Why satisfied customers defect…

Karen Lambert
Karen Lambert

Chief Happy

Customer loyalty is the feeling of attachment or affection for a company’s people, products or service.

Generally it’s accepted that the more competitive the market the more important the level of customer satisfaction. What’s not always appreciated is how important that level of customer satisfaction is.

In markets where there is intense competition (most markets) there’s a huge difference between the loyalty of a ‘simply satisfied’ customer and a ‘totally satisfied’ customer.

It is, therefore, essential for companies to excel in both defining its target customers, and delivering a product or service that completely meets their needs.

There are five areas that affect customer satisfaction:

  1. The basic elements of the product or service that customers expect
  2. Basic support levels
  3. A recovery process should things go wrong
  4. Extraordinary service
  5. The overall customer experience

Except in a few rare instances, total satisfaction is the key to securing loyalty and generating long term financial performance.

Here’s six top tips for customer satisfaction best practice.



1. Analyse

Analyse each of the five stages above and ensure that you are adding value at every stage.


2. Cherish your loyal customers.

Generally speaking a customer who is completely satisfied keeps returning. Within this band of customers will be individuals who are so satisfied that they become brand champions, sharing with others their great experiences with you. Find your champions and introduce a champion care programme.


3. Know your defectors

These are the customers who are a little (or completely) dissatisfied. The satisfied defect too. Know who your defectors are. Give them attention when things go wrong, listen to them, respond to them, correct their bad experiences. Preventing defectors from leaving can positively influence your customer retention.


4. Identify the mercenaries

These customers may be completely satisfied, however they show little loyalty. They chase low prices, buy on impulse and seek change for changes sake. With these customers it takes as much effort to please them as the loyal customers, but they do not stay long enough for the relationship to be profitable. Knowing who these customers are can help you make strategic marketing decisions as generally no matter what you do, they will go elsewhere.


5. Locate your hostages

These customers feel they are stuck. They may experience the worst but must accept it. Hostages are often difficult and expensive to serve. They may be stuck but they complain and can devastate company morale. Recognising this type of customer early in the relationship means you can help move them into a different category or move them out. The general rule is that customers should not feel trapped.


6. Listen to your customers

Use customer satisfaction ratings in surveys to understand the level of satisfaction. Plotting results can help you understand how satisfied, or otherwise, a customer is. You can survey satisfaction with both the company in general and with the products and services. Have processes in place for regular feedback, and ask your team to report on what they hear.


Companies that survive and flourish are companies that continually work to understand the relationship between satisfaction and loyalty. In short, Happy customers are loyal customers.

To receive more blogs like this, sign up here and we’ll send them when we add them. Only the best stuff. Promise. Subscribe now.

Further Reading:

Understanding customers



Karen Lambert is a career-long marketer with over 30 years marketing experience in regional, national and global organisations. She founded Happy Creative in 2005.



Marketing & Branding Specialists

Personalised for your organisation


Share this:
01253 446 933

Please enter your email to subscribe to the Happy blog


Paid Social Campaigns

Paid social media can be a brilliantly effective yet low cost form of lead generation, and it’s a great way to extend your reach, drive website traffic and generate likes and shares.

We’ll take care of setting up and managing your paid social media accounts, ensuring your spend is carefully targeted. Then we’ll provide clear, transparent reporting so you can keep refining the strategy to make your ad spend even more effective.

More about Paid Social Campaigns

Social Media

All the tweets and posts in the world won’t help generate leads unless there’s some strategic thinking behind what you’re doing.

We’ll help define the right social media strategy for you, so that you’re on the right platforms, saying the right things to the right people at the right time to generate the right leads.

More about Social Media

Design & Brand Building

Marketing is bit like those huge, swirling flocks of starlings you see from time to time. Individually your brochure, email, ad, meme or gif may not change the world.

But when you join them together and ensure they’re all heading in the same direction, you have the power to stop people in their tracks.

We design communications that help build a consistent brand and convert more leads to sales.

More about Design & Brand Building


Your website can generate leads in so many ways. Informed content. Strong calls to action. A simple, natural journey from ‘Hi there!’ to ‘Buy now’.

Yet websites are never ‘done’. They need to keep evolving to keep pace with your customers’ expectations, so we’ll be with you for the long haul to keep tweaking, refining and growing your site – and to deliver the PPC campaigns that help drive traffic towards it.

Because when your website keeps working to understand and speak to your audience, you’ve got more chance of converting.

More about Websites

PR & Content

There’s a knack to ensuring your business is seen in the right places at the right time. We’ll build your PR profile across the mix of channels that’s right for you (from press to social media to events) and use our contacts to spread the word.

So when your customers are ready to buy, it’ll be your brand they think of first.

More about PR & Content

Claim your happy offer

    Claim your happy offer

      Claim your happy offer

        Claim your happy offer

          Claim your happy offer

            What would make you happy today?