Leena Rinne on Leading Loyalty


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 Leading 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 Leading 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!

Engage your team to win the heart of every customer with Leading Customer Loyalty. Register for a complimentary webcast today and learn how companies get their frontline teams to act in a way that builds customer loyalty and drives faster growth.


About the Author

Leena Rinne

Leena Rinne is FranklinCovey's Vice President of Consulting. She is responsible for the management and development of the consultant team and the ongoing world class delivery of FranklinCovey programs and solutions. Leena is co-author of the Wall Street Journal bestselling book, The 5 Choices: The Path to Extraordinary Productivity, and also co-authored the forthcoming book, Leading Customer Loyalty: Cracking the Code to Customer Devotion. Currently in her 14th year with FranklinCovey, Leena’s passion lies in supporting client to develop great leaders and create winning cultures.

More Content by Leena Rinne
Previous Article
What's Your Story?
What's Your Story?

Scott Miller shares the importance of knowing your story as a leader, especially how it helps you to effect...

Next Article
The Focusing Power of No
The Focusing Power of No

It is incumbent upon leaders to say no to good ideas every day in order to focus on the wildly important st...

6 Ways to Help Your Team Handle Stress During Times of Change

Download Guide