Five barriers to building retail customer loyalty |


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Are you loyal to your customers?

Keith Colbourn of the consulting firm dunnhumby, in a great post on the Retail Customer Experience site, points out that retailers (and most marketers in turn) focus more on generating loyalty from their customers than demonstrating how they are loyal to those best customers in the first place.

To show loyalty, retailers frequently install a  loyalty program (typically a points-based card), as a turnkey solution to their problems. But loyalty programs do not generate loyalty.

Rather, loyalty is the lump sum of all the experiences that a customer has with your brand, in stores, on the phone, through email and on the web site (and now through mobile as well!). No points program will overcome poor  customer experience.

Spam, irrelevant emails and weak, meaningless offers all lead customers to conclude that the retailer is not interested in them as an individual, but is out for the quick transaction. That sense of anonymity leads to a loss of connection and eventually a loss of loyalty.

Likewise, poor, policy-based treatment in person by disinterested staff, either on the phone or in person, has the same result (often quicker).

Marketers and business leaders must focus on customer experience across channels to demonstrate loyalty – only then will loyalty be reciprocated.

And no “silver bullet,” such as a loyalty program, will be the turnkey solution to their problems.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Mark Price
Mark Price is the managing partner and founder of LiftPoint Consulting (, a consulting firm that specializes in customer analysis and relationship marketing. He is responsible for leading client engagements, e-commerce and database marketing, and talent acquisition. Mark is also a RetailWire Brain Trust Panelist, a blogger at and a monthly contributor to the blog of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Marketing Association.


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