• Tom Cates



True customer loyalty is not a vague or intangible emotion. It is a definable and manageable motivator of human behavior that crosses all cultural, social, and economic boundaries, and exists in every relationship we have, wherever we find ourselves doing business. Whether in our personal lives when we shop for ourselves or our families, or in our professional lives when we purchase a product or service with the intent on it making us more efficient, our perception of the product or service, and our loyalty to it, is based in a number of ever important factors (see our Value of Trusted Advisors datasheet for more detail). Measuring the client experience is an extremely powerful tool for growth in any organization –  if it is measured correctly, analyzed accurately, and delivered to those who can do something about it. Organizations often make the mistake of forgetting to measure the customer experience. They forget to think about what their customers need from them, what they will respond to, and how their behavior can be changed.

Additionally, as I’ve noted before, businesses often settle for a “fine” or “average” retention rates when, with just a small shift in improving the customer experience, companies could see a significant impact on their bottom from as little as a 1% increase in customer retention. For larger multi-billion dollar businesses, this can mean significant ROI. But, this doesn’t apply to just large companies only. Smaller companies too can – and do – benefit as well. Think about it, if you’re a small firm delivering marketing and advertising services with 20 customers, can you really afford to lose one?

Have you ever asked yourself, “Do I know when one of my customers is about to walk out the door?” You should! It’s a business question that needs to have an answer. Here’s something else to think about when measuring the customer experience. According to the Harvard Business Review, 28% of “dissatisfied” customers intend to remain with the company. Now flip it to “satisfied” customers, and just 20% reported having the intent to leave an organization. So what am I trying to you tell?

You need to understand where you stand with your customers. Not only is revenue walking out the door when clients leave, but a piece of your reputation leaves as well. Some people say, “Not every battle can be won.” Well, the truth is, not every battle is a loss either. Start by rethinking your approach to measuring the customer experience and which metrics are important to your business. Especially, if you’re having trouble understanding your customer’s happiness. It’s possible the solution is right in front of you.


As I’ve said before, none of your customers will ever tell you when they’ve started considering your competitor as a solution. So what is the solution to figuring out your customer loyalty? Start working on developing 4 fundamental skills for collecting, measuring and distributing customer data and understanding loyalty.


So, how do you develop these 4 fundamental skills? Start by gathering both perception and fact-based customer data and converting it into actionable customer relationship insights. So what is perception-based customer data? Think of this as data received in response to survey. Fact-based data? This can be gathered through support tickets, email communications logged in your CRM, logins to your customer portal, etc. Gathering both types of customer data gives you a complete pictures of your customer health and provides clarity into account, product and service teams and helps you better predict revenue, renewals and retention. On it’s own, isn’t that worth it?  Don’t just collect data and analyze strengths and weaknesses for each of your relationships. Better understand which behaviors are responsible for each result will go a long way toward understanding how to course correct.

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