Customer Loyalty Research: The Impact of Convenience

by: Steve Damerow November 18, 2015

Consumers Are No Longer Brand Loyal

  1. In the rush of business necessity and the desire to meet quarterly financial requirements from Wall Street, branding has become less about solving specific needs – and more an attempt to quickly create new revenue streams by promoting solutions for needs that don’t exist.
  2. According to Armando Azarloza, President of The Axis Agency, “This is bound to fail because it doesn’t support lasting and meaningful engagement. It’s “moment marketing” – and it will not allow you to become part of your consumers’ reality and experiences.”Brands must begin to authentically engage with consumers who are not only becoming more diverse, but wiser about their purchasing habits.
  3. Consumers are no longer brand loyal. They may be loyal to the engagement experience that a particular brand offers. Once the experiential elements of brand engagement disappear, in many cases, so does the emotional connection consumers have with the brand that was providing them that unique experience.

 

Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers

  1. Two critical findings emerged that should affect every company’s customer service strategy. First, delighting customers doesn’t build loyalty; reducing their effort—the work they must do to get their problem solved—does. Second, acting deliberately on this insight can help improve customer service, reduce customer service costs, and decrease customer churn.
  2. According to conventional wisdom, customers are more loyal to firms that go above and beyond. But our research shows that exceeding their expectations during service interactions (for example, by offering a refund, a free product, or a free service such as expedited shipping) makes customers only marginally more loyal than simply meeting their needs.
  3. What exactly does “make it easy” mean? Simply: Remove obstacles. We identified several recurring complaints about service interactions, including three that focus specifically on customer effort. Customers resent having to contact the company repeatedly (or be transferred) to get an issue resolved, having to repeat information, and having to switch from one service channel to another (for instance, needing to call after trying unsuccessfully to solve a problem through the website).

7 Tips for Building Brand Loyalty in a Discount Obsessed Market

  1. Online is where most everyone does research, and where the vast majority of commerce takes place. Consumers are turning to the web primarily because of convenience — a days worth of holiday shopping can now be done in a fraction of the time in a cost efficient way.
  2. Give them a reason to come back. Provide incentives for consumers to return to your company instead of the competition. Create programs that reward loyalty to your brand. Consider giving insider access, special status and other non-monetary driven incentives. Everyone wants something that can not simply be purchased, provide some privileges and create some cache!

@Incentive_Sols


About Steve Damerow

Steve Damerow is the Founder of Incentive Solutions, an incentive program provider in Atlanta specializing in helping B2B companies increase distribution channel sales, establish customer loyalty and retention, and develop long-lasting channel partnerships.