Customer service

How to Have a Successful Customer Loyalty Department?

4 min read · Listen

Recently I wanted to cancel my bank account and I finally contacted the customer loyalty department. 

I won't say which bank it was because it didn't give anyone a bad press, but the reason for the cancellation is relevant: I was very angry. 

The bank account was giving me more and more problems, and every time I wanted to do something, they didn't give me any solutions:

  • Can I have a contactless card? I can't.
  • Can I authorize my daughter on the account? No, I can't.
  • Can I open a bank account with her by phone? No, you can't.
  • Can I keep the conditions I agreed  when I opened the account? I cannot either.

With this situation, I was very upset and was about to cancel. But before reaching this point, I phoned and emailed many times because direct debiting receipts and payments at a new bank is a pain in the ass and I wanted to avoid it. 

In all these calls I was passed on to:

  • The customer service department.
  • The technical incidents department.
  • With my "personalized" manager.
  • With the commercial department.

And it's not until I call back angry and convinced to cancel that I get passed on to the customer loyalty department. 

After offering me lots of things that had solved my anger and problem at the time, I ended up canceling. 


loyalty department function

It was perfect for me to write this article, the 15 minutes I spent on the phone with Victor from the customer loyalty department would have been an absolute waste of time. 

And, in any case, it was for the bank, because I left.

How NOT to approach the customer loyalty department?

In the United States it's more common to find this type of "customer loyalty" department that basically fights with all kinds of tricks to try to keep you a little longer by paying for a service. 

There is even a thread in Reddit of a tormented guy who works in one of these departments. 

You don't have to read the thread: customer loyalty departments of this type do NOT work.

But how are the customer loyalty departments that do work?

Some time ago, I also wanted to cancel my American Express and was talked with the customer loyalty department. 

The difference with my other bank is that, in the 3 years that I have been a client, I have had a fluid communication with them. They had offered me interesting promotions without me asking for them and, whenever I had a problem, they had taken care of it from that same department. 

So much so that when I had been a client for 2 years and went to cancel, they contacted me and convinced me to stay for another year. And I was very happy. 

In the end, in the third year, I had to cancel it, but it had nothing to do with the service, which was great, nor with the customer loyalty department, which I liked better than many people I've gone out with.

What is the difference between these 2 customer loyalty departments?

The big difference is that the department of the first bank I told you about (and that of the Reddit thread) are a group of people whose mission is impossible to prevent annoying customers from leaving. 

American Express is a team that is in touch with customer service, sales and marketing and that, during the whole time you are a customer, they try to help you. 

And that, at the moment of truth, changes everything.

Should I have a customer loyalty department in my company?

It depends, mainly, on whether you are going to bet on customer loyalty or not.

  • If the only task of this department is going to be to process casualties, surely they can do it from customer service.
  • If the only task of the department is going to be to make sporadic promotions, surely they can do it from marketing.
  • If the only task of the department is going to be to solve specific incidents, surely they can do it from product or IT.

However, if, like American Express, you are going to have an ambitious customer loyalty programme, you are going to take exceptional care of your best customers and you want to provide a personalised service that exceeds everyone's expectations, then you need that customer loyalty department. 

Sometimes, to start seeing the possibilities of a customer loyalty department in your company, you can start with a CRM Manager with a special focus on this area.

And the most important tool in that department is a CRM

At efficy we are very much in favour of customer loyalty departments that really build loyalty. And that's why our tool is incredibly adapted to them. 

The best proof that the system works is that we have over 4,500 customers in more than 33 countries. 

Do you want to try it? 

Find out if efficy is the best option for your business 


Keep reading:

The 6 Stages of the SaaS Customer Lifecycle Explained: Don’t Miss These Key Touchpoints

Your Guide to SaaS Customer Loyalty