Two kinds of loyalty

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The first kind of loyalty is the loyalty of convenience.

I’m going to look around, sure, but probably won’t switch. Switching is risky, it’s time consuming. Switching means a new account manager or moving my software or reprinting something. Switching means I might make a mistake or lose my voyager miles or have to defend a new decision.

Companies are getting ever better at building this sort of loyalty of convenience

Then there’s the other kind of loyalty. This is the loyalty of, “I’m not even looking.”

This is the loyalty of, “I’m the kind of person that sticks with people who stick with me.”

This is the loyalty of someone who does not even want to know that there is a better deal somewhere else, because, after all, he is in it for the long haul.

The problem with the loyalty of convenience is that the customer is always tempted to look and look some more, and the supplier is always working to build barriers, barriers that don’t necessarily increase satisfaction, but merely build a wall of hassle around the (now) trapped customer.

We don’t have a common business term for this sort of feeling, but ‘stuck’ comes to mind.

The beauty of the second kind of loyalty, the loyalty of identity and satisfaction, is that the person who is not even looking is committed, as committed to the relationship as the supplier is. You earn this sort of loyalty, you don’t architect it.

You can only focus on creating one sort of loyalty at a time.

What kind of loyalty are you building for your customers in your business?

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