In what could possibly be a case of the blindingly obvious, a new report says consumers don’t become loyal to a brand until after purchase and it’s only then that marketers should focus on how to build the relationship.
The study, by UK market research firm BI Intelligence (the research element of Insider Business), found that 38 per cent of British consumers felt most engaged with a brand when they’re already using the product.
And you certainly don’t want to stuff the customer relationship. According to the study it takes 12 positive customer experiences to negate the poor impression left behind from a single bad experience.
That said, once a customer has your product in their hot little hands it’s not an invitation to bombard them with a follow-up. The survey found that 76 per cent of consumers are concerned about the frequency of communication they receive from companies.
Just over half – 51 per cent – said they find the frequency of follow-ups intrusive, while 17 per cent agreed that the campaigns weren’t relevant to them. Much of these follow-ups were via email or social media campaigns.
The survey also found that customer experience was an important way to improve brand loyalty, particularly if the customer experienced difficulties. According to recent research in The Wall Street Journal one-third of all online purchases are returned and how a retailer handles the customer service aspect of the return process is vital to ongoing loyalty.
The BI Intelligence report also cited a Microsoft study that found two-thirds of US consumers said they’d spend more money with brands who gave excellent customer service.
The study noted that traditional channels like phone and email are still preferred by consumers, but new technologies — like messaging apps and live chat — are beginning to find ground, too.