Why Repeat Customers May Not Be Loyal Customers

Last Updated September 3rd, 2021


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Note: this conversation with Shep Hyken was originally released as Episode 157 and is edited and re-released as Episode 220.


There’s a difference between repeat customers and loyal customers. It’s often subtle and sometimes difficult to distinguish (especially when you have customers who return time and again). So what’s the difference? It’s the emotional connection between your customers and your brand.

While repeat business should always be something you strive for, loyal customers love doing business with your brand. They feel they can count on you because you’ve demonstrated exceptional qualities like grace and appreciation. To foster customer loyalty established in emotional connection, it’s vital to focus on the next time — every time. Ask yourself: “What am I doing right now for this customer, at this moment, to make sure that they’ll come back next time?”

Our guest today is customer service and customer experience speaker, author, and expert Shep Hyken. Shep is the Chief Amazement Officer at Shepard Presentations. He’s back on The Customer Experience Podcast to discuss the factors that influence customer loyalty — and some of the things that can kill it. He first joined us back on Episode 55, “Create Amazing Customer Experience By Being ‘Slightly Better Than Average.’

Shep is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of nearly a dozen books, with his latest release being I’ll Be Back: How to Get Customers to Come Back Again and Again.

In today’s conversation, Shep highlights that whether it’s through experience or service, every department within a company will touch the customer in some way. To foster customer loyalty and avoid moments of friction, brands must create a culture of customer service. Within this culture, every employee should understand how and where they fit into the customer experience.

Shep is back on the podcast as part of a special series we’re doing this summer. He’s one of 11 experts that Steve Pacinelli and I interviewed in-depth in the process of writing our Wall Street Journal bestselling second book, Human-Centered Communication: A Business Case Against Digital Pollution (Fast Company Press, October 2021).

Throughout this series, we’re back in conversation with each of them in a way that adds to their philosophies, strategies, and tactics included in the book.

Shep Hyken, Human-Centered Communication, Digital Pollution, business book, Chapter 11, Always Be Amazing, customer experience, customer service, digital communication, virtual communication


In this conversation, Shep explains to you:

Why customer service is a philosophy of mind
How to differentiate between repeat business and loyalty
What the common loyalty killers are
How to hire to avoid apathy
Ways to leverage presentation skills to define success



Why Repeat Customers May Not Be Loyal Customers

Hear Episode 157/220 and any other conversation on The Customer Experience Podcast in your preferred podcast player …

While you’re there, please give a couple of extra seconds to click and rate the show. It’s very helpful.


We also embed the full conversation in a playable and searchable format right here in these blog posts. The recording with Shep Hyken is right here …





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Video Highlights: Why Repeat Customers May Not Be Loyal Customers

Check out the top five video highlights from the discussion with customer service and customer experience expert Shep Hyken …


1. Customer Experience is Every Interaction



2. Creating a Culture of Service



3. The Difference Between Loyal Customers and Repeat Business



4. Reducing Employee Apathy



5. Why Read I’ll Be Back and Human-Centered Communication 



Links Related to This Conversation:


Shep Hyken, Human-Centered Communication, Digital Pollution, business book, Always Be Amazing, customer experience, customer service, digital communication, virtual communication, business communication


More in Our Human-Centered Communication Series:



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Ethan Beute | About The Author

Chief Evangelist at BombBomb, co-author of Rehumanize Your Business, and host of The Customer Experience Podcast, Ethan collects and tells stories of clearer communication, human connection, and higher conversion with simple, personal videos. BA: University of Michigan. MBA: University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. Fresh air & clean water.

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