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The fundamentals of driving customer loyalty

Zoe Dowling will be presenting at this years’ AMSRS National Conference. Don’t miss your chance to see her speak! Program and ticket information can be found at

Zoe Dowling, Ph.D. from FocusVision offers a refresher on four fundamentals to delight and retain customers

It was all so much easier in the good old days. The customer relationship was more straightforward and sellers were able to communicate directly with buyers to understand their pain points and path to purchase. Trying to emulate that depth of customer interaction at scale is challenging and brands today are struggling to understand what their customers really want.

If you don’t know what makes your audience happy and engaged, it will be impossible to design a product or service that resonates with them. Knowing the extent of any service or product problems, as well as customers’ likes and dislikes, is fundamental to growing your bottom line. So how, in today’s global market, can you really get to know your customer?

There are now a myriad of qualitative and quantitative survey tools that allow businesses to ask and analyze feedback at scale, delivering business intelligence and informing commercial and customer service decisions. With so many sophisticated tools at our fingertips, the ultimate aim of what we are trying to do can get forgotten. So here’s a reminder on four steps to delight and retain your customers:


This breaks down into two parts: what to ask, and when to ask it. Depending on the nature of your business, you can survey customers about their experience immediately after a transaction, or at regular intervals afterwards. Asking questions about their general satisfaction, specific areas of performance, their demographic data in combination with open ended questions will allow you to build a comprehensive profile of your customer.


When selecting a survey technology solution, look for one with built-in reporting capabilities to build dashboards and scorecards. This gives your data a longer lifespan by allowing you to measure performance and progress against initial customer feedback and helps prioritize changes needed to improve the customer experience.


The worst mistake brands make is to show intent by conducting customer research only to then fail to act on it. The least that brands can do to reward loyal and responsive customers is to act on that feedback. We recommend responding to dissatisfied customers individually to learn more about and address their complaint. You can surprisingly quickly move an unhappy customer to a very satisfied one simply by listening and acting on their feedback.


With every customer complete or support team follow-up, you will be building a database of issues. While some patterns may be obvious or require follow-up, your customers will always manage to surprise you in the ways they use your product or service. As patterns begin to emerge, you’ll learn which product or service changes may be necessary to best serve your customers.

Every personal interaction with a customer informs their experience, as well as yours, and serves as a chance to build stronger rapport and loyalty. A successful customer satisfaction program will do just that by acting as a great conversation starter between your brand and its audience.

Zoe Dowling, FocusVision





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