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Lasting customer loyalty: a total customer experience approach

Oswald A. Mascarenhas (College of Business Administration, University of Detroit Mercy, Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Ram Kesavan (College of Business Administration, University of Detroit Mercy, Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Michael Bernacchi (College of Business Administration, University of Detroit Mercy, Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 1 December 2006




Understanding and delivering total customer experience (TCE) in order to sustain lasting customer loyalty (LCL) is increasingly important given the pressures of commoditization, globalization and market saturation in developed countries. The purpose of this paper is to review the concepts of TCE and LCL.


The concepts of TCE and LCL are discussed and defined and their combined importance for marketers is outlined and few key cases of their best practices are analyzed in order to derive a set of managerial frameworks for strategizing TCE to achieve LCL. Customer loyalty as a hierarchical ladder starting from random casual awareness in the bottom rung to high bonding loyalty of brand communities in the topmost rung is derived


TCE is captured in its three essential interactive elements: physical moments, emotional involvement moments, and its value chain moments. Accordingly, a typology of customer loyalties is proposed as a function of high vs low levels of the three constitutive elements of TCE.

Practical implications

The loyalty ladder is a useful classification tool to monitor customer loyalty and dollar‐effectiveness of customer loyalty programs. Each rung offers a managerial challenge to ascend to the next rung of loyalty.


Linking TCE with LCL is unique and challenging. Adding the third dimension of value chain moments makes TCE more focused and loyalty‐driven. The typology of TCE‐based customer loyalty is new and offers a broad strategic canvas for marketers. The loyalty ladder with each rung buttressed by differentiated value, interactive relationship and TCE makes it credible, viable and a strategic destiny. TCE and LCL are also distinguished from related concepts in marketing to derive managerial implications.



Mascarenhas, O.A., Kesavan, R. and Bernacchi, M. (2006), "Lasting customer loyalty: a total customer experience approach", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 23 No. 7, pp. 397-405.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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