Customer Loyalty vs. Satisfaction: What’s the Difference?

Customer loyalty - a customer giving feedback.

Welcome to the world of relationships, where two key players take the stage: loyalty and satisfaction. Often used interchangeably, these terms pack distinct punches. Think of loyalty as the rock-solid bond you build and satisfaction as the smile you put on your customers’ faces. Building customer loyalty is critical to business success. Why? So you can drive revenue, cost efficiencies, brand advocacy, and long-term growth. Here, we uncover the differences between the two, enabling you to make the most of their impact on your business. 

What is the difference between loyalty and satisfaction? 

Customer loyalty and satisfaction are crucial for businesses to do well. They contribute to the customer experience, adding different things to how customers feel. Satisfaction is about making customers happy with every interaction. Loyalty is more profound – it’s about the strong connection between customers and a brand. Customers stick with one brand because they trust and like how they feel about it: positive experiences, trust, and emotional engagement fuel loyalty. Satisfaction is more about feeling good right after an interaction.  

While a satisfied customer may be content in the moment, a loyal customer becomes a brand ambassador, repeatedly recommending and returning to the company. Therefore, understanding and enhancing loyalty and satisfaction are essential for businesses to forge strong relationships, drive revenue, and ensure sustained growth. 

Why is customer loyalty important for business success? 

Customer loyalty lies at the core of business success but is often overshadowed by the lure of gaining new customers. Yet, embracing customer retention is pivotal for growth, with statistics indicating that acquiring new customers can cost as much as five times more than satisfying and retaining current ones. 

Retention is the art of nurturing meaningful connections with existing clients that repeatedly keep them engaged – and loyal. More than an accessory, it’s a pivotal driver of business success. By nurturing loyal customers or clients, you solidify your bottom line and unleash many positive outcomes, from word-of-mouth advocacy to candid feedback that can be turned into actionable insights. 

How do you measure customer loyalty?

In pursuing business success, understanding and measuring loyalty is paramount. Customer feedback is a vital source of insights into these experiences, expectations, and pain points. Research shows that a staggering 84% of customer’s expectations are unmet, and 6% say they would cease doing business after just one bad experience. By actively addressing feedback, companies can establish trust and strengthen relationships, increasing loyalty, revenue, and differentiation from competitors.  

Businesses should leverage various touchpoints along the customer journey to effectively measure customer loyalty, employing tools like surveys, feedback forms, and experience reviews (Mystery Shopping). The insights gathered improve products and services and position businesses to stand out, ensuring long-term growth and success.  

When should I survey or gather feedback to measure customer loyalty?

To build customer loyalty, the timing of gathering feedback is critical. The ideal times to get essential insights are at key customer touchpoints. After buying something, getting support, or finishing a service, these moments give a chance to understand how customers feel. By smoothly asking for feedback during these times, businesses show they care about understanding and enhancing customer experiences immediately. 

Where can I get insights to measure and improve customer loyalty?

You can gather insights to measure and improve customer loyalty by focusing on critical touchpoints throughout their interactions with your business.  

At insight6, we partner with our clients to create and deliver customer experience (CX) strategies tailored to their needs. Whether it’s understanding your customer’s journey to improve the experience and operational efficiencies or training, mentoring and coaching teams to implement change and skill development, we can help you. We are one of the UK’s leading customer experience specialists and the only one to offer end-to-end solutions backed up by a team of local experts. 

Using our total feedback solution instant insight, you can seamlessly gain actionable insights from customers and employees. Our bespoke tool is cost-effective and quick to implement, allowing you to analyse real-time feedback, benchmark against competitors, and improve your offerings. You can drive continuous improvement and achieve business growth by consistently measuring customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

Using instant insight will:  

  • Help you gain customer feedback.  
  • Allow you to acquire employee feedback.  
  • Analyse/report on real-time feedback.  
  • Obtain actionable comments.  
  • Improve your products and services. 
  • Benchmark against your competitors.  
  • Increase positive online reviews. 


instant insight is your total feedback solution – book your demo today!

At insight6, we’re all about helping businesses build strong customer loyalty for real and lasting growth. Partner with us to understand and boost your customer experience (CX) – a game-changer for your business success. Don’t ignore unhappy customers’ impact on your profits! Let’s chat or book a demo of instant insight to see how quick insights can transform your business! 

Customer Journey: Understanding Touchpoints 

Customer journey mapping - Customers viewing a business on a mobile device.

Mapping the customer journey gives valuable insights into touchpoints and interactions that shape the overall experience. Many businesses believe they offer a good customer experience, but research shows that only a small percentage of these customers feel the same way. Seeing your business through the customers’ eyes is essential. Why? So, you can improve satisfaction, build loyalty, and boost profitability. Here, we explore the benefits of the mapping process in shaping remarkable experiences.

What is customer journey mapping, and why is it important? 

It is a powerful tool to learn the hidden gems of customer interactions with your business. Tracing the customer’s steps and illustrating their journey gives you invaluable insights into their trials, delights, and frustrations. Armed with this knowledge, you can proactively find areas where they may stumble and take decisive action to improve their experience. 

Personalised customer journey maps allow you to laser-focus your efforts, addressing pain points and implementing strategies to deliver a seamless experience. The result? Enhanced customer satisfaction, reduced churn, and exponential business growth. You can unlock remarkable experiences and forge lasting customer connections with customer journey mapping.

How can the mapping process benefit businesses? 

The customer experience is everything. Mapping the journey will give you insights to transform your businesses. Effective implementation based on real insight will improve the overall experience, enabling you to win new business, increase satisfaction, foster loyalty, and drive profitability. A well-crafted map should reflect the customer’s reality.

In contrast, meaningless maps hinder progress. Despite billions spent on customer experience technologies, customer satisfaction is declining, according to the latest ICS UK Customer Satisfaction Index. Getting an independent third-party review is important to avoid bias and to protect your investment.

What is involved in creating a customer journey map? 

Creating a journey map involves turning customer feedback into actionable insights. You can overcome common pitfalls and identify improvements with mapping workshops. A customer experience solution like this will enable you to visualise scenarios based on customer interactions with your business.

Customer journey mapping – a step-by-step approach:  

  • Conduct thorough research: Gather data to gain profound insights into customers’ experiences.
  • Develop detailed personas: Capture the goals, needs, pain points, and behaviours of your target audience.
  • Detail touchpoints: Find where customers interact with your business online and offline.
  • Break it down: The customer journey into stages, outlining key actions, emotions, and expectations at each step.
  • Visualise the journey: Use diagrams or infographics, aiding effective communication and understanding.
  • Analyse the map: Find pain points and areas for improvement.
  • Prioritise improvements: Base these on impact and feasibility, focusing on areas that influence the overall experience.
  • Implement targeted changes: Monitor and measure their impact and refine the map accordingly. 

Following these steps, businesses can create comprehensive and actionable customer journey maps, resulting in remarkable experiences and heightened customer satisfaction. 

How can mapping improve the overall experience? 

With a holistic view of the customer experience, companies can explore pain points and identify ways to improve the customer experience. These insights enable businesses to make informed decisions, helping them to increase efficiencies and deliver seamless interactions. Customer journey mapping is pivotal in creating remarkable experiences that exceed expectations by addressing common pain points and ensuring consistency across touchpoints. Ultimately, this leads to increased customer satisfaction, improved loyalty, and a competitive edge in the market. 

How do touchpoints affect the customer journey? 

Touchpoints play a crucial role. These interaction points, whether digital or physical, directly affect the customer’s experience and perception of a company. Positive touchpoints can create moments of delight, build trust, and strengthen the overall journey. On the other hand, negative touchpoints can lead to frustration, dissatisfaction, and even customer churn. By effectively managing touchpoints, businesses can create a positive and cohesive journey that leaves an impression on customers. 

What are some common customer touchpoints? 

There are several common touchpoints appear across various customer journeys. These touchpoints can occur at various stages and through various channels. Here are some examples:

  • Website: Customers visit to gather info, explore, buy, or seek support.
  • Social Media: Engage for communication, feedback, and updates.
  • Physical Stores: Browse, get help, and buy in-store.
  • Customer Service: Address enquiries and resolve via phone, email, and chat.
  • Mobile Apps: Access services, track orders, and engage loyalty via apps.
  • Email Communication: Newsletters, promos, updates, offers.
  • Online Reviews: Influence others via platform or site reviews.
  • Post-purchase Follow-up: Feedback, cross-selling, and support after purchase.

By recognising these common touchpoints, businesses can focus on optimising each interaction to give a seamless and consistent experience across various customer journeys. 

Mapping is a powerful tool that empowers businesses to see through the eyes of their customers. By gaining valuable insights into the genuine customer experience, companies can bridge the gap between their perception and reality.

At insight6, we partner with thousands of companies to transform their businesses by delivering a world-class customer experience. We bring teams together through the journey mapping process to understand what happens for your customers. Enhancing how your customers see and interact with your business will improve satisfaction, encouraging advocacy and repeat business. You work hard and spend money to find and attract new customers. Do not let the cost of unsatisfied customers affect your reputation and bottom line. Get in touch today for a no-obligation chat to see how we can transform your business. 

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Read more: Customer Journey: Understanding Touchpoints 

How to generate positive customer reviews online

When we talk about positive customer reviews, we are talking about a positive customer experience or CX. People trust online reviews so they should be part of your marketing strategy.

If you want to compete online then customer reviews are essential. Positive customer reviews are the end goal, but negative feedback also provides an opportunity for improvement.

We believe customer experience is everything and that positive reviews are important for businesses looking to increase loyalty and profits. So, here we share our insights and advice on how you can generate more positive customer reviews online.

Why do I need customer feedback for my business? 

The more feedback you receive, the more confident you will be in making great decisions for your business. Insights will enable you to improve the customer experience and ultimately your profits.

Here are six reasons why customer feedback is important in business:

  1. Customer feedback helps improve products and services.
  2. Customer feedback enables you to measure customer satisfaction.
  3. Customer feedback provides data to empower business decisions.
  4. Customer feedback builds loyalty by showing customers you listen and care.
  5. Customer feedback can create better customer experiences.
  6. Customer feedback can increase staff satisfaction by rewarding good behaviour.

However, customer reviews, particularly online reviews, can be a divisive topic amongst business owners. 

People fall into one of two camps, either 'too nervous to ask', fearful of any negative comments, or the 'I know best', dismissive of any feedback that doesn't align to their thinking. Neither set a helpful foundation for achieving positive customer reviews.

Research shows 80% of companies say they deliver 'superior' customer service while only 8% of customers thought the same about those companies - how would your customers rate your brand?

The holy grail is a business leader who understands the importance of genuine customer feedback, is accepting of the feedback, and is prepared to alter or improve certain aspects of the business to enhance the overall customer experience. 

Essentially, you can't fix what you don't know is broken. 

How important are customer reviews to a business? 

Reviews not only have the power to influence consumer decisions but can strengthen a company's credibility. Reviews have the power to gain customer trust, and they encourage people to engage with the company. Engagement ultimately leads to improved profits for businesses.

  • 91% of 18-34-year old's trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. 
  • 93% of customers have been influenced to make a purchase by an online review.
  • 4 out of 5 customers have changed their mind on a purchase after reading a negative review.

Love them or loathe them, these are the facts that sit behind purchasing behaviour today, and if you don't have positive online reviews, you are at a disadvantage to a competitor who does. (Source: Qualtrics October 2020).

Six-steps to generating positive customer reviews

As the UK's largest customer experience consultancy in the UK, insight6 Specialists have worked with hundreds of businesses to improve their CX. So, we have put together a six-step method to help you generate more positive customer reviews for your business.

  • Map and test your customer journey 

It's crucial to walk in your customer's shoes - and regularly map your customer journey - to see what they see and experience the customer journey as they do. 

Mapping your customer journey will give you first-hand knowledge of any glitches in your processes, where you really add value, and where you may need to make improvements or streamline. 

  • CX culture must be instilled from the top 

The phrase 'a fish rots from the head down' is true when it comes to CX. You must set the tone for the culture and deliver the experience you expect your employees to replicate. A good leader is prepared to ask the questions they may not like the answers to.

In fact, your employees are your biggest customer group. 

To enable your employees to deliver a great experience to your customers, you need to deliver a great experience to them to ensure that they remain motivated and engaged. Do you know the one simple (but essential) thing leaders can do to improve employee engagement?

How many negative reviews do you think could result from a disgruntled employee? Mentoring and coaching for leaders can really improve the CX internally and result in better customer reviews.  

  • Have a robust resolution plan 

Every business is going to come up against issues from time to time. The skill is turning a negative aspect into an overall positive experience. 

You need to be able to see your business through the eyes of the customer. Make sure that you have mapped your customer journey and know exactly where all the potential pitfalls lie. 

Once you have identified potential gaps in the customer journey you can begin to put robust resolution plans in place for each scenario, enabling your employees to help rectify the issue for the customer as quickly and painlessly as possible - delivering an overall good experience.

  • CX Reviews (mystery shoppers)

Forget the cliché 'mystery shopper' of the 90's retail world. A detailed CX Review should report everything, from the number of times a phone rang before answering to how many days it took to receive a follow-up call or email and specific questions you may want answers to. 

You need a level of analysis that provides you with actionable insights, allowing you to identify and address any potential issues that could generate negative reviews.

At insight6 our CX Reviewers are highly skilled and trained research professionals - regarded as the best in the world. Yes, our team will check if your staff are polite and friendly, but they delve much deeper into your business to test your entire customer journey, from how you deal with initial enquiries to delivery of services, aftercare and more. Each CX Review is designed individually to suit every business. 

  • Customer feedback

Asking for feedback proactively forms part of the strategy to developing organic positive customer reviews online. 

Continuous customer feedback enables you to monitor how your business is performing and how customers feel about you - depending on the type of feedback tool you use; this can even be done in real-time. Instant online feedback tools such as our instant insight solution is the quickest and most efficient way to spot any blips in your customer experience.

More detailed customer feedback should be undertaken periodically to delve deeper into any themes that come up in your rolling feedback - this is generally better done as a focus or listening group - to fully understand the customer viewpoint. 

  • Training and development 

One of the most common and frustrating mistakes we see is businesses collecting customer feedback but failing to do anything with it. This is where it really helps to work with a CX specialist. 

You need to analyse all the data from your customer feedback, mystery shops, and customer journey map and identify where your business or team would benefit from specialist training or development.  

insight6 Specialists take this data and design bespoke training and development workshops for their team that have a positive impact on customer reviews. 

How to decide which online review sites are the best

Google reviews, Facebook reviews, Trustpilot? There is no simple answer.

Firstly, it depends on your objectives behind the reviews. Are you looking for detailed feedback to really understand how your customers are feeling about your business so that you can continuously improve? Or are you looking to use online reviews as a promotional tool to increase business? 

With so many online outlets for customers to leave reviews, what works best for your business will very much depend on your target customer, what media they consume and what channels they use. It's also worth remembering that many customer reviews are never made public, and in many cases, these can be the most powerful and valuable reviews to a business. 

How to maximise the value of customer feedback

Online customer reviews are great for building trust, proving credibility and increasing sales but they offer so much more to a business if collected and analysed correctly. 

At insight6 we work with our clients to fully understand the objectives and target market when designing a feedback system.  If feedback is not requested appropriately, it is a wasted opportunity at best; at worst, it can create a negative experience and become counterproductive.

With our instant insight solution, we can help you analyse the feedback from your customers (or team members) at a much deeper level than self-service alternatives, enabling you to benchmark different criteria over time but also against competitors in your sector. 

Where a business will really see the benefits of a tailored feedback system is in the front-end design. Our CX Directors work with clients to pinpoint the correct questions to ask, in the right tone of voice and the correct time to request feedback. 

Are you looking to increase online customer reviews to drive traffic or sales to your business? In that case, our instant insight solution is a great way to capture quick and simple feedback or reviews from your customers with the option to automatically post to a whole host of public review platforms such as Google reviews, Facebook reviews, and Trustpilot, Trip Advisor and many more.

How to manage negative online reviews

Don't be afraid of the odd negative review. Nobody is perfect 100% of the time, and customers would be suspicious of any business that had a perfect 5* record - fake reviews are bad for business.

If you have mapped and regularly tested your customer journey, you're happy with the motivation and culture of your team, and you are regularly seeking and monitoring customer feedback, then you can be confident that it's an anomaly. The key is how you handle it.

Remember, customers aren't always right, but it's your job is to make them feel that they are! Acknowledge and thank them for their feedback, apologise for the issue and assure them that it will be investigated and if the issue remains, it will be rectified. 

Serial complainers will always do what they do best, but, if your business is generally delivering a great customer experience, you can usually rely on your customers to defend and call out a rogue review - and this is worth its weight in gold.  

Ultimately, improving your customer experience is the surest way to retain loyalty, reduce cost and increase profits. And it's easier than you might think. 

The very act of asking customers for feedback has been shown to increase customer loyalty three-fold whilst also making them more profitable customers. 

At insight6, our unique and tailored solutions allow businesses to transform their customer experience cost-effectively, from end to end, with the dedicated support of a local expert. To find your local CX Specialist and discover how we can transform your customer experience, call +44 (0) 800 970 8987 or visit

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