You know, this is probably going to sound weird…

But even though it’s in the subtitle of my book, I really don’t like the term “customer loyalty.”

It implies that it’s up to the customer to be “loyal.”

It implies that when a customer/client stops doing business with us, it’s because they’re “unloyal.”

It implies a character fault in the customer, instead of either a fault in the business or simply the nature of the often transactional relationships between companies and their customers.

I’m loyal to my wife. I’m loyal to my daughters, and I’m loyal to my friends. But if I were to have an affair or to steal from my friends, I’d be considered unloyal, and the world would have no problem attributing a character flaw to me.

But what if I drive by Burger King and have McDonald’s instead – is it because I’m a customer who lacks loyalty?

That’s ridiculous.

The whole concept is a martyr complex for senior executives and business owners to say things like:

“Oh, we’d be doing so much better if only our lousy customers were more loyal! Why did we have the bad luck to get all the unloyal customers?”

In Evergreen, and with my clients, I talk about how to drive continuous repeat business by earning it, and not through the “loyalty guilt trip lens.”

Building an emotional Evergreen connection with your clients is the stuff dreams are made of. It’s the holy grail of eternal life for many companies.

If you’re looking through the wrong lens, though, you’ll never see things clearly enough.

Is it time to get your prescription checked?