Return on Behavior Magazine
Home for marketing and customer service professionals

Customer Experience

November 24th, 2010

How is your behaviour impacting customer loyalty?

behavior impacting

As business owners we’re constantly looking for ways to engage our customers in a meaningful way that keeps them loyal, and ensures they buy more from us, more frequently. The process of measurement and rewarding might be done informally, or you might have a more structured approach where you formally score your customers based on current and potential spend and reward them accordingly.

My question is, how is your behaviour impacting customer loyalty? I’m not talking about your behaviour with your customers but your behaviour with your employees. I want you to consider that your employees probably treat your customers in the same way you treat them. I’ll say that again… your employees probably treat your customers in the same way you treat them.

For many businesses, your staff are the front-line of your sales and marketing efforts, so if you’re not investing in your staff in the same way you invest in your customers, and looking to engage them in a meaningful way, they’re hardly going to deliver a great customer experience. Happy employees are much more likely to represent our brand in a positive manner, and that directly impacts our customer loyalty.

Marketing actually begins internally, and not in an artificial way as we might develop an idea for an advertising campaign. I’m talking about getting employees actively involved in the ‘way we do things around here’. Just as we try to generate advocates of our customers, we should be focused on making our employees raving fans of our business.

It sounds like a lot of work. It is however the businesses that are doing it successfully are shown to reap the benefits. Here are a few quick examples:

  • Training: Zappos ( run a 4-week, fully paid intensive training program as part of their recruitment process, to ensure the new staff are immersed in the company’s values and culture. They even offer trainees $1,000 to quit at the end of the first week, to ensure the people who stay are committed to the business (they get less than 10% take-up). The result: a business that is defined by their superior customer service, and has gone from start-up in 1999, to $1 Billion in sales in 2009.
  • Making your staff ‘owners’ in the business: Staff at the New Belgium Brewing Company ( become ‘owners’ after one year of employment. They also practice open book management on financial performance, which means employees have the information, and incentive to work together on ways to improve business performance. The result: Third-largest boutique brewer in the US, less than 10% staff turnover, strong focus on sustainability and tremendous growth (between 2003 and 2007, production increased more than 50 percent to an estimated 450,000 barrels of beer).
  • Research and Development: At FreshBooks ( their IT development team is given one day a month to ‘Hack Off’ on anything they choose. The changes range from added-features, cleaning up back-end code to developing weird and wonderful applications – the only rule is it needs to be completed in a day. At the end of the day, the whole company takes a tour and votes on the best project. The Result: Amazing business growth – Freshbooks has served 1.6 million users since its launch in May 2004.

All these brands understand how important it is to have employees who are committed, energetic and enthusiastic about their business as it directly results in better service, and increased customer loyalty and retention.

Are your employees totally engaged in your business? I’d love to hear examples of how your staff engagement has impacted your customer loyalty and overall business performance.

**Image courtesy of the New Belgium Brewing Company:

About the Author

Joel Norton


Joel is Chief Strategy Officer of Boost Marketing, a specialist small business marketing consultancy. He is an accomplished marketing professional with 22 years experience, and is passionate about delivering strategic, practical marketing solutions that help small business to be more profitable. Joel is also a sought after speaker on the elements of small business marketing. You can follow Joel on twitter @BoostHQ or his small business marketing blog




Customer Experience Exchange 2011

We were recently invited along to the recent Customer Experience Exchange down in Berlin as one of the Media partners, and could not turn down the chance to meet and talk with some of the biggest and brightest names working wit...
by Fredrik Abildtrup


Experiensumer : The new consumer profile

Many brands, and an entirely market are increasingly pointing out to a new consumer profile, the experiensumer. Characteristics of this profile are: - Sees consumption far beyond a transaction or a process, with a more experien...
by David Camps


Analyst Research Highlights Need To Provide A Unified Customer Experience

We look at the findings from the recent research commissioned from IDC looking at how retailers can improve their sales and customer retention through improved multichannel planning and customer service cites the fact that sto...
by Ariel Lüdi


art of keeping

Measuring the customer experience

We take a look with Fredrik Abildtrup, the CEO of TeleFaction on how to measure the customer experience.. Using his experience, he takes us through the steps that we need to go through in order to really gain the insights of th...
by James Digby

costy of bad cem

Bad customer experiences are more expensive than you think

How much does a bad customer experience cost? The number may surprise you. I read an article on yesterday that shared results from the Tealeaf 2010 Online Transactions Survey conducted by Harris Interactive. T...
by Tim Sanchez


customers right

It’s not about the customer…

Customer service is a sometimes long-forgotten asset. To create unforgettable customer service, you need to begin with unforgettable employee experiences. In this video, John explains more  
by John Hersey

excellence is everywhere

Excellence is everywhere

Author Brian Wolf gets asked frequently “Which countries are the most advanced in loyalty marketing?” His view is that here are no great countries, just great companies… When I first became completely involved...
by Peter Clark


road to cm experience

The Road to Customer Loyalty

Customer satisfaction has long been the predominant measure of a company’s success. While it’s important to satisfy the customers your business serves, perhaps the most important measure of success for businesses—large a...
by Peggy Carlaw

brand vs customer

Brands versus the Customer Experience

To understand what is relevant and does get traction with customers, it is critical to recognize that the pursuit of market share and commodity sales are not the same thing. Germane to this distinction are the two buying perso...
by John Todor


Multi-channel customer experience

We have contact centers, emails, web, events and of course social media, and all have different ways of interacting with customers, and different data sets. So, the question becomes – how do you achieve the holy grail of a si...
by James Digby



Be the first to comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Anti-Spam Quiz: