Many terms exist to talk about the issues that it represents, among these satisfaction and loyalty are the most important.

Customers and the company, a big misunderstanding that mixes future and old customers with future and old products. A little ranking does not hurt efficiency.

How to measure customer loyalty and distinguish between declarative and rational behavior and real behavior, more emotional?

How the define customer satisfaction

To start with the definition of customer satisfaction concept would be logical yet not that simple as it seems. For having read many works by researchers or practitioners, we recognize that there is no single definition of this concept but several ideas that revolve around the same themes:

Satisfaction is:

·         A psychological state, post purchase and relative

·         Satisfaction is a value judgment that results from the confrontation between the service perceived and the expected service.

·         satisfaction is based on a comparison of the perceived performance of the service with a standard pre-established

·         satisfaction is a state of psychological consequence of a consumer experience

The common point of these definitions is “the right answer to the expectations of the clients “. The difficulty comes from the definition of these expectations.

So we will also mention the opposite notion – what customer satisfaction is not:

·         Performance that refers to an object and not to a person’s state such as satisfaction.

·         Perceived quality that is purely cognitive

·         The perceived value which can be a pre-consumerative and purely relational judgment (non-transactional)

The attitude that can pre-exist for consumption, does not requires no specific experience with the product / service.

Customer loyalty as a result of customer satisfaction

Customer loyalty is the result of a favorable attitude of an individual to a brand (a product or service) that results in repeated purchases. Needless to say that customer satisfaction in business triggers customer loyalty and thus the ultimate goal of business itself.

There are actually two types of customer loyalty:

• belief: preference expressed after experience and comparison competing offers;

• Laziness: who feeds on three streams:

– inertia, when we are content to have found a satisfactory product, research the “better” does not deserve time and energy;

– fear of risk: do not lose an “acceptable” solution and risk making a mistake while changing, the fear of losing is stronger than the opportunity to win;

– platitude: all is worth, no superiority recognized to the product or the brand, re-purchase routine and usual, fidelity by inertia.

We can also distinguish:

– exclusive loyalty: all products in the category are only bought at a single supplier;

– shared loyalty: service products are distributed among several suppliers. In these cases, we speak of “portfolio share”. The challenge is to try to be the first supplier to his client and become the

preferred supplier.

How to evaluate customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction can be evaluated by the frequency of re-purchase of products and services. This is accessible in B2B or in markets “with client files” in which each transaction can be registered.

In other markets, only market research and surveys (sometimes online surveys are more preferable) allow to evaluate customer satisfaction and loyalty rates. We can distinguish two concepts:

• “declared” loyalty or intent to purchase a product or service from the company at the next opportunity: “if tomorrow …”;

• loyalty “proven” by analyzing historical buying behavior: “In the last few weeks …”

Evaluation of customer satisfaction in business must strive to stay in the first place: our products / services today with our customers today. The exercise consists of defining the “right” perimeter of questions and topics that must enter a “good” measure of customer satisfaction.

• Want to find tomorrow’s customers for our products / services from today, it is part of the commercial development, the responsibility of marketers and marketers. The studies to be carried out are studies of notoriety (are we known?), studies of image (that thinks we of us?) or possibly competitive performance (where are we better?) but no satisfaction studies.

• Wanting to find tomorrow’s products / services for our customers today, comes from the field of innovation, the role of marketers, study services and your watch service.

You may be able to find ways to “improve” on your existing products / services, but true innovation will come from other types of studies (creative, qualitative) and not from studies of customer satisfaction!