when you are interacting with your customer face to face it is easy for you to know how you customer feel about your business and your product/services. Therefore, it is easy for you to stress your customer’s experience in an offline store. Thus, it is easy to recognize your happy customers who frequently visit your shop with their friends and family.
If you are running a business online, it is unfortunately not easy to decipher whether your customers are happy or not, unless they leave feedback. Most of the customers refuse to give feedback after they make a purchase with you. As satisfying your customer is the key to earn success in every business you cannot be casual in dealing with them. As you know today’s market is very competitive and to be in the top of the market race, you need to show your best and shape your business as per the popular demand of the market.
Through every touchpoint between you and the customers add goals that can help you in understanding where you need to improve in business to cultivate consistent long-term loyalty. You have to make another important thing clear in your mind that, customer loyalty and customer satisfaction are not at all the same thing, thus, in order to generate the success, you have to measure them both.
How to differentiate between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty?
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Customer satisfaction is the calculation of your customer’s holistic attitude towards your brand and services and products. Whereas, customer loyalty is a set of the track depending on the behaviour and attitude of an individual customer which altogether demonstrates loyalty to a product, service and brand, for example getting back to you over and over again and choosing a particular brand over other competitors. The former is usually measured by a customer satisfaction survey on a numerical scale.
Let me simplify your doubts regarding these two terms. Suppose you went to a store to purchase a mobile. One sale representative has handed you a survey regarding your experience about the purchase you made. As you got your mobile at the price you willing to buy so, you provided a positive review. Now if the case was something different, if the salesperson would have handed you a recommendation form after the end of the transaction, asking you would you like to recommend your friends about the shop or not. This time, though you got your desired phone, however, the sale manager may have wasted your time trying to convince your other products. You could have bought it easily from the online store, as you urgently need that the mobile, you were forced to visit the store. Therefore, unless one in a big hurry, you would not recommend your friend to go there.
The former survey in this example shows the ratio of happy customers of past this is what is known as customer satisfaction, the other measures the future is considered as customer loyalty. These two different feedbacks have their own implications for the success of your business.
Measure Customer Satisfaction
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The sentiment of your customer after the transaction process is known as customer satisfaction. It helps you to understand whether your customers met their expectations. It gives them a private channel to express their feedback. The most straightforward customer experience metric CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score) helps you out to know whether your shop is performing well or not. A high CSAT informs you about the positive journey of your customers to purchase smoothly from your store. A low CSAT indicated how you are losing customers before they proceed to check out. You must have gone through sale survey where you score your sale experience out of five or ten (‘Rate your experience with us’). This is how you can recognise the rate of satisfied customers. You can add this survey tags on the final checkout page right after the transaction. These surveys widely range from online help troubleshooting to customer support representative’s (CSR Team) call to calculate how beneficial their interaction was.
Measure Customer Loyalty
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Customer loyalty is difficult to measure as it is a relative matter and it varies person to person and as per the structure of business or industry. As being a subjective matter, it is difficult to rectify the real number. But, through qualitative and quantitive data you can determine how committed your customers are to you. You can start by analysing the feedbacks and compare the trends with product and sales rate report. Unlike customer satisfaction, it basically focuses on the future aspects of your business. You can analyse how much value you can receive from your potential customers in the long run. This information helps you to introduce the product changes and most importantly it will eventually lead you to take crucial initiative to shape your business as per the popular demand.
Why Customer Loyalty is more important?
All your customers do not leave a review after a good and bad experience. If you only stress upon the customer’s review and feedback and you will fall behind in your analysis. Or if you are setting boundaries to surveys and NPS (Net Promoter Score), you will only get half of the story from the customers. Here comes the role of customer engagement. It suggests the volumes of your business. Through customer engagements, you can track upon the frequency of customer’s interaction with your company. When you find frequent customer engagement, they are likely to become loyal to you. Every interaction with your customers gives you the opportunity to make the relationship strong. You have to capitalize on the possibilities to generate loyal customers for your business.
Learn the Ways to Improve Customer Loyalty
your business should adopt the possible changes to improve the rate of loyal customers. In case of a subjective matter, you need to give your best and the positive outcome will follow eventually. It is not possible for you to understand customer’s psychology, without the following steps to win their loyalty,
Improve Your Communicative Skill
Good communication with your customer is the most important key aspect to win your customer’s heart. As you are running a business online and people are not getting any scope to converse with you directly, you may fall behind to earn your customer’s support. Good communication skill of your CSR team will help you in this matter to gain popularity. It completely depends upon them how they represent your company before a public appearance. It adds a human element to your brand which encourages more emotional and deeper connection with your customers. When a say good communication skill, it incorporates a few things like:
- Send notification through email or message while the shopping process is attempted.
- Ask your customers about the order, when it is delivered.
- Send customer support emails to be in touch with your customers.
- Give explanation if an order gets delayed or they find any issue regarding this.
- Send your customers the information when new products or services are introduced.
You Need to Exceed Expectations
In today’s competitive market fetching your customer’s expectation and try to meet those expectations is not enough. When you meet customer’s expectations you only ensure they are satisfied with you. As a said before, if you want to excel in your business customer satisfaction is not enough. In order to be at the top of the competitive market, you need to earn customer’s loyalty as well, this is how you can develop an efficient market base and gain popularity. In that case, you have to exceed your expectations by pleasing your customers. However, it is not so easy as it sounds, you have work on it properly in order to reach there. You can take some of these ideas to exceed expectations:
- Train customer service representatives in a way that, they can delve deep into the customer’s mind and understand what they want.
- Offer your customers a surprise discount after they check out either through email or message.
- Send free gifts like a voucher with customer’s order.
- By offering free shipping you can earn liability from your customers.
Reward Your Loyal Customers
In your customer loyalty programme, good and efficient service is the pre-dominant matter. When you find your customers are helping you to fetch other customers, they should get something in return. Or you can offer them before they recommend your brand to other friends. It is important to create strong rewards programs for those customers who spread their words with friends and family. Take some unique idea to create solid reward programs:
- Condition your customers’ rewards, when they recommend your brand to friends and family.
- Do not put any complex rewards which lead your customers’ much hassle to avail the offer.
- Try to shape your reward card in a way so that, it can encourage them to purchase more from you.
- Use a dual reward process, where the existing customer recommends a new customer both gets benefit from you.
Utilise Metrics to gain more idea
CSAT and NPS are not the only metrics you can use to improve your business. You have to keep a detailed track on the health of your business to understand the customer journey and to measure the impact after the sale. If your email marketing campaigns are capable enough to generate more sale. It is a perfect way to decide in which way you can escalate the number of loyal customer. I have told you before there is a fine line between a satisfied and loyal customer. In a successful business, these two things are taken care of carefully. If you have not yet started these two programmes full fledged then you must start it immediately if you do not want to fall behind.
Share the responses of positive customers
Sharing positive responses of your loyal customers can help you to earn more loyal customers. It is common psychology. When people see positive responses of different customers regarding your brand their doubts about you gets clear easily. While analysing the reviews of the customers they form a positive idea about you without any direct action from your end. This way you can gain more loyal customers and in return, they also leave feedback.
When you already have loyal customers why not let other people know about how they feel. Gather the positive one and share those reviews, the benefits you can offer. Customers tend to respond more effectively by your trusted customers than your advertising. And if you are not sure to gather feedback, you can participate in third-party review site like Yelp. Adapt NPS and other feedback tools which will help you out to collect qualitative information about your brand.
Now that you can understand the definite difference between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, it’s time for you to utilise it properly in your business. Benchmarking your customer’s experience is not so easy. You have to scale it properly before you move forward. For scaling customer experience use different survey tools to measure CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) and NPS (Net Promoter score) for your business. Now that you have come to know gaining satisfied customer is easy in comparison to gaining a loyal customer. One of the prime reasons for this, is your competitors. Do not underrate your competitor’s ability, because they are also like you trying to fetch loyal customer. Another thing you must consider is if your brands quality is remarkable, you tend to earn more loyal customer.
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Barry Davis is a Technology Evangelist who is joined to Webskitters for more than 5 years. A specialist in Website design, development & planning online business strategy. He is passionate about implementing new web technologies that makes websites perform better.