Businesses that earn customer loyalty have a much easier road to sustainability and profitability. Here are six customer loyalty signals that can tell you you’re on the right path.

6 Customer Loyalty Signals that Show Your Strategy is Working

Brands that earn customer loyalty reap the benefits in repeat purchases, referrals and more. Earning loyalty is easier said than done, and once won can still be lost – but it’s worth it! Here some loyalty marketing strategies that can help you identify customer loyalty signals when you see them in your business.

It’s possible that lot of the marketing effort and resources that get invested on customer acquisition efforts could be saved if brands would focus more on customer retention and loyalty and learned to spot the customer loyalty signals that prove ROI. While retention is one marker of customer loyalty, it’s no guarantee that your customer loyalty marketing strategy is actually doing the job. Here are six customer loyalty signals you should be looking for as proof that your loyalty marketing plan is working.

6 Customer Loyalty Signals You Should Be Looking For

You might also like: 8 Baselines for Meeting Customer Expectations

6 Customer Loyalty Signals You Should Be Looking For

63% – Customer Comes Back to Buy Again, Subscribes, or Signs on to a Long Term Contract

When clients sign on for the long term or come back to buy on a regular basis it’s a pretty good sign that your products or services are meeting their needs. While this is the top marker of customer loyalty, it’s important to remember that repeat buying is not necessarily a signal of customer loyalty, it could simply be a signal that customers haven’t found a better option. If they do, minus real brand affinity and a sense of loyalty, chances are they will jump ship. When looking at repeat buying and retention, best to consider this as a marker of customer loyalty only when other signals are also present.

57% – Customer Refers Friends and Colleagues to the Business

Repeat buying behavior accompanied by referrals are a clear sign that your customer feels like they have found a good thing and want everyone to know about it. Even though loyalty implies a relationship over the long term, don’t forget that new customers might actually be most enthusiastic about recommending your business to their friends and colleagues at the beginning of your relationship, when they first realize how awesome your business is, and make sure that your loyalty marketing strategy encourages referrals at every phase of the customer life cycle.

Review sites and social networks make it possible for customers to refer total strangers as well as friends, family or colleagues to your business. As you consider referral rewards or incentives, don’t overlook the value of social proof in creating word of mouth referrals.

53% – Customer is Emotionally Invested in the Relationship

The word ‘loyalty’ itself is invested with emotional connotations, which is one reason why repeat buying behaviors alone may not be indicative of true customer loyalty: Loyalty; noun, a strong feeling of support or allegiance. When people are loyal to you, you can trust them to have your back. They will give you the benefit of the doubt if something goes wrong. They will give you second chances. They will defend you; they may even fight for you.

The fact is, the things we spend most of our time focused on when it comes to marketing (e.g., pricings, features and benefits) don’t inspire this type of emotional connection. Loyalty marketing strategies must speak to the customer experience and look for ways to create emotional connections based on things that really matter to people, like vision, values, causes, and guiding principles.

45% – Customers are Highly Satisfied

When was the last time you actually took some type of measurement when it comes to levels of customer satisfaction? Businesses that are serious about customer loyalty marketing must be obsessed with customer satisfaction, and they must find ways to measure and track it over time, with the launch of new programs and products, with the implementation of changes to the customer experience, and so on.

44% – Customers Perceive They Are Getting a High Value

When customers perceive they are receiving a high value in return for their investment, it’s not just about price. All wrapped up in this concept is the idea that you could be charging more but you aren’t because you care about the customer as much—or more—as you do making a buck.

Not only does this perception stimulate repeat buying behavior and referrals, it also encourages emotional investment. Customers that perceive they are receiving a high value from your business are much more likely to feel a vested interest in keeping your business in business and helping to make it profitable, so that they can keep on receiving the high value they perceive you provide.

31% – Customers Spend More Over Time

When customers don’t just come back to buy from you on a regular basis but also increase the number of items, services or upgrade to more expensive options, it’s a good indication that you have laid the foundation for loyalty. In particular, it may speak to the trust they have in your business because of the value they perceive as well as their satisfaction with the relationship so far.

As customers demonstrate an interest in deepening their relationship with your business by purchasing more items, more expensive items or items they haven’t purchased from your business before, take the time to reach out with questions about the customer experience, a customer satisfaction survey, and incentives that could encourage them to refer friends or colleagues to your business.

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Tying customer loyalty programs to the point of sale increases your ability to get customers to come back more often, spend more on impulse purchases and get more referrals and reviews. Ask us about POS software that enables you to manage your customer loyalty program seamlessly, trigger automated marketing and strengthen your relationships with customers:

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Customer experience remains one of most exciting marketing opportunities for every business, regardless of industry. Here are eight things that must be true to fulfill customer expectations every time they do business with you.

Customer Experience: 8 Ways You Could Fail to Meet Customer Expectations

No matter what unique novelty you build into your customer experience marketing strategy, if you fail to deliver when it comes to what the client expects from you in the first place, it might all be for naught. Use this eight point checklist to ensure that you don’t miss the mark with your customers.

Meeting customer expectations is the baseline from which a truly compelling customer experience can be created. But if you don’t know what customers expect to be true each and every time they do business with you, you run the risk of failing to deliver for some customer must-have’s.

A study released by the EIU (Economist Intelligence Unit) called Creating a Seamless Customer Experience reveals the areas that customers say represent the experience they want to have with the brands they do business with. In the study, respondents were asked to select up to three basic customer expectations which they considered most important relative to “the ideal customer experience.”

One note of caution: In this case, “Ideal” is not the ideal.

The word ‘ideal’ has more than one meaning. Most often it’s used to describe something that is perfect, as in: “existing only in the imagination; desirable or perfect but not likely to become reality.” But as it relates to this study, the definition that is more applicable is, “satisfying one’s conception of what is most suitable.” As you think about the customer experience your business provides relative to these eight customer experience baselines, remember that these are elements that customers want to be true of each and every interaction when it comes to the brands they do business with.

You might also like: 3 Ways to Improve the Customer Experience at the Point of Sale

In other words, you’re going to have to do even more to exceed customer expectations. That said, it’s also worth noting that many of your competitors may be missing the mark when it comes to providing an ideal customer experience in one or more of these areas. If your business gets them all right, you could be giving your business a competitive advantage and improving the way customers perceive your brand.

CHART - baselines for meeting customer expectations

8 Baselines for Simply Meeting – Not Exceeding – Customer Expectations

1. Fast Response Time – 47%

Whether you are being asked to provide information, a quote or proposal, or you must deal with a customer complaint, consumers said that providing a fast response was critical.

2. Simple Buying Process – 47%

Equally important to buyers is that the purchasing process be simple. Our marketing director often paraphrases this concept as “Marketing 101: Make it as easy as possible for the customer to buy.” Any time the customer has to jump through an unnecessary or unexpected hoop, it represents something that might interrupt the buying journey and stop the sale.

3. Knowing Where My Stuff Is – 34%

Whether it’s buying a commodity online or a service that takes months to complete (such as website development), your customer wants to know where their items are in process and when they can expect them. They want to know that their stuff isn’t lost, stolen, or forgotten along the way.

4. Omni-Channel Experience – 25% and 14%

Your customers want your business to “feel” the same whether they are interacting with you in person (or in-store), on your website or blog, one fourth of the consumers surveyed said that clarity and simplicity across channels was important to them, and fourteen percent said that consistency of product information across channels was key to their perceiving a customer experience as ideal.

5. Being There When I Need You – 22% and 14%

Whether it’s having the ability to engage with a brand over multiple channels (in person, by phone, via email, social channels, etc.) or wanting to know they can reach a brand representative at a time most convenient to them, customers want to know that your business will be there when they need you.

6. Giving the People What They Want – 12% and 7%

Buyers increasingly expect that brands will personalize their buying experience, and that means much more than an auto-fill field that inserts their name after the word ‘Dear’ in an email message. Keeping track of customer purchases, preferences, and interests and creating better buyer profiles in the spirit of predictive marketing can help ensure that you don’t waste your customer’s time with irrelevant offers.

7. An On-Going Relationship – 10%

One out of ten survey respondents said that their ideal customer experience included brand engagement after the sale. If you aren’t checking in with customers post-transaction, you run the risk of failing to identify dissatisfaction or giving customers the impression that your business simply doesn’t care about whether they were satisfied with the customer experience. Plus, checking in after the sale is a great way to encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews, ratings and testimonials for your business online, and lay the foundation for referrals and repeat business.

8. A Place Where Everybody Knows Your Name – 7%

Fans of the popular sitcom Cheers will instantly recognize this reference to the show’s theme song, referencing the fact that people want to go where everyone knows them (and is glad that they came). In the survey, seven percent of respondents said that their ideal customer experience would include a brand that recognized them (and their preferences) as a customer, regardless of the channel they used to interact with the brand. In addition, seven percent of respondents also said that they expect brand engagements to reflect their preferences and interests as revealed on different channels.

Many retail business owners claim customer service sets their business apart but don’t have the numbers to prove it. If 3 out of 4 consumers will really pay more for good customer service, it’s time we defined what that looks like.

3 out of 4 Shoppers Willing to Pay More for a Good Customer Experience

An ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) study found that 73 percent of consumers said they are encouraged to spend more money than they had originally planned when they receive good customer service or have a good customer experience. But what makes a customer experience “good?”

Implementing the right CX (customer experience) strategy could improve your business’s growth and profitability, but it might not be as easy as you think. 50 percent of shoppers said their customer service expectations are higher now than they were just three years ago. Here’s what they said they wanted, according to Retail Touch Points.

5 Takeaways for a Good Customer Experience

62% of shoppers want to interact with friendly, knowledgeable employees

People skills, soft skills, emotional IQ – call it whatever you want, but any employees who deal directly with customers should be positive, approachable, friendly and have sufficient training to be able to easily answer common customer questions. This means resisting the temptation to rush the employee onboarding and orientation training, and reinvesting in employee training on an on-going basis.

59% of shoppers want to be able to easily find what they’re looking for

Standard thinking for brick-and-mortar retailers is to put the most-purchased items at points farther away, and putting popular items far from one another, so that customers must pass by less-popular products to get to the ones they are looking for. But is that what’s best for customer experience?

Consumers are voting with their devices, with many now opting for ecommerce shopping or order online and pick up, even for often-purchased commodities like groceries. If it’s important for you to have customers come into your business and browse, is there something you can offer in return for shoppers willing to forego convenience?

And it’s not just about location. When shoppers are comparing two or more options, it’s also important for them to feel confident that they found the right product, the best option for their needs. A combination of well-informed staff, good in-store signage, clear explanation of features and benefits, and similar types of information will give your customer more confidence in their buying decision.

59% of shoppers want the checkout process to be fast and easy

Convenience, convenience, convenience! When you compare the process of going to any brick-and-mortar retail store to shopping online, there’s no comparison when it comes to ease of shopping and checkout. Where the brick-and-mortar retail has the advantage is the immediate gratification of ownership. Eliminating barriers in the purchasing process by making it easy for shoppers to check out and deploying a fast credit card processing solution streamlines the customer experience.

Likewise, offering a variety of payment processing options such as scanners customers can take with them, having customer credit cards on file for payments or quick pickups, offering customers the ability to checkout online while shopping in-store and ensuring adequate staffing and POS equipment at the point of sale can all contribute to a faster, easy-to-navigate checkout that lets the customer personalize the way they pay.

57% of shoppers would pay more for a particular item if they knew they would receive strong service

Strong service is what turns commodities into must-haves. it’s what helps to sell big ticket items where competition is fierce. If you want to know the difference, go car shopping. See how different the experience is at your local entry-level vehicle dealer than it is at your local luxury car dealership. Both automobiles will get you from point A to point B, but you’re only going to want to go back to one of them!

90% of shoppers say they are vocal about their retail customer experiences

Today, a retailer could go from anonymous to infamous in a matter of minutes. Deconstructing the customer experience in order to eliminate pain points and add in positive touches gives your customers reasons to recommend your business to their friends, loved ones and co-workers.

Why pay more for credit card processing?

Not only do we offer fast, efficient credit card processing solutions, we also offer free local setup, installation and support in many regions. If it’s been a while since you evaluated your merchant services card processor, customer rewards and other loyalty marketing or your payment processing POS equipment, we would be happy to give you a free, no-obligation quote to compare against your current plan or help you better-understand merchant services fees.

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What makes customers buy and what makes them brand-loyal might not be all that far apart. A new Trendera study reveals the top 10 brand loyalty factors with US consumers ranging in age from 13-50.

Top 10 Brand Loyalty Factors with U.S. Consumers

Quality and price top the list of factors that U.S. consumers say makes them loyal to a brand, according to research by Trendera. At the risk of pointing out the obvious, it’s still interesting to note that these are generally the reasons people buy in the first place – but this isn’t the only takeaway for brand marketers.

Loyalty programs barely make the top five list of reasons people say they become loyal to brands, despite the money and resources that have been poured into loyalty programs over the past decade, indicating that there is room for improvement. A business that successfully manages to re-think their loyalty program and makes it truly meaningful to buyers could create a serious competitive advantage for itself.

The biggest generational divides are the importance of creative marketing and whether and how brands respond to customers on social media when it comes to the youngest U.S. consumers surveyed, known as Generation V aged 13-20. In fact, creative marketing was even more important to Gen V than strong brand ethics and responding to customers on social media was almost as important.

Celebrity affiliation was nearly as influential with Gen V as company culture; although to be fair, this generation has not had first-hand experience with the complexities of company culture as of yet! As these younger consumers begin to gain more purchasing power and ultimately enter the workforce themselves, it will be important for brand marketers to discover whether these factors continue to weigh more heavily with this generation.

Top 10 Brand Loyalty Factors with Generation X from Most to Least Important

  • Quality
  • Price
  • Great customer service
  • Past interactions
  • Loyalty program or rewards
  • Strong ethics
  • Creative marketing
  • Company culture; tied with,
  • Responding to customers on social networks
  • Celebrity affiliation

Top 10 Brand Loyalty Factors with Generation Y from Most to Least Important

  • Quality
  • Price
  • Great customer service
  • Past interactions
  • Loyalty program or rewards
  • Strong ethics
  • Creative marketing
  • Company culture
  • Responding to customers on social networks
  • Celebrity affiliation

Top 10 Brand Loyalty Factors with Generation V from Most to Least Important

  • Quality
  • Price
  • Past interactions
  • Great customer service
  • Loyalty program or rewards
  • Creative marketing
  • Strong ethics
  • Responding to customers on social networks
  • Company culture
  • Celebrity affiliation

generational breakdown of why we buy - trendera research

The Best Place to Compete for Brand Loyalty

Given that quality is not a concern and that pricing is competitive, while consumers say these factors top the list of brand loyalty drivers, they aren’t where a business can create competitive advantages and increase brand loyalty with all three generations of U.S. consumers. Customer service and past interactions come in at number 3 and 4 on these lists with all consumers which leads us to believe that customer experience is the best place to compete for brand loyalty.

A remarkable customer experience becomes the “past purchasing interactions” that consumers point to as the reasons they return to a business and feel loyalty to its brand. Customer service that stands out from the service they can receive in other businesses is what makes it great.

The way consumers feel about doing business with a brand outweighs the monetary and other tangible rewards that a brand offers in return for loyalty. Customer experiences become the stories that patrons repeat to friends, loved ones and colleagues. They are the driving force behind social media shout outs and recommendations. They are the reasons that followers open a brand’s emails and follow them online.

Instead of thinking about the customer experience at your business as a whole, and using words that describe your brand experience and values in general terms, try breaking it down into customer experience touch points, instead. Every customer touch point contributes to their experience, and so each represents an opportunity for you to generate the positive emotions that make them feel satisfied, happy, and proud of doing business with you, time and again.

If you think of the credit card processing transaction as the end of the buying cycle, think again. Consumers want to continue engaging with your brand, so here are 15 post-sale engagement marketing emails you can send to help you keep the relationship alive and well.

You Made a Sale, Now What? Keep Growing Customer Relationships Using Email After the Sale

New research points to the importance of providing positive customer experiences after the cash or credit card payment processing has occurred. Consumers overwhelmingly prefer email  as the channel for post-sale brand interaction, so we came up with fifteen different types of marketing emails you can send to build positive brand perceptions after the money is in the bank.

“For brands to behave as though the sale is the end of the relationship is like viewing a wedding as the end of a romance.”
Elizabeth Kraus, The Marketing Desks

A report from ACCENT Marketing Services called Beyond the Point of Purchase reported that 86 percent of consumers say it’s important to have a positive experience with the brand after making a purchase. Nearly eight of every ten will tell friends and family if a brand manages to “wow” them. Creating positive, post-sale interactions with buyers should be a big part of your overall marketing strategy.

15 Marketing Emails to Send After the Sale to Keep the Customer-Brand Relationship Alive

1. The Service Survey

Use payment processing loyalty automation marketing to send a brief 3-4 question survey asking customers to rate their experience. Include at least one open-ended field where they can voice any questions, concerns or leave brand-compliments they would like to convey. When they do, be sure to repurpose those positive comments into your marketing as testimonials.

2. The Poll

Send a post-sale poll question to solicit your customer’s opinion about something in your business you have considered changing or new products or services you plan to add. This can be a great way to introduce them to new or add-on products or accessories in advance of a formal pitch.

3. The Testimonial Solicitation

Send an email after the sale asking customers to tell you what they liked most about their purchase or their experience with your brand.

4. Make Them the Experts

Let customers know how important you think they are by asking questions; such as, what is the best feature of the product they purchased, or what type of buyer they would most recommend the product for.

5. Link to an Online Rating Site

Invite customers to visit your site and leave a 5-star rating for the item they purchase or their experience overall.

6. Link to Review Sites

Send an email inviting satisfied customers to visit your page on Yelp, Amazon, Google+ or some other review site to leave a review and recommendation for your brand, services, staff or products online.

7. Ask for a Referral

Send an email with a request for customers to forward to a friend who may benefit from your products or services.

8. Talk Up Accessories and Add-Ons

Now that your customer is enjoying their purchase, they may be open to considering accessories and add-ons that would make their experience even better. Send marketing emails with special offers on the accessories or add-ons that would enhance their satisfaction even more.

9. Service Offers and Packages

Let customers know that you stand behind the products you sell, and that they can expect the same great experience with your business when they avail themselves of your periodic maintenance or service offers.

10. Upgrades

If customers loved model 1, when the time comes, they’re going to love model 2 even more. When the time is right, follow up with customers with marketing emails to let them know about upgrades that are available to them.

11. Personal Thank You

The thank you note will never go out of style. Send an email to customers after the sale to thank them for their patronage.

12. Still Satisfied?

Some goods and services have a long buying cycle; check in from time to time to see whether your customer is still happy with their purchase, whether the product is living up to its warranties and guarantees, or whether it might be time for them to buy again.

13. News and Awards

There’s nothing wrong with letting your fans know why they were smart to buy from you to begin with. Let them know when you receive an award or pass a significant milestone, and acknowledge that none of it would have been possible without their support.

14. The Next Big Thing

Something groundbreaking coming to your industry? Email is a great way to let customers know about the next big thing that will be coming to your business and how they can get in on the ground floor.

15. Get Intel and Build Better Buyer Profiles

Once you’ve earned the customer’s trust, use email to interact, ask questions, and add to the store of knowledge you have about your target markets and ideal buyer types

You might also like: 9 Ways to Generate Revenue with Point of Sale Marketing

Loyalty marketing might result in repeat sales but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are creating lasting brand loyalty. Find out which 4 Ps of customer loyalty might be the real reasons why a small business owners claim that our customers love us might in fact be true.

Our Customers Love Us, Our Customers Love Us Not

Your customers might love the products you sell or the results they receive because they purchase your services, but this doesn’t mean they love your business or feel personally connected to your brand.

Even loyalty rewards programs, though desired by a large number of consumers, do not necessarily indicate real brand loyalty. A study done by Vanessa DiMauro and Don Bulmer with The Society For New Communications Research to find out how consumers form impressions about brands found that while quality and pricing of products and services laid the foundation for loyalty, the next three factors rounding out the top five were a brand’s customer care program, what friends or loved ones said about the brand and real customer reviews and ratings on social media. A brand’s actual reward program was very influential to only 18 percent of study respondents.

In fact, it’s possible for customers to have negative feelings about your brand or business even if they regularly purchase services and products from your organization. For instance, you could have a local monopoly, they could be locked in to a contract, or your business might be extending pricing that is compelling enough for them to put up with what they don’t like about your business – just long enough to get what they want from you.

That’s a sobering thought; or it should be. It’s possible that many business owners confuse repeat sales for customer affection, misinterpreting customer behavior that – if they looked beyond the surface – would reveal dissatisfaction and problems that could be addressed in order to make the brand one that customers would love just as much as they love the products or services they purchase from them.

Our Customers Love Us (But How Can We Tell for Sure?)

Most professionals are familiar with the concept of “buying signals” which are actions that prospects commonly take when they are entering the buying cycle, moving from stage to stage within the cycle or when they are ready to seal the deal. Just as there are signs that indicate someone is ready to buy, there are signs that indicate a customer feels loyal to a brand, beyond the products or services it sells:

  • Their patronage continues despite changes in pricing or product mix
  • They frequently open and read your brand emails
  • They follow and even interact with your brand on social channels
  • They refer colleagues, friends or loved ones to your business
  • They leave reviews about your business online
  • They complete customer satisfaction surveys at the point of sale
  • They ask questions and offer meaningful suggestions

Any one of these actions could be a sign of genuine customer love for your brand on their own; but it’s not uncommon to find that engaged customers will send a few or several of these signals. The question is, if products and services aren’t enough to garner customer affection for a brand on their own, what is? The “Four Ps of Marketing” are product, price, place and promotions so we came up with four more words that start with the letter P which lay the foundation for the type of loyalty that transcends the four Ps of marketing, turning customers into loyal brand patrons whose love for a brand can stand the tests of time.

Loyalty Marketing: 4 Ps Explain Why Our Customers Love Us

1. Passion

When a business’s employees are passionate about the work they do and the customers they serve, it shows up in a customer experience that cannot be replicated by competitors.

2. Personalities

The same business owners that say “our customers love us” often claim that their employees – not their products or services – set them apart. For better or worse, a brand’s ambassadors do set the business apart, and business owners that understand this appreciate the importance of each and every hiring decision they make.

3. Purpose

When doing business with you makes people feel that they are part of something special, and part of something that makes the world better in some way, it can move them to the next stage in the customer lifecycle, taking them from casual customer to loyal supporter.

4. Pleasures

Every customer touch point represents an opportunity for a brand to differentiate itself in a meaningful way from competitors. The better a customer feels about doing business with your brand, the more likely they are to identify with your brand personally beyond the products or services they purchase.

You might also like: Which Loyalty Perks Do Customers Really Want

You might not be able to manufacture customer happiness, but you can follow this proven recipe for making customer happy, courtesy of a customer satisfaction survey from Accenture.

Customer Satisfaction Survey Reveals Key Drivers for Consumer Satisfaction

An Accenture Global Consumer Pulse Survey reveals a list of “customer satisfaction ingredients.” Here’s the list of drivers the customer satisfaction survey found when it comes to what U.S. consumers really want from the brands they do business with:

  • Good value for the money – 8
  • Great customer service – 7.9
  • Competitive prices – 7.8
  • Competent, intuitive staff – 7.8
  • Trustworthy – 7.8
  • High quality products – 7.8
  • Hassle-free – 7.6
  • Knowledgeable experts – 7.2
  • Lots of options – 6.7
  • Cater to my preferences – 6.5
  • Good people – 6.5
  • Engaging – 6.3
  • Innovative – 6.2
  • Relevant to me – 5.8
  • Responsible – 5.4
Customer Satisfaction Survey with a Recipe for Making Customers Happy

Customer Satisfaction Survey: Meeting or Beating Expectations

It’s important to understand that this list of fifteen consumer satisfaction drivers are those that must be fulfilled simply in order to meet expectations, not exceed them. Satisfaction is defined as:

  • fulfillment of one’s wishes, expectations or needs
  • the pleasure or feeling that one derives from being satisfied
  • the payment of a debt or fulfillment of an obligation
  • what is felt to be owed or due to one

In other words, these are things customers expect to be true each and every time they do business with your brand – what they feel your brand owes them in exchange for patronage. If you fail to meet any of these standards you could be losing customers without even knowing why, since only about 4% of dissatisfied customers actually speak up and give a brand a chance to make things right. That means that 96 percent of customers who are dissatisfied with your brand may never even voice a complaint. In fact, 91 percent of customers who are dissatisfied leave and never come back (“Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner).

96% of customers who are unhappy with your brand might never even voice a complaint.

Understanding Customers – Ruby Newell-Legner

The imperative to meet customer expectations every time they do business with your brand becomes even more significant when you consider that it could take more than ten positive experiences to make up for just one unresolved negative customer encounter.

Acquiring a new customer could cost 7x more than retaining existing customers.

White House Office of Consumer Affairs

The cost of acquiring customers could be 6-7x what it costs to keep existing customers coming back, or even more (White House Office of Consumer Affairs). From a purely practical standpoint, it’s well-worth taking this list of customer satisfaction survey findings and using it as a checklist for evaluating the buying journey in your business.

Customer Satisfaction Survey: Stats Show What It Really Takes to Make Happy Customers

Most business owners understand how pricing, quality and perceived value relate to customer satisfaction. In fact, most business owners have probably already adjusted them in order to maximize the positive impact they have on the customer experience. Of the remaining 12 customer satisfaction survey findings, most can be placed in three main categories, and these may represent areas where business owners will find the ingredients they are lacking when it comes to their brand’s recipe for making customers happy:

Brand Representatives

  • Employees provide a high level of customer service, sales-expertise and advice
  • Employees who interact with customers have the right skills, understand and anticipate customer needs
  • Employees make it easy to do business with the company
  • Employees try to personalize and tailor customer experiences
  • Employees communicate effectively and personably
  • Employees can be creative in resolving customer issues

Brand Personalization

  • The buying journey is personalized to customer preferences, needs, desires and past interactions
  • Brand communications make customers feel more personally connected to the brand
  • Brand values are relevant to the customer’s personal values
  • The brand offers the products/services customers want, and provide the right options to allow for customer personalization
  • The brand is innovative, earning customer intrigue and interest

Brand Integrity, Intelligence and Compassion

  • The brand is intuitive in anticipating what customers want
  • The brand is innovative (a leader in some way)
  • The brand is environmentally responsible
  • Marketing and customer information is interesting, relevant and engaging
  • Customers feel the brand prioritizes and invests in hiring and training employees to be sure they have the expertise, skills and attitudes needed to make customers happy
  • The brand hires “good people” that customers enjoy working with
  • The brand exhibits values customers perceive as compassionate (because they are relevant to their own values and interests)

As you can see, several of the customer satisfaction survey findings fall into more than one category and may even vary from customer to customer depending on their own personal values and perceptions. The more of these ingredients that go into the customer experience, the more likely it is your brand will perfect its recipe for making customers happy.

You might also like: 5 First Impressions that Will Bring Customers Back