You’re in the early half of the 21st century where you have placed an order for a mobile phone and are now patiently waiting for it to arrive. It does arrive at your address, after about ten days, free, with ‘no-cost shipping’ emerging as a new trend. As the customer here, you’re highly satisfied with this new little online venture of yours. 

 

Throwback Thursday much? Can you picture yourself waiting for even five days for a phone off a site when you can look around for similar sites that deliver faster?

 

Back then, you were satisfied. Perhaps even happy and decided to stay ‘loyal’ to the company since it delivered your much-desired product to you. Would you stay ‘loyal’ to some site that takes a couple days to deliver, now? Forget about loyalty, in my opinion, you’d be highly dissatisfied.

 

As humans, it’s our tendency to fuss over things when they don’t happen the way we want them to. We end up being dissatisfied, with a list of complaints following us everywhere. We fall under the bracket of those customers who no salesperson wants to deal with- unruly, aggressive and impatient. While the salespeople strive their best to appease us, we remain unimpressed, just because someone else is selling the same product at a lesser price, or perhaps you’ve run out of time and have to make a decision in this frustrated state of yours, or because you’re expecting too much of that mere product. The question here is, what will it take for you to be satisfied?

 

The first thing that comes up on the screen when you type in ‘customer satisfaction’ is ‘measurement that determines how happy customers are’- Good SEO. It is known by all and sundry that customers are indeed quite hard to deal with, let alone be pleased. Right, so what does it take to impress customers? Well, you may be interested in:

Winning over hearts and minds: Part 1 of The Ultimate Customer Guide

Avoid customer service pains: Part 2 of The Ultimate Customer Guide

Once you’ve cracked the code, voila, it’s time to do some real business. 

Once customers are satisfied with something that you’re selling and you spot them coming back to you, EUREKA!

 

What does the latter transcribe into? Customer loyalty. What’s customer loyalty? If you look it up, customer loyalty is yet another measurement, this time based on the number of instances customers would like to be associated with you.

 

What are the perks here? Well someone great once remarked, ‘Loyal customers don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you’. You’re in luck if you’ve earned some serious customer loyalty with customers buying more of your products, recommending their friends (yes, customers are a great way of word-of-mouth advertising), positive social media engagement (The world out there is exploding on the social media platforms) which translate into greater sales, business expansion and reputation.

 

How’s it different from customer satisfaction? While customer satisfaction can mean pleasing one customer with a particular product or service who may or may not come back for more, loyalty stands for retention. To put it simply, if a satisfied customer comes back again and a pattern is established, that could convert into some serious loyalty over a period of time. 

 

How do you do it? You observe. You focus on providing a value-for-money customer experience, replete with enhanced characteristics and your best behaviour on display. It might be frustrating, it might be too much at times, it might be a cutthroat competition especially in these times. Nobody said it was easy, but nothing worth doing ever is. Engage with your audiences on a timely basis and your efforts shall reap benefits.

 

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