By Shep Hykin
The Cult of the Customer comes from five very distinct phases, or cults, that companies operate in. Do any of these describe you and/or your company?
1. The Cult of Uncertainty – This is where most companies are working from. In the worst situation, the customer has no confidence as the experiences are unpredictable. Not to beat up on the airlines, but how confident can one be that a flight will be on time when the airline arrives on time only 75% of the time?
2. The Cult of Alignment – This is where the company has created a brand promise, or mantra, that lets employees and customers know what to expect. For example, Outback Steakhouse had a brand promise that was “Great Food, No Rules!”
3. The Cult of Experience – Even with a great brand promise, the customer may not have
confidence until that promise is experienced, sometimes numerous times.
4. The Cult of Ownership – Once the customer experiences the promise, and it is predictable,
the customer owns it. This is a powerful place to be.
5. The Cult of Amazement – This is the ultimate Cult. When the experience is predictable and
is consistently better than average, the company has risen beyond satisfactory. People may
think that “amazement” means a WOW experience. Yet it is simpler than that. It is confidence
in a consistently above average experience that puts companies into this Cult.
It is in the Cult of Amazement where customer loyalty really begins. Understanding the five
Cults, and where you and your company fit in, is the beginning of creating Amazement, which
leads to loyalty and eventually evangelism; when your customers are more than just loyal.
It’s when they rave about you to their friends and associates.
Which Cult are you in?
Here is your homework assignment. Find out more about these five Cults, and where you and
your company fits in by going to www.CultOfTheCustomer.com/forms and download (at no
cost) a checklist. Before you can know where you are going, you have to know where you
Shep Hyken, CSP is a professional speaker and author who works with companies who want
to develop loyal relationships with their customers and employees. For more information on
Shep’s speaking presentations, including his customer service speaking programs, books, tapes
and learning programs please contact (314) 692-2200. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.
Copyright ©2009 by Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE and Shepard Presentations, LLC