CX RoundUp: Customer Satisfaction is not the Same as Loyalty

We're five months into the new year, and yet the wealth of customer experience (CX) insights keeps coming with increasingly keen observations making their way to the foreground. This week we found ourselves pretty amped about some of the reads we've curated for your weekend browsing, especially our lead article, which touches on an incredibly important distinction, namely that...

1. Customer Satisfaction is not the Same as Customer Loyalty

We found ourselves doing a double take on this important piece, which hones in on the findings from the Corporate Executive Board's (CEP) research project (and book) The Effortless Experience. The study found that contrary to conventional thinking, there is "zero correlation between customer satisfaction and loyalty." Naturally the article and the CEP's research should put the fear of god into CX practitioners and business worldwide who thus far are more focused on the impact poor customer service can have on loyalty and retention.

2. Service, Experience and Loyalty are Not the Same, Either

In keeping with our theme of instituting clarity this week, we give you Page O'Neill's piece from earlier this month because wisdom has no age limit. This piece is particularly important given the way "hot" disciplines like CX can get swept away in jargon without any care or concern being given to the actual definitions. In this piece O'Neill lays clearly differentiates customer loyalty from customer service and situates both within the context of customer experience.

3. Focusing on Satisfaction Can Lead to Death

Dramatic? Maybe. Incorrect. Not at all. This Atlantic piece highlights the dangers of focusing on satisfaction versus creating meaningful change. While the piece is dedicated to the healthcare industry, it's larger point could apply to any industry or setting, i.e that a fixation on raising those customer satisfaction scores may actually terminate your relationship with a customer by simply addressing the effect, not the cause.

The Takeaway: This week's curated reads all underscore the importance of shifting the perception of customer experience from an obsession with satisfying customers, to actually helping them in meaningful ways that may not always be obvious -- or beneficial -- to the business, but that ultimately solve for the bigger issue of retaining your customers.

May 01, 2015