Leena Rinne on Fierce Loyalty

October 9, 2018 Leena Rinne

Several years into my career as a FranklinCovey consultant, I had the opportunity to facilitate our customer-loyalty solution Leading Customer Loyalty. I was thrilled to join a team that included two incredible colleagues, Sandy Rogers, and Shawn Moon. Now, in partnership with these two great friends, we have researched and written countless hours on the topic of loyalty. As I’ve worked with many leaders to implement the Fierce Loyalty principles, I have an even greater passion for the impact of this content.

The most straightforward application of our customer-loyalty content might be to imagine the behavior of the frontline customer-service representative—the call-center employee or the cashier at the register. This frontline person shapes the loyalty of our customers through every interaction. However, it is the experience of that frontline employee showing up to work every day that shapes how he or she behaves with the customer.

This is where our content gets interesting. This is not a story about the behaviors of the frontline; this is a story about leadership. Leaders not only create culture, but they also create the day-to-day experience of those who work with and for them.

A leader affects whether the team shows up every day hating their jobs and taking it out on customers, or whether they show up ready and engaged to build loyalty in each of their relationships.

As a senior consultant at FranklinCovey, I have had the privilege of working with thousands of leaders across many industries. In most cases, these leaders were passionate about building brilliant cultures, creating loyal customer relationships, and delivering positive outcomes. Some were successful at this, and others truly struggled. It was always interesting when one of these struggling leaders would look at their teams and exclaim in sheer exasperation some version of “Why don’t they get it?”

The inability of leaders to see why their team doesn’t “get it” is full of sobering irony. It is a painful moment to point out the blind spot that allows leaders to criticize their team for missing behaviors that they themselves neither model nor promote. This is where customer-loyalty problems often originate.

The principles we talk about in our book—empathy, responsibility, and generosity—are principles that build customer loyalty. These same principles build loyalty in any relationship. In writing Fierce Loyalty: Cracking the Code to Customer Devotion, we wanted to address the incredible potential a leader can tap into by modeling and living these principles.

Leaders who are successful in building customer loyalty understand that how they treat their team members is a direct line to how the end customer is treated. This applies regardless of who your team is or who your customer is!

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Learn more about building fierce customer loyalty by attending a complimentary webcast.

About the Author

Leena Rinne

Currently in her seventh year with FranklinCovey, Leena was part of the innovation team that developed FranklinCovey’s core productivity solution, The 5 Choices. Her area of interest focuses on how technology impacts productivity in today’s world. Leena was heavily involved with launching The 5 Choices, both in North America and around the world. Leena is FranklinCovey's vice president of consulting and is responsible for the management and development of the consultant team and the ongoing delivery of FranklinCovey programs and solutions.

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