Why a culture of belief is crucial to customer loyalty

This is a guest post from Jeanne Bliss — customer experience expert and author of “I Love You More Than My Dog.” See the original post this is adapted from and more like it on her blog.

Too often in our daily lives, it feels as if businesses hold all the cards.

As employees, we are penned in by rules and regulations which seem to define our every move. As customers, we fear we don’t know the rules. Or worry that we aren’t following them. And sometimes even worse, that we will not be believed.

Let’s say you have purchased a shirt, never worn, that you need to return. As the bag is handed over the counter and the salesclerk gives it the once-over, why is there an irrational fear that often takes hold, kicking in an instinct to defend yourself for making the return? This is because, as customers, we’ve come to expect to not be trusted.

In another example, let’s say you are driving your car with your child playing in the backseat. Distracted by the little show going on behind your back, you take your eyes off the road for a minute and experience a fender bender with the car in front of you. You brace for the call to the insurance company that you’ve been paying for years to cover incidents such as this one. But what do you feel? The first emotion is usually fear that the accident won’t be covered, followed by the fear that your story to the auto insurance claims department won’t be believed.

Beloved companies grasp that most people strive to do the right thing.

They decide to believe. They believe in their employees and they believe their customers.

There is no more powerful testament of trust than belief. “I believe you” means “I trust you.” Beloved companies decide to believe. They believe their customers. And they believe those who serve them. Each beloved company makes key decisions that mark its place in the universe with customers. Nurturing the organization first is always among them. That is why so many companies beloved by customers are also beloved by employees. That is why they are the greatest places to work.

How do your answers compare to the beloved company?

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About Jeanne Bliss

As “Chief Customer Officer” for Lands’ End, Mazda, Coldwell Banker, Allstate, and Microsoft, Jeanne got “customer” on the strategic agenda, earned 98% loyalty rates, and changed experiences across 50,000-person operations. Jeanne now runs CustomerBliss to create an actionable path for profitability and business growth -- through earning customer and employee raves. Her best-selling books are Chief Customer Officer and I Love You More than My Dog: Five Decisions that Drive

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