Customer Loyalty: A Journey, Not a Destination

Tracy Borreson on July 19, 2017

All too often, you hear brands talking about customer loyalty like it’s a one-time thing:

“Oh, we did a customer survey and x% of people said they are loyal to our brand! Good job us! We’ve done a great job; now we can move on to something else.”


Think about a good experience you’ve had with one of your favorite brands. Now, think about whether the confidence you gained from that interaction was ever shaken. Got an example? That’s what happens when we focus on “one-time” or “one-interaction” loyalty. The biggest issue? One-time is NEVER sustainable.

Our goal, as a brand, is to continually convince people that they like to do business with us, so WHY would we ever stop measuring loyalty?

The answer is, we can’t. Loyalty needs to be maintained on an ongoing basis, across your entire customer’s journey.

Man! That sounds like a big job! Not gonna lie, it is. And it’s not a one-person job either. Or even a one-DEPARTMENT job. Whether you call it customer loyalty, customer experience (which drives your loyalty), or even just basic customer service, it is an ongoing investment that your business needs to make in your customers; otherwise, they’ll cease to exist.

So, what can I do? The best advice I always give to brands embarking on this journey is: BE the customer.

Now, you may or may not do business specifically with your company; this is an especially common issue for B2B companies. But you do business with a variety of companies daily. You interact with them online; you interact with them face-to-face; you may even still interact with them through a call center. You know which experiences feel good and which ones don’t.

Now think about this: what if EVERYONE in your organization was using that knowledge to impact YOUR customers in a positive way?

THIS is what we call a Customer-Centric Culture. Common sense used company-wide.

The Secret to creating this Customer-Centric Culture? Your People.

I’d like you to think about another time in your career; a time in the past where you had to follow a process in which you didn’t believe. Ugh, I don’t like thinking about it, but I know it’s there for all of us. Now, how much of yourself did you put into completing the tasks within that process? 30%? 80%? Although different people have different levels of personal accountability, I can guarantee that if you didn’t believe in the process, it did not get 100% from you. The only way to ensure people are invested in processes 100% is to make sure you have the right people in the first place.

The wrong people, with the right process, are still only going to get it right 80% of the time for your customers. Is that good enough?

I hope you’re all saying a resounding “NO!” If so, you’re on the right path to creating your own customer-centric organizations.

It may seem like we got a little off-course. You may be thinking, “I thought this post was about the journey of customer loyalty?” But consider this:

You can see and do amazing things on vacation by yourself. But add someone else into the picture—a spouse, a family member, a friend, or even a co-worker. How much better can a vacation be made by including others that are also out to see and do amazing things?

As much as we like to think it sometimes, no one is an island. We need our work team to make us, and the organization, better. The journey that you are on as a team CREATES the customer loyalty in your own brand journey. So don’t forget to make that integral investment in your team; you AND your customers will thank you for it.