The changing face of customer loyalty – Dino Forte, CEO at contact centre outsourcer Ventrica, explores to what extent consumers are loyal towards their favourite brand and the impact that a bad customer experience has on this.
New Research shows that 76% of consumers admit they would switch to a competitor if they have just one bad experience with a brand they like. On the flipside, over half of consumers say that once they’re loyal to a brand, they’re loyal for life.
This offers the question – how loyal are consumers actually being towards their favourite brands, and what will it take for a consumer to have a bad experience?
Gaining loyal consumers and advocates is something most brands aim for; but given the research, how far can this really be stretched? Unfortunately, many brands take loyalty for granted. The brands that hold a monopoly over a market, with unique products or services that can’t be found elsewhere, are often the strongest culprits of this, knowing their customers will continue to return regardless of the customer service they provide.
However, even in this situation, delivering a customer experience (CX) that meets the customer’s expectations and needs, is critical. Even for organisations in industries such as utilities where many consumers stay with their provider to avoid the hassle of switching, CX is still key. After all, it is six times more expensive to win new business than to retain it; showing how essential it is for organisations to look after their customers, even if they are confident they won’t leave.
New touchpoints and skilled staff
The fact is, delivering a CX that enables an organisation to remain competitive and encourage the customer to return is a big challenge. With numerous touchpoints now available to today’s consumer – from social media, to the organisation’s website, webchat and phone calls – how can a brand ensure it reaches its customers across all channels but provide the same experience, irrespective of channel?
All consumers will agree that a ‘bad’ CX involves a frustrating experience, long waiting times, unanswered questions, unknowledgeable staff, faulty products or simply not being listened to. Can we really blame them if an experience like this makes them want to switch to a competitor? However, it doesn’t need to be like this. An organisation’s contact centre should form the heart of the CX it provides, with a trained, dedicated team ready to answer queries and resolve any issues the customer may have experienced across multiple channels. A customer service team should completely embody the persona of the brand; understanding who the customer is, what issue they’re facing and how it can be resolved in a quick, seamless manner that leaves the customer satisfied and eager to purchase a product or service again.
If a bad experience strikes, an organisation can’t blame a customer for wanting to look elsewhere. It’s therefore essential for organisations to put measures in place to ensure that all channels are equipped to provide the best CX possible – so that a customer’s loyalty never comes into question at all.
Dino Forte is CEO at Ventrica,
Ventrica is an award-winning, outsourced contact centre business that delivers omnichannel and multi-lingual customer service for blue chip brands, listed at #63 on the Sunday Times Fast Track 100. Continual investment in globally leading technology allows Ventrica to provide a truly omnichannel customer experience that encompasses calls, email management, web chat, instant messaging and social media into one integrated and unified solution.
The company is headquartered in Southend where it operates from spacious, hi-tech and modern offices, placing significant emphasis on the comfort and well-being of its staff. Ventrica shares the same passion about its customers’ business as it does for its own and continually strives for quality and consistency of service delivery.
Ventrica has significant experience of providing customer management and sales across an array of industries, including, Retail, Insurance, Finance, Health, Transport, Real Estate, Leisure, Hospitality, Construction and Publishing. Ventrica is well-known for its eCommerce expertise, particularly within fashion retail.