Over the last 20 years, one of the constants that I observed in my work with major retailers to establish customer loyalty is a consistent five- to seven-point decline in customer satisfaction beginning the end of July and running through Labor Day. Initially, this was easy to write off as a statistical anomaly, but over time I’ve come to realize that this is an especially challenging time of year for engendering high levels of customer satisfaction. Eventually, I developed a term to refer to this decline: back-to-school syndrome.
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