January 2010

Customer satisfaction ... So what! Satisfied customers still abandon your brand if the “bribe” or incentive is big enough to go somewhere else. The question is not how satisfied your customers are, but how emotionally attached they are to your brand.

In his essay "Loyal Customers don’t quit ... Satisfied Customers do", Theo Muller, MD of MMResearch™ aims to debunk the long-held belief that customer satisfaction research is the one and only measure to determine customer loyalty. In fact, a customer satisfaction score is nothing more than a snapshot of how customers feel about your products, your service or your brand, at a given point in time. Tomorrow is another day and they may change their mind if one of your competitors offers a better deal. If the bribe or incentive is big enough, even satisfied customers will abandon your brand in droves. The reason for this is that merely being satisfied, or even very satisfied, is a rational state of mind – there is little or no emotion attached to that mind set. So any customer loyalty assumed from their level of satisfaction alone would be misplaced.

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