We’re not saying that satisfaction isn’t important, it’s very important. In particular, knowing what interactions or services left someone dissatisfied is vital to correcting that experience in the future.
But, that’s the key – consumer satisfaction is backward looking. It measures whether someone was happy with an experience they’ve already had. It doesn’t offer any insights into their future intent.
Loyalty, on the other hand, is an abiding relationship between a consumer and an organization. And, most of the research agrees that a loyal consumer is much more valuable than a satisfied consumer. A loyal consumer can have one bad experience and still remain a committed advocate for your brand or service.
For co-ops, our business model and the unique relationship we enjoy with our members makes striving for loyalty even more important.