A colleague of mine is fond of saying there is no such thing as customer loyalty. He argues loyalty…true loyalty…loyalty through thick and thin – requires an irrational customer, one who will stay with you regardless of the outcome.
The fact of the matter is customers are rational. What we perceive as loyalty is an illusion, rather it is actually the product of an ongoing calculation each customer makes to either initiate or maintain a relationship with a provider. This is the customer value equation.
The customer value equation is simply the ratio of the benefits of a product or service over the costs of the product or service. If this ratio is greater than 1, the customer will act as if they are loyal. If this ratio is less than 1, the customer will behave as if they are disloyal.
The numerator in this equation contains all the possible…
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