Most of the organizations have murkiness in considering customer loyalty and satisfaction. They feel that both are same and a satisfied customer is always loyal to them. But this is not true as the customer can be delightfully satisfied but he may be or may not be loyal. This is because satisfaction an emotional and slushy feeling over the job done. But loyalty is related to the action taken by the customer future. There can be following two combinations of aspect when satisfaction and loyalty are treated together:
- Satisfied but disloyal customers: A customer can be fully satisfied but may not be loyal due to following reasons:
- Entrepreneur Customer: These types of customers like to experiment a lot and hence try to create various options for them to get more benefits. So even if they are satisfied they diverge to other options available in the market.
- Pressure from Competitors: Due to the pressure in market the customer tends to follow the competitors path and divert from the existing supplier to remain sustain in the global marketplace.
- Outdated Suppliers: The customer may be satisfied with the existing customers but sometimes feel that the product and services he is using are outdated in market. Due to the changing technology there is always a need to update the technical aspects and product features even if the old products and services are satisfactory. Focusing on these facets the customers normally go to other suppliers for his new requirements.
- Unsatisfied but loyal customers: The other abnormal situation is when the customer is loyal but is unsatisfied. The reasons for this are following:
- Lack of available options: There can lack of options available for customers. This situation arises when the existing supplier is having a monopoly in a particular segment of products or when all other competitors are worse then the existing supplier. The customer feel trapped in this type of situation and is forced to be loyal to the supplier but at the end of the day he will be an unsatisfied customer.
- Improved Supplier: In another situation the suppliers may take the customers in confidence by convincing them to provide improved products and services in the coming future. This is an important tactic that supplier implement in their marketing strategy to become customer centric and to have customers stick to them and be loyal. To remain in a healthy relationship the customers also remain loyal but have a feeling of dissatisfaction beneath. But finally if the supplier continuously supply degraded products and services the customer could easily divert from them in search of better prospects.
- Customer Inertia: There are some customers who afraid to change the supplier. Even if they have bad experience with the supplier, they continue to have business with them. This may be due to the emotional and business attachments or bonding of customers with those particular suppliers. Their could be many others reason for this like, the customers feel reluctant to face the complexity of the process of changing their way to other suppliers and prominently when they already have a long term relationship with their suppliers. Under this situation the customer tries to ignore the feelings of being unsatisfied and remain loyal to them.
For an organization to be in business and make profit it is a very important aspect for them to gain customer loyalty. Even if high satisfaction may not guarantee loyalty but it can be literally a prerequisite for it.
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