As we have all heard before, Customer Satisfaction is important to your business. Some people even say it is the most important metric to ensure your business will continue to thrive. Although customer satisfaction is important, I believe customer loyalty is more vital to the long-term success of any business.
What is Customer Satisfaction?
Customer satisfaction is the measurement of a customer’s attitude towards products, services, and brands. The customer satisfaction score (CSAT) is usually a numerical value a consumer will assign to their experience with the business. This is very valuable information to determine if your customer’s single experience with your company was positive or not. However, it does not give insight on whether this customer will return.
What is Customer Loyalty?
Customer loyalty consists of two measurable factors; 1) behavior and 2) attitude. Loyalty behavior or customer retention is when customers make repeat purchases of current brands rather than choosing a competitor’s brand. Loyalty attitudes are the opinions and feelings customers have about products, services, brands, or businesses that are associated with the ongoing business. For instance, someone might be a repeat customer but does not advocate for your product or services. On the other hand, you may have a customer who made a one time purchase or no purchase at all but recommends your brand to all their friends and family. A good way to determine your current customer loyalty is by using the Net Promoter Score® Calculation.
Why is Customer Loyalty important?
Customer loyalty looks towards the future, while customer satisfaction only looks at the past. As mentioned before, you obviously want your customers to have a great experience every time they encounter your brand, product, or services. However, having a stellar experience doesn’t guarantee the customer will return. It is important for the longevity of your business that consumers want to continue doing business with you and will recommend your brand to others. Without customer loyalty, a business must constantly be campaigning for new business. When you have loyal customers, they become your promoters.
How to build/improve customer loyalty.
There are many elements that account for customer loyalty. The following are some of the ways to build or improve loyalty.
- Go above and beyond; exceed expectations; create memorable impressions
- Make it easy to buy; less effort means more business
- Communicate well and often; keep in touch
- Deliver on your commitments; do what you say you will
- Reward loyal customers; for repeat business and for recommendations
- Use customer feedback to refine your business; increase satisfaction AND loyalty
Moral of this story is if you have not been focusing on either building or improving your customer loyalty, NOW is the time to begin. And remember, the customer’s perception is ALWAYS right!
Are you tracking customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, ideally in a CRM tool, for your business? What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in retaining customers? Drop us an email and let us know!