In this day and age, customers want things now. We all know this. Customers also want to be able to reach their favorite brands through any method at any time. While many organizations understand that this is going on, most haven’t made this possible for their own customers. Or, should I say, their former customers.
The data points to the fact that customers are no longer satisfied with waiting for brands to set up systems that meet their needs; more often than not, they’ll move on to brands that have what they want, even if it means leaving a brand they’ve been doing business with for years. Of current millennials, 56% say they have moved their business from at least one company in the past year due to service shortcomings, whether that be because of limited channel access or just a flat out poor experience. All of this to say, maintaining customer loyalty is harder than ever.
Before you go and get all Julius Caesar on me, let’s take a second to realize that this might not be a bad thing. While losing customers is never good, the current state of affairs goes to show that those that take the time to truly invest in effortless, innovative customer experience strategies will reap the benefits. It’s not that customers want to keep changing brands, it’s just that they get tired of trudging through archaic and unwieldy customer facing systems. Yes, customer loyalty is dying , and we must realize that it is the brands themselves that are killing it.
Loyalty can be saved, though. The age old fact that it costs 6-7x less to retain a customer as it does to acquire a new one is something that most dismiss as being too simplistic, but should instead serve as a north star to guide companies in their service and sales strategies. No longer is it acceptable to stick to antiquated systems for customer engagement merely because “we’ve always had them.” That unfortunately just won’t cut it anymore. With millennials set to outspend baby boomers in 2017, new systems must be put in place to meet their demands for instant gratification.
What exactly do I mean by instant gratification? I mean not just resolving issues or making sales in a timely manner, but also allowing customers to interact on their own terms, through phone calls, emails, chats, texts, or even on social media. Companies must now realize that it’s no longer product that is a differentiator, it’s customer experience, and failing to adapt to the current customer climate could see your business get left behind.
Even if you only take a small step this year, my advice would be to start evaluating and implementing modern customer experience solutions. As we say in our 2020 Customer report, companies that do not adapt to these changing customer demands will soon face extinction. By doing more to promote customer loyalty, not only will you be reviving a nearly-forgotten practice, but ensuring your own survival as well. Life is about the company you keep, and there’s no better group of people than happy, loyal customers.
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