The approach to building customer loyalty should be pretty simple. Many local merchants build loyalty with customers without fancy loyalty card, points programs or CRM systems. However, most large retailers spend so much time and money on loyalty schemes to attract and retain shoppers, and the programs aren’t wildly successful. In a recent post on Retail Customer Experience here, the author talks about how customer loyalty needs to start with the retailer demonstrating loyalty to the customer first before expecting the same from the customer. This is quite accurate. Think about all the times you’ve been in a retailer and can’t find a knowledgeable sales person, or you have difficulty returning merchandise. These are simple things from a customer perspective, but difficult aspects of retailing to get right. If all retailers abandoned loyalty programs and plowed the money and time into staff training and customer service, they’d have more customer loyalty than they could imagine.