Loyalty Is Not What You Buy, It’s What You Earn

You might be part of a frequent flyer loyalty program – but are you really loyal to any airline? They may buy your attachment or obligation – but not loyalty. We explain the difference and how to earn loyalty whatever your industry

What some leaders call loyalty is in fact not – it may be attachment or obligation, or even being stuck – but it’s definitely not loyalty.

In this whitepaper, you’ll look at loyalty in a brand new way, learn what active customer loyalty is, and how to earn it to achieve long-term growth and success.

Build a path to stakeholder loyalty: download the whitepaper with the form below.

A Look Inside

I had been thinking about customer loyalty for a long time and concluded that what some leaders call loyalty is not; it may be attachment or obligation or being stuck, but it’s definitely not loyalty. This conclusion was confirmed on a recent cross-country flight where I had plenty of time to think thanks to being forced to sit on a plane for three hours due to what the pilot called “mechanical glitches.” Maybe I should have felt at ease when the Captain assured me that the delay was for my own safety. I could buy that, but I surely would have preferred the plane not break down, or that when it did, to be allowed off the plane (we were still at the gate), or even to be offered refreshments and assured with regular updates on my flight’s status.

Despite the fact that I have traveled more than two million miles on this particular airline, I wouldn’t describe what I was feeling toward the airline as loyalty. Instead, I was in a snit and angry about the dehumanizing way the airline treated its customers, including me, and ruminating over my status as a frequent-flyer biggie. The airline calls me a “loyal customer” and even sends me an exclusive looking card and luggage tags to prove it. Because I have “the card,” I get to board early for my seat and bring a carry-on bag for free. But I don’t feel indulged, or even appreciated for that matter.

In fact, on this particular day I wasn’t feeling like a biggie, or a loyal customer – more like part of a herd. On the face of it, more than two million miles should qualify me as a loyal customer, but perhaps not, as I have more than a million miles on each of the airline’s two primary competitors. Besides that, I never go out of my way to travel on one airline over another. That “go out of my way” thing seems crucial to any claim of customer loyalty.

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