Category Archives: Customer Retention

Conquer the Biggest Threat to Business Success with Exceptional Leadership

leadership purple

I recently encountered a statistic stating:

“84% of senior leaders globally say disengaged employees are one of the three biggest threats facing their business – yet only 12% of them report regularly working to address employee engagement.” (The Economist, Reengaging with Engagement Report)

A recent study by Mercer revealed the top five factors that influence employee motivation and engagement globally are:

  • Being treated with respect
  • Work/Life balance
  • Type of work
  • Quality of coworkers
  • Quality of leadership

Quality of leadership is critical for motivating and engaging employees,

What is necessary to boost the quality of your leadership in order to increase productivity and profitability?

The single most important factor in employee engagement is creating an emotional commitment between the employee and the organization.  To do this, leaders need to focus on the following building blocks to become a magnetic leader who conquers the threats disengaged employees present to their business.

  1. Be Authentic:  Being comfortable in your own skin, finding your passion and pursuing that passion will empower people to step up and create their own value within the organization.
  1. Ask & Listen:

Asking questions of your employees and actually listening and responding to their concerns builds trust.  60% of employees with a low degree of trust in management intend to leave their organization, compared to 20% with a high degree of trust. (Center for Creative Leadership, World Leadership Survey, 2010)

  1. Communicate:

Almost 2/3 of all employees are 33% as productive as they could be because they don’t understand what they are being asked to do. (The Conference Board 2010)  Leaders who communicate regularly, clearly and effectively with their employees will significantly increase productivity.

  1. Be Confident:

When you make a business decision considering all factors, potential outcomes and risks and then present those to members of the organization when initiating a change, individuals will be more inclined to embrace the changes presented.  Confidence in your decision is critical to getting others to believe in the change.

As a leader, when you begin to harness the irresistible forces of exceptional leadership, you will create a culture where the emotional connection between individuals and the organization is palpable and inevitably measurable in the increased profitability and productivity of the organization as a whole.

At this year’s ICMI Conference in Long Beach, CA, Dianne Durkin of Loyalty Factor will be presenting a workshop and Encore presentation of  The Power of Magnetic Leadership.  These sessions will delve into the process of becoming a magnetic leader, and provide valuable tools for leaders to improve their organizations through communication, trust and engagement and gather tips on how to create the essential emotional connection between individuals and the organization!  Don’t miss it!!!

Happy Holidays!!


Happy holidays to you and yours from our President, Dianne Durkin, and all of us here at Loyalty Factor.  May your final days of 2015 be merry and bright, and may you have the happiest and most successful New Year!!

Refuel, Recharge, Re-energize the Heart of Your Organization

Competition is fierce in today’s business climate and an organization is only as successful as the people within the operation.  Increasing your employee engagement is the cornerstone of your business transformation.  By creating “WOW” experiences for your employees, you will refuel, recharge and reenergize your organization from the inside out.

The key steps to catapult your organization to new levels of achievement with increased performance and profits.

  • Be transformational versus transactional
  • Identify strategies to “WOW” your employees
  • Engaging and Empowering Employees
  • Motivate, coach and develop employees

What Keeps Leaders Up at Night

No matter how successful you are, if you’re like most leaders, you’re occasionally plagued by the doubt that accompanies typical management questions.

In her book, What Keeps Leaders Up at Night, Nicole Lipkin provides the following 2 pieces of advice: Don’t be:

  1. Too afraid to lose: A leader afraid to lose will paralyze himself by
  • Worrying excessively about failing to get the right results
  • Questioning and second-guess every step of the way
  • Avoiding decisions and commitments that might cause mistakes
  1. Too busy to win: Excessive busyness can impair performance and productivity, making you increasingly forgetful, fatigued, and prone to poor decision making and problem solving.
  2. Too proud to see: We all get wrapped up in our own ideas by
  • Letting yourself get so tied to an idea that you won’t let it go
  • Refusing to heed the advice of others
  • Relying on your past successes at the expense of weighing different patterns, options or solutions.

To avoid these pitfalls, a leader must be self-aware!  Taking a moment to reflect and eliminate any unproductive behaviors will make you a better leader and help you to sleep better!

For an honest assessment of your leadership style and to learn how to energize your inner powers despite the outer pressures, call Dianne Durkin, author of The Power of Magnetic Leadership, at 603-334-3401!

Face Time Still Your Most Valuable Asset

The millennials moving into the workforce come with a big imaginary technology bubble wrapped around them.  Corporate leaders see Generations Y and Z coming and mistakenly make room for the bubble to fit through the door – offering social media, instant messaging, texting, skype, e-mail and other remote communication methods.

A recent study by Randstad identifies that 51% of Gen Z and 52% of Gen Y chose the face-to-face meeting as their preferred form of communication.  Less than 20% of each generation said they prefer e-mail.

These amazing statistics bode well for your organization.  The traditional, culture-building team meetings are still top on the list, even for your newest team members!  The need for human interaction remains strong.

For generations, it has been proven that communication is critical to the success of an organization.  As corporate leaders in an evolving workplace, maintaining the grass roots communication should be a priority.  It is face-to-face where we can see expressions, emotion and gestures – all things that are very difficult to gauge when utilizing newer forms of technology.

Plan a meeting, invite everyone.  The technology is simple and the results exponential!a500-virtual-team

Touch Points

Portrait of a happy young car mechanic holding wrench with car on hoist in background. Horizontal shot.

This morning on NPR they were talking about car recalls and the impact recalls have on corporate success.  Despite having more than 2.5 million recalled vehicles and only 200,000 repairs thus far, GM has not seen a decline in their stock value.  Really quite remarkable considering there have been 13 deaths associated with this particular recall.

Why aren’t these recalls impacting the bottom-line for car dealerships?  First, corporate pays for the repairs on the vehicles.  Second, each time a customer comes back to the dealership for a recall repair, the service department has another touch point – another chance to make a positive impact with the customer.

Service departments can dazzle the customer with their kindness, honesty, efficiency, customer-centric response.  It is these experiences that will bring the same customer back for oil changes, inspections, minor repairs and HOPEFULLY, the big jobs!

Bad news in business (like that of a recall) can easily be turned into something positive.  Keep the focus on the customer and your customer loyalty might actually increase.

The Environmental Crisis, Part I



In Leadership 2030 Georg Vielmetter and Yvonne Sell highlight six megatrends facing businesses as we move into the future.  They believe the megatrend with the most profound impact is the environmental crisis.    The five essential points of the crisis are:

  1. Climate change is real and almost irreversible.
  2. Critical resources are being depleted. Peak oil supply from conventional sources was reached in 2006.  Water shortages are becoming increasingly drastic.  Rare earth minerals – essential to modern technology – are becoming scarcer, more expensive, and more difficult to reach.
  3. The implications for business and leaders are potentially catastrophic. At best, this means drastically reduced margins and at worst, deep global recession and social turmoil.
  4. Carbon footprint moves from social responsibility to the bottom line. Organizations will need to embed environmental awareness into their processes and decision making in order to create a culture and operations that minimize environmental impact.
  5. Leaders will need to think transformationally to achieve this, communicate a clear rationale for such radical change, and ensure that they execute the vision.

How should businesses respond to this environmental crisis?  Leaders will need to create sustainable operations and cope with rising costs of resources that are drying up.

To learn more about the six megatrends facing business leaders today, contact Dianne Durkin today at 603.334.3401 to book her to deliver her newest topic “Transforming your Leadership to Conquer Future Trends”

A+ Attitudes

I recently presented the topic Supercharge Your Organization by Hiring for A+ Attitudes for several audiences.  As someone who has hired many people, I can’t say enough about uncovering the candidate’s attitude during the interview process.  Anyone can have the skills needed, but only certain people have the attitude that fits with the organization, the job, and the leadership.

72% of all HR and hiring managers base their hiring decisions on skills and experience despite the fact that 53 – 89% of new hire failures are due to attitudinal issues.

Don’t let this be you.

Make smart hiring choices.

Ask questions, uncover personalities, be choosy.  It’ll pay off!


Relationship Economics

What’s the most valuable asset you or your business possesses?  Is it your physical resources?  Your intellectual properties? Your work force?  Your skills and knowledge?  All are important aspects of business success.  But you can’t get the most advantage from any one of them if you don’t make the right strategic investments in your relationships.  It’s called building relational capital. 

David Nour in his book Relationship Economics offers 3 things you can do to build relational capital:


Become More Interesting:

Did you know that only an estimated 27 percent of all Americans have a valid passport?  Travel, whether domestically or abroad, is a perfect opportunity to expand your horizons, provide unique perspectives on very different social styles, and in the process, hopefully provide you with a new outlook on not only how we as US citizens view the world but also how the rest of the world views us.
Build a Personal Brand:

Regardless of your profession, when others engage you, buy from you, work with you, or trust and invest in you, they are in essence buying three things: your product or service, the perception of the company behind the product or service, and the brand called you.


Become Known for Content:

As a mentor often reminds me, “If you don’t toot your own horn, there is no music!”  How are you combining content – your unique ideas, insights and perspectives – with context and applying it to specific situations of others to improve their condition?


Dianne Durkin, President of Loyalty Factor, offers training and personal coaching with particular emphasis on building relational capital.  Contact Loyalty Factor ( today at to schedule your session and get moving forward towards building a strong personal brand!

Ski School

I recently had a close friend who experienced extraordinary customer service and the lessons we could all learn from it are too great not to share:

Loyalty Factor

“Several weeks ago I visited a local ski resort with my three children.  I opted to sign my nine year old up for an alpine ski lesson on the last day to improve his seemingly ‘stuck’ form.  Upon delivering him, I requested they put him in a group where he could work on the transition from the pizza wedge to a parallel skier.  His lesson was two hours and when I went to pick him up, his instructor told me he had spent the day in the woods and explained what he “would have taught him”, but “today we just played.”

I was very upset.  I recognized the need for ski school to be fun, but felt they fell short of meeting any educational objectives.  Upon returning from our trip, I sent a note to the ski school director and touched on two points:

1. My disappointment that no instruction or advancing happened during my son’s lesson despite me explicitly stating my goals when dropping off.

2. My concerns about him being led in the woods, the risks, and the repercussions had he encountered a tree during these escapades.

I also requested a refund of the lesson fee I had paid.

Within just 24 hours I received a response acknowledging my e-mail, stating he was in the process of gathering information from his staff, and requesting a telephone call for the following day.  True to his word, I received a call from the ski school the director the following day.  He gathered clarifying information, expressed his disappointment that his school had failed in an attempt to meet our goals, and shared with me the changes he was implementing to prevent issues like this going forward.

Once the director acknowledged their short comings, he expressed that he believed the best response would be for them to ‘try again’ to meet my expressed objectives.  His resolution was to offer my son a private 1.5 hour lesson with a hand-picked instructor.

Here we are, back from the lesson and I am literally dazzled by how my frustrations were handled.  I am not in awe of their process and the transformation of my little skier in just 1.5 hours is remarkable.  More importantly, I am grateful that my feelings were heard.  It would have been very simple for the director to refund my fee.  Instead, he responded by offering a solution that was valued at almost 2 times the amount I originally spent.

His customer focus was perfection. He listened, he heard, he responded.  For him it wasn’t about the money earned or the money lost, it was about my happiness.  They met my goals, they made me happy, they earned a customer for life.  We can’t wait to go back!”


Loyalty Factor specializes in guiding leaders as they transition to Relationship Era marketing and seek to develop long-term relationships founded in trust.  To learn more about our programs and mentoring, visit or call 603.334.3401.



Dianne Durkin is president and founder of Loyalty Factor, a specialized consulting and training company that enhances employee, customer and brand loyalty for some of the nation’s most prominent corporations and many smaller businesses. Durkin has over 25 years experience in finance, direct sales, international marketing and training and development.

Dianne’s proven expertise lies in helping companies quickly get to the core issues and outlining their impact on the organization’s profits, productivity and people. She authored “The Loyalty Factor: Building Employee, Customer and Brand Loyalty,” and the newly released “The Power of Magnetic Leadership”.