Satisfaction does not create customer loyalty
Over the last decade there has been a massive push from businesses to deliver and measure on customer satisfaction.
Today business use a wide range of tools from of GAP scores, Mystery shopper experiences, and on-line communities like Trip Advisor, GOOGLE and Open Table etc..
Typically, customer satisfaction is a measure of how your product or service meets a customer’s expectations
The customer loyalty myth
Customer satisfaction does not create customer loyalty.
Why? you might be asking yourself.
Surely if a customer is satisfied with their experience they’ll be happy and more willing to return right. Well not really - a customer can walk away from your business satisfied with the service, the meal or the drinks but this is not enough to make them into a raving fan.
Today’s customers have more choice and options than ever before, so building loyalty is harder than ever.
If we use a typical customer satisfaction rating scale and ask customer to rate their experience from 1 (very dissatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied). Logic would suggest that the higher their level of satisfaction, the higher their level of loyalty to a brand would be.
But this is not the case.
The customer loyalty reality
Customer loyalty is both an attitude and behaviour of a customer to favour, visit or buy from one brand over another. Each customer’s loyalty towards a brand will be influenced by how they value the product or services.
However, the reality is that the way a customer value’s your products and services is not as simple as you might expect. Studies in the late 90’s by the three Harvard professors (JL Heskett, The Service Profit Chain; The Free Press; New York 1997) identified that customers can be slotted into 3 different zones.
- How Rating 1 – 3.5 - The “Defectors” are those customers who are “extremely dissatisfied” to “slightly dissatisfied” with the service of the company. These customers will not only leave, but they are also most likely going to tell their friends, colleagues and post reviews on the internet
- Rating 3.5 – 4.5 - The “Indifferent” customers are generally happy with the service but will they come back? Maybe. They are happy but not loyal.
- Rating 4.5 – 5 - The “Loyal” customers are truly satisfied with the company or the service offered resulting in true loyalty to the company. They will continually return, bring their friends and buy off you.
In a world of high competition, and even higher customer expectations there is now an even greater need to deliver your products and services to exceed the customers’ expectations and deliver great value.
If you looked at your current customer service scores which zone are most of your customers?
Do you have any questions or comments? Leave them in the comment section below.