Most businesses believe that a satisfied customer is also a loyal customer. That is not always the case, as your customer can be satisfied and not loyal to your business. Satisfaction is an emotion while loyalty is related to a future action taken by the customer.
Building satisfied and loyal customers require:
- Keeping customers engaged in the salesprocess
- Educating customers on why they should choose you over your competition
- Knowing the unique needs of your customers and satisfying those needs
Not every customer is destined to be a life-long customer— but if you follow the tactics above, both you and your customer will be set up for a happy and productive relationship.
Understanding your customer loyalty level.
- Satisfied but disloyal customers: A customer can be fully satisfied but may not be loyal due to following reasons:
- Experimental Customer. These types of customers like to experiment and enjoy the option of diverging in other available businesses in the market.
- Price Shopper. These customers are happy with your product or service but will only use your service until they are comfortable in duplicating your results at a lower price.
- Business Growth. These customers may feel that your methods or product and services are outdated, and will go to a different business that markets having and using the latest trends and technology to grow with the customer’s goals.
- Unsatisfied but loyal customers: The other situation is when the customer is loyal but is unsatisfied. The reasons for this are:
- Lack of available options: This situation can arise if your business does not offer products or services offered by competitors or when your business offers an inferior service.
- Emotionally connected: There are some customers who are afraid to change their supplier because of an emotional business attachment or bonding. The customer may feel that it would be best to try and fix an unsatisfied situation rather than start new.
For your business to be successful, it is important for you to gain customer loyalty. While satisfaction may not guarantee loyalty, it is a prerequisite.
According to a study of 362 marketing agencies, 95% of the agencies believed they placed a priority on the needs of their customers. Additionally, 80% believed they delivered a superior customer experience. While businesses may believe they place a priority on customer services, the same study found that only 8% of customers agreed that these businesses prioritized customer service.
The relationship between businesses and customers are often one-sided. Where businesses may only see customers as numbers, customers want to be seen as individuals. Creating genuine customer experiences are about providing a unique value, surpassing expectations, engaging customers, and remaining honest.
Successful businesses find ways to satisfy and build customer relationships, as they should. Customers are spending their money to partner and invest with your business. They are your brand ambassadors who will promote your business to their friends and family. You should make it a priority to satisfy their needs and concerns. You can help your business get ahead if you can master the art of customer relationships and build loyal followers.
 “Tuning In to the Voice of Your Customer,” Harvard Management Update, Vol. 10, No. 10, October 2005.