Facebook Facebook icon Twitter Twitter icon LinkedIn LinkedIn icon Email
Customer loyalty is a myth, just ask my taxi driver


Customer loyalty is a myth, just ask my taxi driver

IbyIMD+Published 9 January 2023 in Competitiveness • 6 min read

In his new book The Human Experience, John Sills explains why the ‘usefulness of a retailer or service provider is far more important than any misplaced notions of fidelity.

I loved my local taxi firm – low prices, lots of cars and easy to book. Sure, the car was often “just round the corner” and it was a bit annoying that I had to call if I wanted to pay by card, but overall they were great. I used them all the time.  

Then Uber came along with its one-tap ordering, cashless payment, and map of where your car actually was. So I switched. Immediately. Years of using the same taxi firm meant nothing to me when this new service appeared on my phone screen.  

That’s because, for most organizations, customer loyalty is a myth. Loyalty is a particularly personal thing, driven by association with other humans. It’s a feeling that links people together under some common purpose or relationship, “a strong feeling of support or allegiance” as the Oxford English Dictionary puts it. It’s a feeling of emotional connection, not functional transaction.  

Many of these connections will be with individual people, political parties or athletic affiliations.…

Corporate membership

Login and subscribe to IbyIMD+ subscription

Explore first person business intelligence from top minds curated for a global executive audience