Satisfaction vs. Loyalty

Take a look at your customer base


You walk into a grocery store to buy your weekly allotment of calories, you find what you need, get in line at the cash register, pay and leave. For the most part, you are what they call a "satisfied" customer. The same can be said for other purchases like when you need a new phone charger. You'll go to BestBuy, Walmart, or that other store that is close to where you live. You know that one will have what you need but you have no particular attachment to any of these stores. You are "satisfied" at best.

In his book, "The Secrets of Brand Loyalty", author James Kane states that your customers fall into one of 4 relationship categories:

  • Loyal: These customers love you and can't be swayed away.
  • Predisposed: These customers like you and are satisfied but will disappear once something better comes along.
  • Transactional: These customers have no real relationship with you. They get what they need. In and out.
  • Hostile: Well, for whatever reason, these customers don't like you.

Let's focus on the second category; the loyal and the predisposed, aka "the Satisfied".

In the grocery store and phone charger examples, there is nothing pulling the customer to one particular store. But maybe this isn't the case for you as a shopper. Maybe you go to the same grocery store because you know the owner and he knows you. Maybe you've always wanted to become a baker and your grocery store has specialty cooking items you love. You'll then feel a sense of belonging. You will therefore be a loyal customer.

You cannot count the "satisfied", only the loyal. Satisfied customers can come and go, loyal customers are for life. To build a loyal customer base, you must create a relationship that is in line with their sense of purpose, contribute to their lives in a way that speaks to them and keeps them tied to you.

So before you assume that you have a loyal customer base, ask yourself this: Do you know what psychological itch your customer needs you to scratch?

Morty Silber, CEO

Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner