This weekend I received my new insurance card. Written above my i.d. number is “loyal customer since 2008”. Really? Am I loyal? Have they ever asked me? What do they consider being loyal? Paying my bill on time?
This bugged me so I started to think about loyalty vs. satisfaction. Customer loyalty can sometimes go out the door for customer satisfaction if a good enough price break is given or if there are extra incentives. What? Did I just say that there’s a difference between customer loyalty and customer satisfaction? You betcha!
Lots of people have written about the difference between loyalty and satisfaction, but I think that more people need to talk and write about it. There is a difference. I’m satisfied with my car insurance company, but am I loyal to them? Not if the company listed next in the phone book can give me the same or better coverage for the same amount of money or less. On the other hand, I am 100% loyal to Nike. I’ve tried other running shoes and I don’t like them. I don’t care if I can get a pair of ASICS for 50% less than my Nikes. I’m a Nike girl through and through and when people ask me what type of shoes to buy, I say Nike. That’s customer loyalty!
Companies can’t mistake customers using them because of short term discounts for true customer loyalty and companies need to be aware of the difference. Satisfaction is a feeling of gratification while loyalty is faithfulness. If you’re loyal you’re satisfied but just because you’re satisfied doesn’t mean that you’re loyal. Know what your customers really are!