Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Loyalty is not for ever

Businesses confuse customer loyalty with the kind of loyalty which we mean in patriotism. Customer loyalty is not necessarily linked to emotional loyalty, but purely to behavior. When a customer switches, he or she is disloyal. Now this may be because he or she moved and has to change, say cable company, or airline most frequently flown. So when companies put a lot of emphasis into measuring satisfaction, they are only measuring one component. Customers are also loyal because of convenience, contracts, exit barriers, peer pressure, and they may outweigh dissatisfaction measures.

Behavioral measures in so many things are far more valuable than perceptions and attitides of mind. This is why such analytical tools as Dunn Humby are so much more valuable than attitudes. This is why anthropology can be more valuable than psychology in that it centers around observed behavior rather than claimed behavior.

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