“Keeping Customers Happy” report shows millennials have dramatically different customer preferences and expectations than older customers
Seventy-two percent of Americans will stop buying from a brand after three bad service experiences
Companies need to find more personalized formula of customer appreciation, loyalty, service and experience to attract new buyers and reduce customer churn
Vancouver, BRITISH COLUMBIA – July 7, 2015 – Vision Critical, the leading customer intelligence platform provider, today released “Keeping Customers Happy: Key Strategies for Business Success,” which looks at the evolving customer journey of U.S. adults. The report reveals that while all customers are demanding more from companies, those demands are not uniform across all age demographics. A one-size-fits-all model no longer works when it comes to attracting and retaining today’s empowered customers.
Vision Critical’s report reveals the forms of customer services valued most by different age demographics. Millennials place a high value on personalized promotions based on purchase history, access to alternative forms of payment and companies that solicit direct customer feedback. Conversely, the most important services for customers 55-and-over are free home delivery, in-store assistance, call center support and a 30-day, no-questions-asked return policy. Understanding what motivates different age demographics is key to keeping customers loyal.
The report also shows that millennials have different expectations of customer support than older customers. While 72% of Americans contacted customer support at least once in 2014, millennials were more likely to do so than people 55-and-over. Millennials contacted customer support at an annual rate of 5.24 times in 2014, compared to 3.02 times for older customers over the same period. Today’s empowered customers are willing to shop around and investigate competitive products in order to make the best purchase possible. And, they also demand good customer service when they need help.
Comments on the News
- “Customers are demanding more from companies than ever before,” said report author Nick Stein, senior vice president of marketing at Vision Critical. “They’ve been empowered by web, mobile and social technologies to get what they want whenever they want, and if they don’t receive a seamless customer service experience they will switch their allegiance. Companies that don’t rise to the challenges posed by today’s fickle, digital customers risk losing their loyalty. To provide the best service and the best experience, companies need to engage with their customers for meaningful insight that drives better business decisions.”
- “Today, companies need to anticipate trends and predict customer behavior in order to retain customers,” said Andrew Reid, president, founder and chief product officer at Vision Critical. “Customer service and satisfaction alone are no longer enough. Retention requires knowing who your customers are, what they want and, most importantly, why they do the things they do. With that information in hand, loyalty programs can be more effective, customer appreciation is more consistent and customer experiences are more holistic.”
Brands Can Reduce Churn By Investing in Existing Customer Relationships
Additional findings of the report support the well-documented payoff derived from customer retention. According to Bain & Co., an increase of five percent in customer retention translates into a 25 percent increase in profits. As a result, smart companies invest in keeping current customers. In 2014, according to Gartner, digital marketers spent nearly as much to retain customers (45 percent) as they did to acquire new ones (55 percent).
According to the report the following four strategies are key to reducing churn: Customer Appreciation, Customer Loyalty Programs, Customer Service and Customer Experience. By knowing customers’ wants, dislikes and motivations, companies can ensure customer satisfaction and retention.
Value from each strategy is clear. Customer appreciation has proven to have a profound effect on the emotional connection brands have with customers. Customer loyalty programs deliver value in two distinct ways: by incentivizing future purchases through earned rewards and also through the data gleaned from customer shopping habits tethered to a loyalty card or electronic program. Customer service affords brands the opportunity to reduce customer effort — a key motivator behind customer retention. Customer experience is most successful for brands when they optimize the customer journey from start to finish, which requires bottom-up innovation built on rich insight about what the customer experience is really like from the perspective of the customer.
For Businesses, Customer Insight is the Bedrock of Satisfaction and Retention
Capitalizing on the opportunities inherent in customer appreciation, customer loyalty programs, customer service and the customer experience isn’t achievable from the distant C-suite. It’s critical for brands to get close, to know their customers and to really listen to what they have to say.
Read the report, “Keeping Customers Happy: Key Strategies for Business Success” to learn more about how brands can benefit from strategies such as customer appreciation, customer loyalty programs, customer service and customer experience and gain a better understanding of their entire customer-base by incorporating a customer intelligence platform into their competitive strategy.