Many companies are looking for ways to delight the customer or provide the customer with a “WOW” experience. There are many marketing research organizations that provide all sorts of metrics to demonstrate how the customer experience is improving. There are companies that believe in creating strategies on the basis of improving the customer experience and is one of the best strategies they could have to improve their business performance. Is it possible they could all be wrong?

 
In a survey of nearly 100,000 US consumers who participated in online interaction with a business, the researchers Matt Dixon, Nick Toman and Rick DeLisi found “there is virtually no difference at all between the loyalty of those customers whose expectations are exceeded, and those whose expectations are simply met.” They go on to note that there is virtually no statistical relationship between how a customer rated a company on a satisfaction survey and their future customer loyalty. From a statistical perspective the survey found that the correlation coefficient was just slightly greater than 0.3, which when translated suggests that there’s only about a 10% information transfer between satisfaction and loyalty. That means 90% of the information that causes loyalty to change occurs from areas other than customer satisfaction.
 
The Customer Institute continues to focus on dissatisfaction as a key driver of loyalty/disloyalty. Satisfaction may aid in the development of loyalty but dissatisfaction has been shown to be one of the greatest drivers for disloyalty. As an example, cleanliness of a restroom in a fast food establishment will be a strong dissatisfier that will have more influence than features, such as the quality of the food or the speed of service.
 
Since dissatisfaction is such a dominant factor in the customer relationship, the obvious conclusion is that the best customer experience would occur when all the elements that create dissatisfaction are eliminated. The study noted above suggests that a customer service interaction is roughly 4 times more likely to drive disloyalty then to drive loyalty.
 
 
The bottom line is that the most important aspect of customer loyalty is the absence of actions that create dissatisfaction. Another way of stating this is the adage “customers may stay when satisfied but will surely leave if dissatisfied.” The statistics prove it!
 
This article was originally published by The Customer Institute