Many businesses currently measure customer satisfaction scores and are proud to wear the results as a badge of honour but does a high customer satisfaction score mean that you have high levels of loyal customers that are advocates of your business and won’t leave you?
Apparently not! Studies from 1to1 Media have indicated that a high percentage of customers who switch are either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the previous brand.
So whilst customer satisfaction is an important metric for businesses, it does not necessarily denote loyalty. In order to drive loyalty, businesses should focus on building strong emotional relationships with their most valuable customer base to generate advocacy.
Many loyalty and retention marketers are now analysing the factors that influence loyalty within their organisations and while many businesses would have different factors that influence loyalty, some of them include:
- Stands by your brand in tough times.
- Stands up or defends your brand in conversations.
- Actively promotes and recommends your business, through multichannel led media.
- Provides unsolicited feedback on products, quality and service.
- Is prepared to pay more for your service or won’t rely on price alone when buying your products.
It is often more challenging for businesses to build loyal customers of their brand, than it is to just satisfy them, but businesses who really want to create advocates need to deliver on all of the factors influencing satisfaction and up the ante on factors that influence loyalty.
This can be done through the delivery of unexpected, unusual interactions or ‘surprise and delights’, that deliver an emotional connection with your customers and drive true advocates of your business.
So, while customer satisfaction is clearly important, true loyalty is what is absolutely essential.