Survey Mythbusters: Customer Satisfaction or Customer Loyalty

aMarketForce talks every day with clients looking to measure customer satisfaction and loyalty. Not to our surprise, many of them have the wrong perception about satisfaction and loyalty.  Let’s get real about some common myths around customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Myth 1: Customer satisfaction equals customer loyalty


Many companies use the words customer loyalty and customer satisfaction interchangeably. That is so wrong. It is hardly necessary that a satisfied customer must be loyal as well. A majority of your satisfied customers will switch to your competitors for relatively small incentives – unless you have taken that extra step to nurture your satisfied customers and increase their loyalty so they don’t even think of looking elsewhere.  Many clients who have used our survey services have observed that their customers, though dissatisfied by customer service, have been loyal for many years because of few driving forces such as ‘competitive pricing’ and ‘brand image’. Not that you should ignore customer service – far from it. The point to note is that one aspect which you think is really important to maintain loyalty might not be that important in reality, while other aspects that appear trivial might be key motivators of loyalty. The important thing is to be aware of is what your customers feel is important, and what is not.

Myth 2: Solving customer problems daily leads to increased customer satisfaction

If you have been receiving customer calls about the same problem every day and you are solving it every day, don’t think you are doing a good job. It’s time to step back. The same problem coming up day after day may not be a customer service problem – it’s something else. In any case, when a customer calls, what matters is resolving the issue on the first call. In the mind of the customer, it is ‘I called with a problem and they took care of it right away’, instead of ‘I had to call again and again and they had no clue’. Many times the problem is not actually a problem; the manual might not have been read, instructions not followed, etc. As well, the customer’s perception about problem resolution (through customer survey records) and the agent’s call recording can all be misleading. Therefore, assessing such calls into measuring customer satisfaction can give you wrong results. So what to do? Do more first call resolutions, and ask what the customer feels, after the ‘problem’ call is over. You will get more accurate answers.

Myth 3: High customer satisfaction only retains existing customers

Heads of Customer Service are always putting their minds into how to retain existing customers, whereas marketing and sales teams focus on acquiring new customers. However, it has been proved that with little effort you can achieve both.  A satisfied customer will always be happy to recommend your services/products. Customer satisfaction and refer-a-friend programmes that are backed by your customer service team will always show positive results.

Myth 4: Customer satisfaction is more important than customer loyalty

This myth has long been proven wrong. There still exist many companies who give more importance to customer satisfaction than to loyalty. Growing companies are more focused into understanding customer satisfaction and care less about measuring customer loyalty That’s a pity because measuring customer loyalty can actually help you in forecasting the next purchase, as well as get new customers. It also helps in understanding areas of improvement and how you can increase your customer’s loyalty (what matters most to your customer).

Myth 5: Customer loyalty programme is enough

Many companies feel that running a customer loyalty programme is enough to earn customer loyalty. Yes, right. And I have a bridge over the Sahara desert I can sell to you cheap. Fact is, your competitors are influencing your customers via the TV, the internet, offers, deals, discounts, and a plethora of other channels every minute. Customer loyalty programmes can be successful only when you, too, are in the game. How?

  1. Keep your customers involved. Communicate better. Tell them about your new and upcoming products, new offers, and new ways of using your product. Better educating your customers about your products always helps. Send out periodic service or product bulletins. Offer learn-as-you-use and other ways to involve your customers in your company and your offerings. Bottom line: pay attention to them, and let them know you are paying attention.
  2. Constantly reinforce their buying decision to buy your product – because your competitors are hammering away on the exact opposite, and nobody wants to feel they made a mistake. Make them feel good about buying your product.
  3. Provide better customer services.
  4. Every customer is different and so are their needs. Develop some personality models and use them – it’s called ‘mass customization’.

aMarketForce is a B2B market research company helping clients with B2B and B2C customer satisfaction and loyalty survey and market research services. To know more about customer satisfaction survey services, please email us at

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