Customer satisfaction results confuse customer loyalty sales drivers.
Do we enhance sales with customer satisfaction or is it customer loyalty? The differences are night and day and the effectiveness of each needs careful scrutiny. To hear the gurus talk about the value of customer satisfaction, one would think it’s the beginning and end of the customer relationship. Maybe that’s because it’s easy to define the satisfaction mission: what business practices result in the highest customer satisfaction.
In turn, the rationale is the more satisfied the customer is, the higher degree of customer loyalty and more loyal customers buy more. Right? Not necessarily. This is not to belittle the satisfaction process in any way because a lot of our selling is often directly related to the JD Power and Associates or Consumer Reports or similar evaluations about your product and company. This is where it starts to get confusing.
What is satisfaction?
It’s hard to find a constant relationship between satisfaction and loyalty. It depends on the value weight that the buyer assigns to the purchase. It could rate with little or no value, such as in the case of a commodity like cars. If what you sell is a commodity, the satisfaction value will usually be on par with your competition. In these cases it should not be the focus of your sales efforts because in the mind of your customer, he has placed little value on it and hence you are no different from anybody else.
Loyalty is best summed up as the reason the customer wants to return and buy something from you. There is so much less said about customer loyalty relative to customer satisfaction, yet from a sales perspective, it might be the most important buying reason of all time.
Successful organizations have a common denominator: a long history of providing value.
What drives the ‘reasons’ behind customer loyalty? I believe strongly that loyalty is driven by value. And value is what the purchaser deems appropriate at that time. Herein is the key: you must provide the exact value equation to the customer at the time of purchase. Equally valid is the fact that to maintain loyalty, you can’t rely on past levels of satisfaction. Your customer has likely changed and so has their perception of value. As sales people, our task is to recognize and uncover our customer’s ever changing value system. Change with them or lose them. It’s that simple and it’s that easy.
MosaicCRM Experts Corner
CRM is an efficient method to acquire the satisfaction and loyalty drivers unique to your customer. This could play a key role in helping you manage what the customer perceives is the life cycle of your product (buying cycle) and tracking the current ‘value’ of why they want to buy from you.
- Monitor buying ‘reasons’
- Target buying cycles
- Strategic activities and objectives that match buying cycles and customer preferences
- Pre-formatted customer/prospect nurturing programs
- Case/Customer Support modules
- Integrate with social network/media venues
Helping organizations and their users achieve their activity objectives is the hallmark of MosaicCRM. Our business processes offer a unique and important approach to measuring activity ‘results’. This differentiation is particularity valuable when it comes to Account Retention and Acquisition: our activity protocols are vital to optimize activity effectiveness and success.