What are the ‘hygiene factors’ of customer loyalty?

In Customer Experience, Loyalty & CRM by emily


There's a term in business management called ‘hygiene factors'. It describes elements of the workplace that can lead to employee dissatisfaction. These typically include pay, conditions and relationships with peers. Although these factors might not make the employee satisfied, if there is a problem with any of these, it will certainly make them dissatisfied.

It's a term that has resonance in the field of customer loyalty. If all is well the customer might not love you, but when something is wrong, the customer will certainly have negative feelings. If you want an example, just read this blog post from a Barnes & Noble customer whose e-edition of the New York Times doesn't arrive on time each morning. It's really annoying him and his loyalty to that company running out fast. What's also interesting is the fact that he is wondering whether Amazon would do a better job – it's leading to customer disloyalty.

So what are the ‘hygiene factors' of customer loyalty? What does business need to get right to make sure customers don't become disloyal. Here are my initial suggestions – what do you think?

1. The speed at which the customer gets to speak to a human about a problem

2. A ‘can do' attitude from customer service personnel

3. Ease of purchase – someone there to serve, an easy to navigate website

4. Recognition of customers who are loyal

.5 Good customer care policies, such as returns and refunds