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The Difference Between A Loyal Partnership And A Satisfying Partnership, And Why It Matters

Behavioral scientist and consultant James Kane explains the difference between loyalty and satisfaction, and why it is crucial to building partnerships and customer relationships.

Behavioral scientist and consultant James Kane Sunday at the 2016 XChange conference in San Antonio, Texas, explained the difference between a loyal customer and partner, and a satisfied one – and showed why anyone operating in the channel should care.

Kane has assisted organizations including Apple and Major League Baseball, as well as small, regional companies.

He said that satisfaction is a mood, whereas loyalty is a behavior.

[Related:XChange 2016 Coverage]

"Satisfaction is about the past, what you did for me yesterday, and I can promise you no one is nostalgic about what happened to them yesterday," Kane said. "None of your customers, employees, vendors, partners, anyone, cares about what you did for them yesterday. The only thing they care about is what you will do for them tomorrow, and next week, and next month, and next year, and that's where loyalty resides."

Furthermore, Kane said, "Satisfaction is about what you do for them. Loyalty is about what they do for you."

That doesn’t mean that solution providers and vendors should not set out to satisfy their customers and partners, but, Kane said, many people confuse being satisfied with being loyal.

"Loyalty is a science. It's something wired inside of our brain. It has been for a very, very long time," Kane said. "It’s in our DNA."

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