Did you know that In the year 2002 the very recently deceased Dr. Daniel Kahneman, a professor of Psychology, won the Nobel Prize for Economics for proving that people make decisions emotionally and then justify them with logic?


I can still remember the sheer joy I felt at this announcement. By that time, I’d been teaching customer retention and loyalty for over a dozen years and this new “credential” made my life a whole lot easier. Frequently I was a woman teaching in groups of almost exclusively male CEO’s and I often used the “F” word.


Feelings. I knew from the beginning that my “revolutionary” ideas that we should CARE about our customers and not just serve them would rustle feathers. So, I appreciated the “bench strength” that Dr. Kahneman’s work provided.

We’ve come a long way baby!


Now we understand beyond a shadow of a doubt that the way to build loyalty with the people who work for us and the people who buy from us is to build emotional connection.

Emotional connection happens through our feelings. We are after all human beings, not just humans buying!


I still find it important to state the facts. Loyalty is important to any company because it gives it stability.

If you know that 60%, 70% or 80% of your customers will come back and buy again and maybe buy more, it makes life easier. For one thing, you can plan and project better.

For another you can use them as a “research team” to discover the next best thing that would tickle their fancy.


There’s a magic to loyalty – and as I like to say, it’s a lot like love.

In fact, when a customer “loves” their car company, their hairdresser, their favorite restaurant, their favorite coffee or their favorite vitamin store the very same part of their mid brain that registers “love and attachment” to a human being, lights up!


Not only does it light up. Their body begins to produce dopamine – one of the “feel good” chemicals. It’s what the body does when in the presence of something we “love.” (Oh, and I’m sure you’ve heard, dopamine can be addictive! It would be nice if your customers were “addicted” to buying from you – metaphorically speaking.)


This is when rational thinking takes a back seat to FEELINGS (There’s that word again) and your customers remember that it feels good to them when they interact with YOU.

What a bonus!


Of course, much of this is going on beneath your customers and employee’s conscious awareness.

When I teach, I talk about building a BIG emotional bank account. Each time you do something positive for a customer or employee, it’s like making a deposit! And if ever you don’t do something well, and need to make a withdrawal from that account, you get a whole lot more understanding!

When you think about it, customer satisfaction is only the door you need to walk through on the way to creating enough value to create retention. And you are not done there. A “retained” customer is just that. In order to create loyalty you have to add emotional value and light up their brains in a different way!

Now when you do that on a regular basis, more money drops to your bottom line (yes, that’s proven too – but a subject for a different Museletter.) When that happens you have more money to invest in programs like I teach which make your employees smarter, and certainly more emotionally intelligent, happier, and less stressed at work and home.


I call this the Appreciating Cycle! Are you creating it?

If not, we need to talk!

Drop me an email with the word “Appreciating” in the subject line and let’s set up a 15 minute chat and you can tell me where you are getting stuck. I always have a lot of ideas to share! JoAnna@ReturnOnHappiness.com (or hit the “return” button.)

Appreciating you at this moment,


Dr. Kahneman was ultimately awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2002 “for having integrated insights from psychological research into economic science, especially concerning human judgment and decision-making under uncertainty”

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