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Loyalty is not the same thing as satisfaction.

Keltie Munro – 2 Comments

Businesses can still succeed and grow in a challenging economy. If you have a loyal client base, even in a slow business cycle, some businesses continue to have success. It is not unusual for a business to survive and prosper during a difficult period. The economy is slow, but your business can still thrive.


Sometimes companies need to spend more than they have in the past to generate awareness and stay top of mind. When business is not growing to the level we want it to, that is often when we become more ingenious and work harder on a strategy for growth, which often involves some spending. But before you reach out for brand new clients, consider your customer base—past and current.

Your existing customer is the best source of future growth, either directly or in the form of referrals. Loyalty is a subject that has always drawn interest in marketing circles, and research supports the idea that loyalty is an exceptionally strong motivator. Feeling loyalty is not a flickering or fleeting moment; it is an intrinsic, emotional feeling and belief in each of us which drives action and activity.

Companies send out satisfaction surveys all the time, but research undeniably indicates that satisfaction is not a motivator. The Better Business Bureau website posted an article that stated “satisfaction is the base price of admission”. This is because satisfied customers don’t necessarily return. Dissatisfied customers rarely, if ever, return, but satisfied customers are satisfied only until someone else makes them more satisfied. As a result, they are not particularly loyal. You don’t want your clients merely satisfied, you want them to be ecstatic. Otherwise there is no pattern of repeat business, nor will people go out of their way to recommend your company to someone else. You need to make your customers loyal and if they are not being loyal, find out why.

As a starting point, follow these must-do’s with your clients to build loyalty:

1. Have a series of positive interactions over time
2. Be exceptional with your work, your product, and your staff
3. Create a relationship with your customers via ongoing communication
4. Do one thing differently from everyone else which will set you apart
5. Ask if they would refer you and if not, find out why

When you ask what can be fixed, sometimes they will say nothing (great!). Other times it might only be one or two small things, but it could point the way to turning your client roster into a group of cheering, business-referring loyalists. At Industrial Brand, we specialize in building brands, websites, and communciations around the goal of creating and maintaining loyalty for our clients, and for our client’s clients.

  • http://inretrospect21.wordpress.com Lilian

    I think that part of building that relationship with your customer base (or membership base, if you’re running an organization) is to continually keep the doors of communication open. I don’t just mean asking them a question via social media every now and then, I mean actually making a conscious effort to talk to them every week, to find out what they like, what they don’t like and how to change things in a positive way.

    That’s the only way you can have successful marketing campaigns. Companies also make the mistake of pulling back on these types of customer interactions and marketing in general when the economy is tight. That’s the CRUCIAL time for you to reach out to your customer base, build and reinforce their loyalty because if you don’t, someone else will.

  • Keltie Munro

    Hi Lilian, yes we agree that open communication and investing in your clients is critical to building long-term loyalty. Thanks for your comments.

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