Sometimes large retailers get it right

How do major retailers retain their customers and induce customer loyalty and satisfaction?

How do major retailers retain their customers and induce customer loyalty and satisfaction? According to consultant Pete Bosse, good leadership and proper decision-making play a large part in long-term success.

"Businesses today must fight harder than ever to stop customer defections, increase same-store sales and build customer loyalty," said Bosse. "The decisions can often be traced to a failure of leadership, some sort of process breakdown or attributed to poor training or policies gone awry."

For example, providing human contact can create future loyalty. Walmart places a human greeter at the entrance of their stores, while Enterprise instructs its agents to accompany renters outside to their rental cars.

Another way large retailers' perform great customer service is by swiftly rebounding from disappointment without dwelling or causing a scene. For instance, Bosse noted that when Trader Joe's placed moldy cheese on its aisles, it was replaced "with no questions asked." Also, seafood restaurant McCormick & Schmick's has been known to remove an underwhelming appetizer or entree from the bill.

Business2Community points to another example of recovery success, when Lady Luck Casino in Missouri saw its new valet system go awry - around 20 guests lost their cars. The company responded by apologizing, driving guests home and promising all 20 people their cars would be in their driveways by the next morning.