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Parity between Good Customer Service and Customer Loyalty

During this past week, I once again grew to appreciate the continued good service of American Express.  I lost an American Express credit card while on a trip to Boston.  For a moment I panicked, but I was quickly reassured by American Express that all will be okay.  The AE operator assured me that my old card would be cancelled, I would not be held responsible for any charges made by the possible finder of the card, and I would have a new card the next day. They even asked if I needed any cash. And, yes, the card was delivered by UPS the next day.

This is what you call “good service” and good execution by a company to fulfill the customer’s expectations. This is their differentiation value, or “DV,” from other credit card companies. It is the reason I continue to believe in their service and reputation, and keep renewing my card with them.

StarbucksBarristaCustomer loyalty also comes in different sizes and ways.  I am a “Starbucks snob,” I guess.  The reason I enjoy Starbucks is that I get a consistent good cup of coffee.  I also like walking into my Starbucks and hearing Heidi, the store manager, tell me good morning and remember what my drink order is—a triple latte, skinny, no foam with an equal on bottom. She even remembers my name. Good service and customer recognition: that is why I go out of my way to visit “THIS Starbucks” store versus another, or their competition.

This is what small establishments often do well: they successfully compete by delivering good customer service, securing a loyal customer base. The integration of good customer service training in our operations, along with our corporate culture, translates into customer loyalty.  This is how you retain clients and customers.  There is parity between good service and the resulting loyal customers.