without expectation, and it all comes back to us like good Karma always does.

      When it comes to marketing a product and/or service, we have to make sure that we have time to please our customers. They deserve it!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  3. Nile September 2, 2014 at 12:05 am #

    Spot on!

    I learned early on like Marquita, but in an odd situation. I seemed to have inherited some of my stronger outgoing traits from my grandfather. I remember that fast food was considered a treat that was done maybe 1 or 2 times in a month. He took me with him to help carry food out from a local McDonalds. Now, this was in the late 80s.

    He wanted to add tomato and more pickle to his sandwich. They told him that they couldn’t do that. He said that he’d pay them for adding a tomato and some pickle. They still said it wasn’t possible. Now, here was a man willing to pay money.

    He explained how easy it was to add them. It was funny that he explained how to do that, from him ordering, them making it, and him giving them his money. They still would not so he said that he would no longer come to McDonalds at that location ever again. Green is green and when you’ve got someone willing to pay more for more services, and you can’t do it, why are you doing business in the first place. He’s not been to a McDonalds, there or any since. He was a loyal customer since that location had first opened, and they even knew his name as the GM’s kids were friends with my mom and aunts.

    Customer Loyalty is huge, and even something so small can be what breaks that bond.
    Nile recently posted..Blondish.net Podcast: 2014 Episode 2My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 2, 2014 at 11:44 am #

      Hi Nile,

      Thanks for sharing that story. I don’t blame your grandfather at all! I would have done the same thing myself. How silly it is not to add on a tomato and pickle when there was cash to do so. The old saying “The customer comes first” applies here and they failed.

      That one wrong move they had done made them loose a loyal customer.

      Now that can happen to any of us. We are not in business to drop off a product and run, but rather, stand behind whatever it is we sell to another and stand behind it. It can be our own product or an affiliate (which we had better know well) and be there if we sell it to a person.

      Glad you found this interesting and appreciate your wonderful share,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

    • Sue Bride
      September 19, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

      MacDonald’s have no problems if you want to leave things off. At the same price of course.
      Sue Bride recently posted..PAC Power Into Your Blogging BuzzMy Profile

      • Donna Merrill
        September 25, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

        Hi Sue,

        I cannot say anything about McDonalds because I never eat there lol…..

        The only time I do is if I’m on a long road trip and the snacks I prepare in the car are not sufficient.

        Whenever I do stop at that place, I do get a stomach ache and need to take an antacid pill. Guess I’m not used to eating “franenfoods” he he he
        Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

  4. Ryan Biddulph
    September 2, 2014 at 1:13 am #

    Hi Donna,

    I love your story. Once you have rabid fans, forgettaboudit. Really, folks will run through brick walls to support you, and to buy your products.

    I go through my list of friends. I have a few. A bunch of my friends bought my eBook. I visit their blogs, comment, promote and do all I can to help my friends, It’s good business, but it’s more than that.

    Donna, I appreciate you so much. Supporting me in so many ways, really, if it weren’t for you. I’d be writing a diary. I always remember that each person who’s supported me over the years, each friend, each customer, each client, built my dream to blog from paradise.

    Knowing this, even if I get crazy busy sometimes, I make time to connect with folks who supported me. The thing is, if you support your customers, and remain true to your vision, then people will support you like they supported Arthur T. Customers and friends will return, buy again, and again, because they love what you’re about.

    As Seth Godin said, instead of trying to get more customers, take care of the customers you already have. Then, they’ll spread the word for you, like wildfire.

    What a fab lesson. Thanks so much for sharing Donna.

    I’ll tweet this in a bit.

    Signing off from Fiji.

    Ryan Biddulph recently posted..10 Tips for Blasting through the Blogging DoldrumsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 2, 2014 at 12:11 pm #

      Hi Ryan,

      Thanks so much for your kind words, I do appreciate that. I must agree with Seth Godin when he said instead of trying to get more customers, take care of the customers you already have and they will spread the word for you like wildfire.

      This has been my way of doing business for the past three decades. My off-line business is still robust. When I first started it, I never advertized, but gave people more time than they paid for. I still do lol.

      They became loyal customers. Can you imagine 30 years of people still calling me up, spreading the word to their friends and family. I still get calls saying “Hi, I’m a co worker with so and so and heard about you” That my friend is the best feeling in the world.

      Whenever I get a new client from that business, they are surprised why I give them more time. They pay by the hour…but I’ll take more time if needed. They get Wowed….then tell all their friends. The phone starts ringing like crazy after that.

      So I learned a long time ago, that a lasting relationship with one lousy client can bring in so much more. It comes down to our attitude within our selves. If we are altruistic, we will have good customer relationships.

      Thanks Ryan,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  5. kelli
    September 2, 2014 at 1:58 am #

    Hi Donna
    I saw the headline about this story but didn’t read it. It was really interesting, and pretty amazing too. This story is a perfect example of the success you can have when you are focused on creating value and caring about other people.

    So many in business are so focused on money and think they have to do things in a certain way lest they will not be financially successful, particularly in the online business realm. And, it might line the pockets for a bit, but ultimately the strategies employed will backfire on them at some point. Or even if they don’t they will most likely not really be that happy and their business will no longer be a source of enjoyment, and who cares about money if you aren’t happy?

    Thanks for this great post!
    kelli recently posted..Not Really Loving Your Life Right Now? 5 Questions to Turn Things AroundMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 2, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

      Hi Keli,

      Good seeing you here on my blog! So true! I’ve seen people chasing the dollar, flashing big cars and bikini babes and then disappear off the internet. Those folks were in it for themselves and may have made a huge chunk of change, but what is the point?

      I like things slow and steady. Business is building a strong foundation of people. And most importantly enjoying the process. When I can lend a hand to someone, watch them grow and succeed their goals, it is so fantastic!

      Together we have accomplished something and now that person is happy and I share the joy.

      You are spot on when you say “who cares about money if you aren’t happy?” That is my motto of life.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  6. Erik Emanuelli
    September 2, 2014 at 4:08 am #

    Hi Donna,
    you shared a great story with a good ending.

    Often the history of these small neighborhood stores end up being destroyed by large supermarket chains.

    It is very inspirational to hear stories like this one, where the hard work to provide a great service to the customers really pays off.

    At the end, your clients are the lifeblood of your business!

    Fantastic lesson learned here.
    Thanks for sharing Donna!

    Shared via Triberr,
    have a great week!
    Erik Emanuelli recently posted..8 Amazing Bloggers You Should FollowMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 2, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

      Hi Erik,

      Actually Market Basket is a pretty large chain of supermarkets and have been in business since the 1950’s. It was always run like a small corner store and that was the beauty of it.

      The caring of their employees and putting their customers first was what they always have done.

      Yes, our clients are the lifeblood of our business. We can learn from this story how positive things can be when we put our clients first.

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  7. Moumita Ghosh
    September 2, 2014 at 8:56 am #

    Hello Donna,

    You have shared a story which is really interesting, I love it. I got a lesson from this story that “Monrey” is a part of a business, we should build good relations with the employees of the business and the customers. Then Money can eventually follow. Thanks for sharing such an interesting article…
    Moumita Ghosh recently posted..Which Link Building Processes Need To Be Considered According To Current Seo StrategyMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 2, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

      Hi Moumita,

      I am so happy you liked this story. Yes money is an important part of business. But if we focus on good relationships and giving people good content, money does eventually follow.

      This is the “mindset” of many who are successful.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  8. Neamat Tawadrous
    September 2, 2014 at 11:54 am #

    Hi Donna,

    A great post and a timely reminder for all of us marketers that business is all about customers.

    A good relatiobship with our customers is the foundation that will lead to all the other components that build a good and strong business. Customers should be first and everything else will fall into place.

    Lovely story about Aurther T. that you shared. I am sure he didn’t know that his employees and customers will do what they did to bring him back but that’s how a great relationship with customers can take us to places and heights we never think possible.

    Thanks Donna for a great share. Have a great week ahead.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat Tawadrous recently posted..3 Tips To Kill Information Overload And Start Focusing!!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 2, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

      Hi Neamat,

      As this story came about I was interested in it from a marketing perspective. When it turned out that his customers actually pitched in and helped the employees, it reminded me of customer loyalty.

      This chain of supermarkets hit the news all over the U.S. Maybe most folks didn’t care, but as a marketer, my eye is always upon things like this.

      It is all about good customer relationships! And that is the key to our success!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  9. Corina Ramos
    September 2, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I saw this story on the Today show. It was amazing to see the community stand behind this great guy. I’m glad everything worked out for him and I hope his family sees how valuable he is.

    It’s true that customer service goes a long way. I love chatting it up with folks on social media and even get into email conversations. I don’t know if I have loyal customers but I sure am working on growing that :).

    Thanks for sharing this story with us! Have a great day and here’s to an awesome month!

    Corina Ramos recently posted..It’s A Mommy Needs A Getaway Giveaway!My Profile

  10. Donna Merrill
    September 2, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

    Hi Corina,

    Wow, I didn’t realize it was on the Today Show! (I’m not a TV person lol) But it goes to show how customer loyalty hit the national news!

    Can the message be any louder? From this story we can all learn a great lesson. When a large company can create this kind of loyalty, so can we!

    Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  11. Mark
    September 2, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

    What a truly great story Donna!

    I too followed this incredible demonstration of first, a text book lesson in how to build an absolutely unstoppable business, by treating both your employees and customers like gold!

    Thank goodness there is simply no slick marketing strategies and campaigns of any kind that can compete with or substitute the unbreakable bond Arthur T developed with his employees and customers!

    Can you imagine the shock the other board members must have felt when their plan totally back fired and they saw the outpouring of love and dedication, both the customers, suppliers and employees have for this man!

    And his approach to take no prisoners kind of customer service!

    If he’s not touring both the country and the world, sharing his proven management, business building secrets and writing books about it too! That’s truly a shame!!

    You have truly encapsulated a fantastic real world, incredibly teachable moment Donna!

    Because, before reading your extremely well written story, I really did not know any of the nitty gritty details!

    And after reading them, that story is just so fantastic!

    That man and his employees/organization is what true entrepreneurship and business ownership and long term customer/employee commitment is all about!

    Those people would gladly go to the ends of the earth for that man!

    Because he gladly consistently did it for them first! Wow!

    May we all develop the skills and commitment to cause our chosen audiences and vendors etc, to respond half as well!

    Thank you so much Donna, for sharing such a truly inspiring true story!
    Mark recently posted..Would A Major Rainstorm Prevent You From Achieving Your Long Term Goals?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 2, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

      Hi Mark,

      When this story first broke out, I had my marketing mindset on it. I followed the story until the happy ending.

      What a great example for us all to follow. Customer loyalty and it covered all over the news. The debate was hot..but once won, customers pitched in. Imagine that?

      We can all learn a good lesson from Arthur T.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  12. Kumar Gauraw September 2, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    This is such an amazing story. Businesses who care for customers always win in the end. Although not so much dramatic, similar was the story with Wal-Mart.

    As long as Sam Walton lived, Walmart was a loved brand. It was a shopping place for american middle class. They had no competition. In fact, Wal-Mart was the competition for everybody else!

    Things changed after Sam Walton was gone. New management started to run deals, started to compete with Target and other companies and became part of the competition. The company once created to sell American made product, hardly sells anything made in America.

    Unfortunately, people who think in principle are not many.

    Thank you for this amazing story Donna. Enjoyed the article and the story. Love the lesson!

    Kumar Gauraw recently posted..3 Must Have WordPress Plugins Especially For Multi-Author BlogsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 3, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

      Hi Kumar,

      Thank you for mentioning the Wall Mart story! I remember that one. Once Sm Walton was gone and the new management came in, everything changed.

      I hardly go to Wall Mart, unless I need a garden tool or something like that, but I do browse and am so surprised that their customers think they are getting a bargain. Such low quality clothing and other stuff at a price that is too high for what is produced.

      I rather get a higher quality piece of clothing on an 85% sale in a department store!

      Thanks for bringing that up,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  13. Susan Cooper
    September 2, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

    What a great story you shared Donna. I had heard bits and pieces of it in the news, but enjoyed your additional information. It really seems like a story you would have heard of back in the Andy Griffith Show time period, right? Nobody has customer service or customer loyalty like that anymore. But obviously they do. And this was probably because he had been providing customer service like the family had been since 1954 and genuinely cared about his employees and his customers. And it in the end that is what matters isn’t it – building relationships? 🙂
    Susan Cooper recently posted..Sweet Days of Summer: #StoryMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 3, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

      Hi Susan,

      That was what got me…a story like we would have expected on the “Andy Griffith Show” period!

      A large supermarket chain that acted like a small town grocer! I was so glad it hit the news all over the U.S. because it was a positive outcome. As folks at home bit their nails, wondering what would happen, a happy ending came about.

      We don’t see this stuff in our fast paced culture these days. And we must keep in mind that customer service is everything!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  14. Barbara Charles
    September 2, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

    Wow, Awesome Donna.

    If we all could be like the CEO and have that kind of customer loyalty. What an awesome man he must be and he sounds like an one and only original. It is so unbelievable when people do pull together for a good person and a good cause that it astounds us all.

    I’ll bet though he went with his gut and believed in people and fairness. He will always have success.

    Thanks for sharing that wonderful story. It is very encouraging and gives us all hope, wisdom and understanding about what we need to do to gain and hold onto customer loyalty.

    Great post.

    Barbara Charles recently posted..When A Network Marketer Comes Knocking At Your DoorMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 3, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

      Hi Barbara,

      Because my brain is so hard wired on marketing, I look at almost everything through my marketer’s eye.

      But when this story broke out, I followed it to see what would happen. The happy ending sure did surprise me! And the best of all was that it was all over the national news.

      What a great message for all people who are in business! Especially us!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  15. Akaahan Terungwa
    September 2, 2014 at 11:03 pm #

    Hello Donna,

    It’s been ages since I last landed here…pardon me.

    Your tile caught my attention and I just had to take a closer look (and read every line you had here)….truly inspirational story with a great deal of moral for us all. Glad Authur T. got his due at the end.

    You see, I have personally unsubscribed from many a list where all the emails I get are simple buy this, or click here! Heck, we all want value…and we all want to do business with the guy that cares enough to think there are needs aside his own.

    Sometimes I wonder – to truly satisfy customers is an easy affair. But, that does not mean it is completely effortless – heck no. The question is: as a marketer, what are your efforts? I sincerely love your posers at the end of the post.

    You’ll be seeing more of me henceforth!

    Do have a very great day.

    Akaahan Terungwa recently posted..GOOD BOOKS ON MONEY: 3 BEST PERSONAL FINANCE BOOKS OF ALL TIMEMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 4, 2014 at 11:18 am #

      Hi Akaahan,

      To truly satisfy customers is easy when you have a plan in your business, and make the time to do so. Be there for them!

      As a marketer, there are many tasks I take every day. Part of which is allowing certain times of the day to talk or answer questions from my customers.

      Every Tuesday I have a Q & A Google+ Hangout to address questions raised during the week. What people do is connect with me with their questions and many are the same, so I address them in a hour long hangout.

      Also, when people do purchase my product, it comes with a call on skype or phone whereby we can connect and plan out what goals they have. Each person is different, so It cannot be generic. Everyone has a different goal to their business or blog. This is why it is imperative that they connect and we can together plan out a strategy after they purchase my product.

      And if they have a question here and there, I will answer it.

      My intention is to have a one to one relationship with each person that does join me. I do all my products with my Husband. We work together, so if I cannot answer something, he could. If worse comes to worse…and a customer asks something we cannot answer immediately, we do the research and get back to them with the answer.

      That’s how we do it!

      Good to see you,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  16. Sherman Smith September 2, 2014 at 11:14 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    The truth will set you free! This definitely needs to be a great Sunday sermon for all of us online marketers who tend to neglect our customers.

    I know this really put me in check with keeping up with my email list as well as people I meet online.

    Arthur is a prime example of how you should treat people over all. No matter if they’re your employees or customers. You want to treat people well and it will come around in full circle. Call it law of reciprocity.

    When you focus on money more so than the people, then the situation may turn out like what happened with Market Basket. In business you always want to think of the consumer first before making any big over all changes to your company because the consumer helps make the business stay stable!

    Customer loyalty is definitely where it’s at! Thanks Donna for sharing this!
    Sherman Smith recently posted..How Being Relatable To Your Blog Visitors Is The Majority Of The SaleMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 3, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

      Hi Sherman,

      So true.. If we focus on go giving and doing our best, money will follow. If we are filled with greed to make a few extra bucks, we will be doomed to failure.

      Putting others first, is the best ROI we can do in our business. The money part will come just when we need it.

      Having a mindset of purpose, and giving the best we can give will always have a long term customer base.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  17. Adrienne
    September 3, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

    Oh wow Donna, I LOVE this story and the happy ending. I’ve never heard anything like that happening around our area of the city but I think that’s truly amazing and that shows loyalty now.

    As you and I both know it’s how you treat people that counts. I’m sure Arthur was not hurting for money but that just goes to show you who is money hungry and who isn’t. Because of how he treated his employees, distributors and customers they will always do business with him so some big chain coming in won’t scare them away. That’s what people have to remember. It’s not just about the money because if you treat people the right way it will all come back to you.

    I don’t keep up with the news but I so appreciate you sharing this with us. What a fabulous lesson we can all learn and another reason I know you are doing so well and I know I won’t be doing too bad myself. 😉

    Have a blessed day my friend.

    Adrienne recently posted..Thankful Thursday: Evergreen, Facebook, Commenting, MarketingMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 3, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

      Hi Adrienne,

      I’m not much on keeping up with the news either, but I know this chain of Supermarkets that are in the North East. People have always raved about it and when I moved, I became one of their loyal customers myself.

      When this all started, I just had to follow the story because of the family battle of Arthur carrying on the tradition of his family since the 1950’s of customer care, and his opponent who wanted to make more money.

      Hmm…I said to myself how the heck will this turn out? But through it all, watching even the Governor of Massachusetts getting into the act, was pretty interesting to me.

      I was so surprised of the happy ending. I watched it on Youtube, because I never watch TV news, but just looking at the customers lending a helping hand gave me tears in my eyes of joy.

      What a great American story!

      So, lesson being is as you said: It’s how you treat people that counts!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  18. Sanjay Pal
    September 3, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

    Hello Donna

    It was a very thought provoking article. Maybe our list of customers can be big but when it comes to loyalty, it barely scratch the surface. Our history of business has changed drastically over time. From the earlier slogan of “Caveat Emptor” to recent “Caveat Venditor”, the table has completely turned.

    Since customers are the foundation of any sound business, it becomes all the more important when it comes to loyalty. That’s why many multinational organizations have given stress to human relation management. It goes the same for online marketers too.
    But the key to gain customers’ loyalty is by providing them a good after sales service. I believe that though certain products are tagged as superior built in performance but to be honest, it’s a completely lie. Even we humans who think that we are the masters of the Universe can’t give guarantee when it come to ourselves, then how can we say to materials that are built by us?

    Therefore it’s needless to say that customers will have their fair share of grievances and the only way to counter that, is by a proper after sales service.

    A very informative post you have put up Donna. I loved it. All the best to you. Have a great day.

    Sanjay Pal recently posted..Featured Blogger Of The Month : A Rendezvous With Mi MubaMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 3, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

      Hi Sanjay,

      It all comes down to respecting each other. It goes beyond business! It must be a way of life. If we do treat everyone with respect and our main goal in life is to give without expectations, this not only helps others, but warms our hearts.

      When it comes to business, those that are out for a fast way to make money may have won here and there, but it is not a long lasting business.

      We, as humans are not masters of the universe, but rather, a humble breed. And if we see ourselves that way, we will put our customers first and see them all as our equals. We treat them with care. That will only bring loyalty.

      And sure, the reality is some will not like this or that, but we must have our “money back guarantee on every product we sell….within reason of course!

      We will not please all of the people all of the time, but those that recognize who we are and what we stand for and how we treat them, will be long lasting.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  19. Ravi Chahar
    September 3, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    How can you do such an extraordinary job every time?
    I am amazed to read this post. I never knew that someone can explain the topic about having loyal customers up to that extent.

    The story you have mentioned above about Arthur and his way to gather loyal visitors is really appreciable. As we all know that if we want to get more loyal customers then the main key role we need to play is thinking about our customer’s service.

    There may be many option in front of customers but our motto should be to provide them services which can’t be compared with anyone else.

    I always favor politeness at it’s best. To be humble and supportive always works. We need to make human bonds with our inner soft part. Hardness can ruin any business.

    Thanks a lot for sharing your amazing thoughts.

    I hope you have a great week.:)

    Ravi Chahar recently posted..How To Backup WordPress Site And Database Using cPanel Safely?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 3, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

      Hi Ravi,

      I guess I come up with these things because I am passionate about marketing and almost every thing I see happening around me I see through a “marketer’s eye.” lol

      I love your comment because that’s the key to success: To be humble and supportive, to be polite and making those human bonds with our inner soft part is the core of how to relate to people.

      It unnerves me when I see a greedy person looking to make quick cash! I just shake my head and do feel sorry for that person because I know, without being humble and respectful, there will be no loyalty at all.

      Thanks for your wise input.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  20. Mi Muba
    September 3, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

    Hi Donna

    Very informative post with a lot of unique tips on internet marketing and they will surely help greatly to especially those engage in selling their own and affiliate products.

    There are three approaches in online marketing.

    1. Managerial approach
    2. Partnership approach
    3. Participatory approach

    The first one is the obsolete approach where you just sell a product because you think people will buy it. You decide it arbitrarily. This approach never works in this era of stiff competition where buyers have lot of options of not only to check the competitive products but also the brand, history and credibility of the product you are selling.

    Second approach is a little advance where you first develop strong rapport with your audience and then sell them a product just on the basis of your ties with them. You assume that they will believe in you just because you are quite closer to them. It equally does not work with quite brand-aware audience.

    Third one is the most effective approach where you follow all the points which I found in this post under the sub heading of The Marketing Moral of the Story. Where you keep close coordination and contact with them. You do try to know what your audience thinks, feels, perceives and even dreams and then you showcase the products and services which can make their dreams come true.

    Thanks a lot for sharing a post with purely practical tips to market a product to bring the desired results.

    • Donna Merrill
      September 3, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

      Hi Mi Muba,

      Thank you for adding so much to this blog post.

      Your illustration is right on target. Yes, indeed the most effective approach is the third one.

      We need to keep our clients/customers valued and engage with them more than anyone else.

      We also need to do our homework to know what our specific audience thinks, feels, perceives and even dream about as you put it. This is the part where we need to pay attention and listen to our target audience. Also do some research in this field. What are people asking for? What do they need to get them to succeed to their desired goals?

      We do this in a way by effective communication. We need to communicate from our hearts and see them as our “equals” in a way. What I mean by this is that some want to stand on a platform and give the impression of “follow me because I know the answer.” That won’t work.

      Rather, “I made that same mistake too, and here is how I overcame it” This effective way of communication is a more human quality.

      When we write our blog posts we must keep this in mind. As long as our ears are conditioned to hear what our audience is saying, and our eyes are on what they need, we can provide good value to them.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  21. Andrew M. Warner
    September 3, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Excellent post on the importance of customer service. I attempted to try selling Information Products when I first started last year but quickly received a rude awakening when I only mustered up a handful of sales (literally).

    That’s when I truly learned that people won’t buy from you unless you too time to build a relationship with them. When you build that relationship, they’ll starting loving you and trusting you.

    That story you shared proves just that.

    And it can happen online as well. As marketers, we have to know and realize the importance of building those relationships … building that trust and how the customer truly appreciates it if you make that effort to do so.

    Great post once again, Donna.

    Hope you have an awesome rest of the week.

    – Andrew
    Andrew M. Warner recently posted..A Unique Challenge To Encourage Each Of You TodayMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 3, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

      Hi Andrew,

      When I first started, I had the same experience. It was what I was taught at that time….go go go! All that pushing for sales. It really doesn’t work at all. Maybe for some, but not me!

      I just couldn’t do it that way because it just wasn’t in my nature. My “upline” at that time was calling me and trying to push me to push people. I quit!

      It was not until I found a way to market what fit to me, that I started achieving success with marketing.

      The world of marketing is a difficult but yet exciting place to be. Learning all we can and keep on learning is the way to do it.

      But the core of it all is relationships. Make relationships with others with no selling in mind. Let them come to you and ask.

      That’s how I developed my last webinar. People emailed me, PM’d me and asked for more information. So my husband and I put together a very complicated webinar and there we go!

      Have a great week!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  22. Brittany Bullen
    September 3, 2014 at 11:27 pm #


    Am I seeing things or has your blog gotten a makeover? It looks great, I love the changes!

    What a fun story. I hadn’t heard anything about it, but I agree that there are definitely some fantastic things to be learned from it. One of the great things about the digital age is the fact that companies are now so much more transparent than they ever have been before, which makes it really easy for the consumer to actually stand up for their own experience.

    What an exciting time to be alive, for business owners and consumers alike! Another fabulous post. I’ll be sharing it.

    Brittany Bullen recently posted..Make Over a “Blah” Post With Effective SubheadingsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 4, 2014 at 11:33 am #

      Hi Brittany,

      Yes, a little make over on my blog! I just had to because I had so many different hair styles, I was confusing people. So now it is all coordinated lol.

      Glad you liked the example I’ve given here on this post. Yes, this digital age is so fantastic isn’t it? It does make it so easy for consumers.

      I do agree that it sure is an exciting time to be alive!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  23. Angela McCall
    September 4, 2014 at 2:14 am #

    Hi Donna,

    I love that story. <3

    Sure. There is nothing like a faithful customer. Again, it's all about relationship. Arthur T. visited his employees in the hospital when they were sick. Customers were pretty happy with the high quality and low price. I think that store created just a happy chain. Coz when the employees are happy with their job and so as their service to the customers.

    It’s all about Customer Service and treating people the RIGHT way. When you put others before yourself, it always results in a good rapport and harmonious relationship. Thank you for sharing this story, Donna. It’s an inspiration for us Internet Marketers. It makes me think more that the time & energy put on Internet in establishing “good relationship” with everyone is all worth it.

    Have a great evening!

    Angela McCall recently posted..How to Stop Brute Force AttacksMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 4, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

      Hi Angela,

      As a marketer, I know it takes a while to build a business. Any business takes time off line or on line. We can get frustrated at times because we can get anxious about getting our business up and running.

      In the meanwhile, we give…we give it all we got! No return of immediate cash, but we plug along, making good relationships.

      Yes, that’s the core that we need to focus on and this story illustrates it well. I see so many bloggers struggling, but the truth is ..it takes time! Time to put energies into helping others via our blog posts, social media, and reaching out to others.

      Once we do that and establish a good rapport, whatever we want to market will be effective because people can look us up and find out what we have done for others.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  24. Emmanuel
    September 4, 2014 at 7:16 am #

    Hello Madam Donna,

    This is indeed a touching story. How one relates with his customers matters a lot and Arthur T. has really shown that it really pays at the end to be loyal.

    Thanks for this and please do have a great day!
    Emmanuel recently posted..There is Quality in this FREE WordPress HostingMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 4, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

      Hi Emmanuel,

      Yes, it only goes to prove that if we provide good service to our customer base, in turn, they will become loyal customers.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  25. Nathaniel Kidd
    September 4, 2014 at 3:23 pm #


    I love this story. It was so inspiring. Then you brought it all home with your “moral of the story”. We must understand as marketers it is vital that we focus on building relationships. Everything else will come. I would much rather make a new friend than a one time sale. You have given us the blueprint here on how to build a loyal customer base. Thank you for sharing.
    Nathaniel Kidd recently posted..Online Shopping TipsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 4, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

      Hi Nathaniel,

      I’m with you. I rather focus on relationships and have people coming to me one at a time, or a few at a time to build relationships with the products I sell.

      To me, blasting out a product, one has to be ready to handle hoards of people all at once. Now that would be fine if I had many people in place to help me get he job done.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  26. Monna Ellithorpe
    September 4, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Such a great story, proving once again that money isn’t everything. So happy to hear that they won and Arthur T came back.

    Everyone online, I believe needs to treat their contacts as friends and family, just as Arthur T did.
    Monna Ellithorpe recently posted..Are You The Type of a Writer That People Would Miss?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 4, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

      Hi Monna,

      Absolutely. We can learn a great life lesson from Arthur T and his chain of supermarkets. If we emulate his behavior with his customers, we too can achieve customer loyalty!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  27. Chery Schmidt
    September 4, 2014 at 9:54 pm #

    Awesome Story Donna, I am sure this Arthur T is a hero in many peoples eyes HUH?

    I do understand what you are saying here, I built a list of almost 1000 people from my old blog but I never really got to know any of them and they really never got to know me either.

    You see this was my first blog and I had no idea what I ws doing, so I just did what others were doing, this was not me and therefore I couldnt really relate to anyone who opted in either.

    Well I did let this list go after a year of broadcasting stupid prewritten e-mails to them LOL

    I would like to start over and put together some sort of a real offer on my blog and start building my list again, hopefully one of these days..

    I do use SendOutCards to show my Gratitude to my team and others, this is a wonderful way to show my appreciation..

    Thanks for the great post.. Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted..Want A Successful Online Business? Then Avoid The Bullshit!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 4, 2014 at 10:46 pm #

      Hi Chery,

      Girl I had done the same thing when I first started. I had a great free optin of a multiple video series of how to stop procrastination.

      I got so many optins to that list, sent out emails of my new post, and other nonsense, but never had a plan.

      So I wiped it out and started again. I noticed that when I did write to that list, they wanted everything for free, ergo, that free optin and more free stuff.

      I didn’t consider my blog as a business back then. I felt like I was writing “Helpful Hints from Heloise” he he he

      Yes, starting over is a great idea. But remember that whatever your product or service is, think of the end game, then work backwards. Like baby steps. Have a good marketing plan in mind while you get to know folks on your list. Then follow that 80/20 rule…and bam!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  28. Don Purdum
    September 5, 2014 at 10:28 am #

    Hi Donna,

    What a heart warming story. It goes to show you that in the modern era where companies and corporations are making it all about money they are missing out on why they are in business.

    Don’t get me wrong, I want to make money. I want to make a lot of money.

    But I also want those who help me to be rewarded and thanked for their efforts and contributions.

    My wife works for a small orchard. It drives me crazy sometimes the stuff she tells me. It’s like they are slave drivers to the almighty dollar sometimes. They make their staff define everything they do and break it down into labor dollars and then increase their prices to pay for it.

    Then they wonder why their consumers leave without buying things when the prices are unreasonably high on items.

    They are really good people, but they aren’t building loyalty with their employees or their customers.

    I love they way you start the article by sharing that when someone buys the first time it’s not over. In fact, it’s just beginning.

    I once heard Bradley Sugars (billionaire who owns companies all over the world) say that you don’t have a customer when someone only buys from you once. In fact, his opinion that he has persuaded me on is that you only have a customer after they’ve bought from you multiple times.

    Your lesson is well impressed on me Donna. I don’t sell, I allow people to buy. If my attitude, presentation and marketing are done right I won’t have to sell you. You’ll want to buy.

    I really detest the ideas out there about landing pages and squeeze pages. It just feels sleezy to me. If you can’t take the time to properly persuade me and give me a reason to buy you, I’m not going to.

    And with the maturation of the internet continuing I think most consumers have caught on and they are no longer buying as they once did from these old forms of advertising that have moved from the offline world to the online on.

    I could go on and on Donna. Your post was brilliant. I heard the story and followed it on the news and it’s heartwarming to learn that there are some who are still doing it right!

    I hope you have an amazing weekend!!!!

    ~ Don Purdum
    Don Purdum recently posted..Cut Through the Noise, Nonsense and CrapMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 5, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

      Hi Don,

      Thanks for adding so much value to this post with your comment. Building loyalty is a must in business. I do have an off line business for the past 30 years. Just the other day I received a call from someone that was recommended by a client I had not heard from for years.

      It comes down to giving. Well, when this gal called, she had booked a half hour, but I knew she needed more so I chatted for an hour with her. She was ready to pay for that hour, but I told her No…you booked me for a half hour, and it was my decision to give you more time because you needed it.

      So, what do you think happened? Within a few hours 3 of her friends called for appointments. Just goes to show, the more you give and value people, the more the return.

      Well, as for squeeze pages and landing pages, I do use them, but not the hard sell. I use them when I do an ad to those I don’t know. It’s more of an introduction of who I am, what I do, and if you are interested in purchasing this, go ahead. It’s more like an offer…no pushing because I don’t want to push people to buy something they don’t need.

      Make sense?

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  29. Dr. Erica Goodstone
    September 5, 2014 at 9:44 pm #


    What a wonderful and inspiring story and a reminder to all of us to put our customers and clients first, no matter what well meaning friends, family or “business” experts tell us. Providing good customer service and even helping our clients with other services, not our own, that they are needing, can make them loyal and happy to refer others to you. We don’t always see the immediately benefits of our customer service but in the long run, it is the only way to run a successful business that is ongoing.

    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted..For the Love of Your Game and Your PracticeMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 6, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

      Hi Dr. Erica,

      I do agree that customer service is not only putting our customers/clients first no matter what the “experts” will tell us. It has worked for me for years, so I know it will work for others.

      And yes, helping our clients with other services that are not our own, does make them loyal and happy customers.

      No, the benefits won’t come about immediately, but in the long run, it does turn out to become a successful business.

      Hey, you would know because you service many people.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  30. Sue Price
    September 6, 2014 at 1:33 am #

    Hi Donna

    What a great story. It is very inspiring to read something like this in a world where it is easy to believe big companies do not give a damn about the customers. I felt like I was reading a novel you told it so well.

    Of course we all love to feel like the businesses we buy from give us good service and care about us. Given I live in a small tourist town like you do we have a lot of farmers markets and smaller operations where people are very loyal to the businesses.

    Relationships are so important in business. To me they are the main ingredient.

    Thanks for a great post Donna.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    Sue Price recently posted..Online vs Brick and Mortar BusinessMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 6, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

      Hi Sue,

      I’m glad you enjoyed this share Sue. This company has 70 some odd chains and they do carry amazing products from the regular fast food junk to organic products. They even have their own bakery and dinner take out.

      It was so inspiring to me, where I noticed their customers getting involved. I’m sure glad Arthur T. made it through.

      This supermarket is just like my little shops in my small tourist town. When I go to an old woman to buy my local catch I’m there for a half hour just talking. It’s a great feeling!

      Yes, the main ingredient in business is their relationships!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  31. David Bennett
    September 6, 2014 at 3:26 am #

    The story you tell is inspiring. I suspect a lot of bosses want to believe it will work but they run for the hills when they run into a a real-world problem because they are afraid to believe in people.

    Treating people well is the right thing to do. That energy powers the business to grow and to bond.

    At the same time it doesn’t mean being starry eyed, for example, in dealing with a middle manager who is not pulling his/her weight and causing resentment among support staff.

    Then it is the boss’s obligation to do something about it for the benefit of everyone.

    I have just copied your questions into a list on my favourite desktop text reviewer so I can look at the questions regularly and keep asking myself them.
    David Bennett recently posted..Good Luck From The BellboyMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 6, 2014 at 5:26 pm #

      Hi David,

      This chain of supermarkets was well run. There was a manager (a big guy) who walked around and made sure people were satisfied. Their staff was taught to help the customer. Now I’m pretty short, so when I shopped there I was surprised that every time I was trying to reach something, an employee in a red smock would be at my side helping me. And with a smile!

      The CEO Arthur T. made sure this company was run like a mom and pop store…it was just the feeling you got when you went in. I even asked them once if they could supply fruit from the US instead of Mexico. The next week…it was on the shelves. Go figure?

      It is good to see that you have copied these questions to ask yourself so you can be on track!

      Much appreciated,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  32. Sylviane Nuccio
    September 6, 2014 at 7:14 am #

    Hi Donna,

    You’re the fist blog I read in over a week, and because I’m so emotional right now and this story is so beautiful, I’ve been crying the whole time.

    I think it’s about time that people understand that we’re all humans, and if you show some human kindness people will love you for it, and give you back.

    Yesterday I was on the phone with a candidate that I was recruiting for a job and he told me that I was so personable. I told him that’s because I’m trying NOT to be like people I don’t like, which is the personable kind.

    The story of this CEO really shows how far human kindness can go.

    P.S. I sent you an email few days ago, but I think it got lost on it’s way. By the way, your new head shot is gorgeous.
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..4 Extra Juicy Tips Before You Order Your WritingMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 6, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

      Hi Sylviane,

      I am so sorry for your loss and it will take some time. So my friend, no worries…every blogger you are connected to understands that you need some time.

      Yes, this story only goes to prove that even a big company can summon up customer loyalty when the company is treating people fairly. It hit the national news in the U.S. and I just hope people have learned something from it.

      Ooo…I have to check the email. And thanks, I had to get that new headshot done. It was on my to-do list because my blog is 4 years old and I’ve had so many different hairstyles, people were getting confused ….

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Building TrustMy Profile

  33. Cararta
    September 6, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Spot on!

    You blog a lot about what to do before you market or even think about marketing.
    In other words the Relationship is what counts.

    It can’t just be a premeditated plan to go around and be Miss Goody Two Shoes, but a real ingrained part of your character, a belief in giving value for value received at the highest level.

    As John Thornhill remarked in a recent post I saw on Facebook, “Are you walking the talk, or just talking the walk.”

    Arthur evidently walked the talk and did a superb job at it.

    I can remember stores in the small town where I grew up that did the same. Most were small and family owned and able to extend a helping hand to someone in trouble…even running accounts sometimes for someone who became ill or out of work so they could still buy groceries.

    A long time ago, there was a different point of view connected to services for sale and merchandise…sell for what it cost you to do the work or provide the products plus enough to pay for your business and your time….not tacked onto one item either but applied as a percentage to each item.

    Can even remember hearing sermons on the subject and the Preacher admonishing people to not over charge, because they weren’t entitled to Big Profits. They were supposed to be making a living by helping their neighbors…not gouging them.

    Guess Harvard and Yale and the MBAs took care of that old fashioned philosophy.

    Really enjoyed your story about Arthur and his Super Market Chain, Never herd of them, but if I lived in that neck of the woods, would make sure to look them up!

    Try that at Walmart…..
    Cararta recently posted..Is It Possible to Lose 5 pounds in a week ? Weight Destroyer Says Yes!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 8, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

      Hi Carata,

      Thank you for your wonderful comment! Yes, we cannot walk around without a premeditated approach in our marketing plan. I like the quote from John Thornhill. “Are you walking the talk, or just talking the walk.”

      If we are marketing anything we must be talking the walk. It does take a huge learning curve for those who never had any marketing experience. We cannot just throw things at people and expect a good return. Maybe a sale or two, but at the end of the day what good is that?

      You have made great points here and I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  34. Andy Lockhart
    September 6, 2014 at 10:09 pm #


    This is a great story, and shows you how important it is to keep your customer happy. When you create that true deep relationship with them you build a loyalty. Arthur T had that loyalty, not many can claim that these days.

    Thanks for the post.

    Andy Lockhart recently posted..12 Ways to Get More Subscribers to Your BlogMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 8, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

      Hi Andy,

      Oh yes, as an off line chain of supermarkets, Arthur T. had created loyalty like it was the 1950’s! He carried out what his ancestors had built.

      Only goes to show its a win win when anyone on line or off line puts their customers firs!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  35. Steven J Wilson
    September 7, 2014 at 4:27 am #

    Hey Donna,

    You always tell some awesome stories and it really gets us to completely understand and absorb the message that you are bringing to our attention.

    It’s all about engagement for sure. I mean that’s some serious relationship building on Arthur T’s part where the community backed him and WITHOUT PAY! That says a lot!

    I think a large factor in that too is after all those years he was just being genuine. He wasn’t faking it in their faces or doing it for any selfish reasons. He genuinely cared and built a connection with the community keeping them coming back.

    Excellent post and story! I hope you are having a great weekend Donna! Take care…
    Steven J Wilson recently posted..8 Tips That Will Help Your Content Survive LongerMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 10, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

      Hi Steven,

      I love story telling because it can resonate better than a tutorial form. Yes, it is all about engagement and go giving too.

      Yes, Arthur T. is a genuine person, and what he gave out was received ten fold!

      The same applies to us, as we give, without expectation, it does come back to us all!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  36. Monika Sharma
    September 8, 2014 at 2:22 am #

    Hi Donna, It’s really matter to think about Loyal Customers ! Well it’s So Simple most of Business man do Business but while talk about Loyal Customers ! So No one gives matter idea about it !
    Monika Sharma recently posted..4 Tips to Increase Site Speed and SEO RankingsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 8, 2014 at 5:03 pm #

      Hi Monika,

      Yes, many talk about it, but do they actually do it? I found that when it comes to purchasing my own stuff online, I have thought it would be a wonderful thing, then found out, there was no on going service. Hmmm….

      We really have to put our customers first, otherwise there will be no business at all.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  37. Reginald
    September 8, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    Thanks for sharing! Reminds me a lot on my current job. Basically, it is crazy hard to build loyalty and it only takes like seconds or minutes to destroy week/months of hard work.

    Can’t help to agree on everything you said! Top notch and really aprpeciate the write dear friend!
    Reginald recently posted..Top 5 Twitter Marketing Tips For Beginners (Infographic)My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 8, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

      Hi Reginald,

      Loyalty comes with time and patience. Never happens over night, but it is sure worth the energy we put into it. Our customers are the most valuable thing in business.

      And yes, it takes only one second to destroy it all. This is why we need to keep our mindset on the customer always!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  38. Nisha Pandey
    September 9, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    Hi Donna,

    I am little late here. Such a wonderful post!.

    The loyal story of loyal customers. I have learnt many things from your article. Really it will help me to build loyality and trust with my customers.

    Thanks for the sharing this true story.

    Have a wonderful rest of the week.
    Nisha Pandey recently posted..5 Essential Ecommerce Plugins for WordPressMy Profile

  39. Donna Merrill
    September 10, 2014 at 10:32 am #

    Hi Nisha,

    Good to know you enjoyed this story, which illustrates how important customer loyalty is.

    I’m so happy you enjoyed it.

    Donna Merrill recently posted..Coaching For Online EntrepreneursMy Profile

  40. Sue Bride
    September 19, 2014 at 5:23 pm #

    Oops, I make a habit of copying my comments before I press submit in case there’s a problem. This time I pasted instead and nearly posted the contents of my clipboard -) So here goes again.

    I miss the local butchers, greengrocer stores that closed down because they couldn’t compete on price with the supermarkets. I enjoyed being greeted by name and having a chat. You’d even get to know other customers and end up chatting with them too. I’d go there even though I could have gone across the road to the supermarket and paid a bit less.

    The story about Arthur T is so heart warming especially since it had a happy ending. I love the way you used it to illustrate your points about marketing and customer loyalty.
    Sue Bride recently posted..PAC Power Into Your Blogging BuzzMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      September 25, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

      Hi Sue,

      Although this store is a supermarket, the employees there made it seem like the local grocer from years back.

      Arthur T. wanted to run this chain this way and it sure worked well. When I visited this supermarket I was so surprised of the experience. There were so many employees that catered to the customer it took me back in time.

      Loyal customers are what we need in our business. People who love our work and will tell others about it.

      Thanks for stopping by…I too miss those little stores!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Learn To Blog Your BrandMy Profile

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