Five Types of Loyal Customers

publication date: Jun 1, 2017
author/source: Shep Hyken

CustomersI've identified five main types of customers that just about all types of businesses could have – or have already. I included businesses that have loyalty programs because so many of my clients do.

Customers Who Are Satisfied

A satisfied customer is not a loyal customer. They may appear to be loyal, but they aren't. I refer to these types of customers as “dangerous customers.” You think they are happy because they are satisfied. While they don't dislike you, they don't love you either. These customers may like (not love) your restaurant, even without incentives stay with you. They don't complain. And, they don't leave – until your competitor offers a better experience or something that appears to be of greater value.

Customers Who Are Loyal to Your Loyalty Program

Not unlike the satisfied customer, these customers are not really loyal either. These customers are loyal to your loyalty program, but not to your restaurant. They appear to be loyal because they come back again and again, but not because they like you. They come back because they love accumulating points or having their card punched. Sometimes the perks are even more important than the price.

Customers Who Enjoy Convenience

There are customers who dine with you simply because you are convenient. It may simply be because of your location. They may or may not be price sensitive. These customers are ripe to be converted to loyal customers, if you can give them a reason to do so.

Customers Who Are Loyal to Your Low Prices

If you choose to compete in the low price arena, you will find diners who are more loyal to the price than your restaurant. As soon as they find a lower price elsewhere, they leave you. If you advertise that you are the lowest price, you better be the lowest price.

Customers Who Are Really Loyal

This is the customer who loves your restaurant. Price isn't an issue. And, you don't need a loyalty program to keep this customer loyal. Most likely, they enjoy the relationship they have with your restaurant and/or the people who work in your company. This is the ultimate loyal customer. This is who you want to be doing business with.

This is the list I came up with. What other types of loyal customers can you think of?

Shep HykenShep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is a customer service expert, hall-of-fame speaker and New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. He works with organizations to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. He is also the creator of The Customer Focus, a customer service training program that helps organizations develop a customer service culture and loyalty mindset. For more information contact (314) 692-2200 or