Leadership and Customer Loyalty

Many people have mixed emotions when it comes to Wal-Mart. They are admired for their retail business model, sought after for their low prices and feared by many businesses and communities as a threat to their way of life. Whatever, your perspective on the company, I’ve always admired the wisdom in the words of their founder, Sam Walton.

“There is only one boss – the CUSTOMER. He can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down simply by spending his money somewhere else.”


“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.”

These two quotes capture two of the key ingredients of WalMart’s success: Focus on the customer and empower your people to do their best.

Studies have shown that a small increase in customer retention can result in a dramatic increase in profitability. One of the most important aspects of fostering customer loyalty is how customers are treated at each point of contact, which occurs each time they connect with your company. Sam Walton realized this and put in place in-store greeters – a breakthrough at the time he introduced it. Who is connecting with your customers at the various points of contact in your business? How you treat your employees and create loyalty with them has a direct impact on how your customers are treated.