Is the loyal customer a dying breed?


A report that examines customer service trends, commissioned by Kcom and the Customer Contact Association (CCA), reveals a significant shift in consumer behaviour: loyalty is losing ground to price. The report finds that price (26%) and quality (24%) are the top two reasons for choosing to return to a company, followed by customer service (16%). The finding is aligned to results from a CCA member’s survey which reveals that 44% of organisations feel customers are becoming less loyal, identifying a growing need for businesses to rethink the rules of customer engagement. Some 59% of consumer respondents claim that that they would be more willing to use an automated service if it guaranteed them a discount. This reflects the growing popularity of discount websites, which are used by millions to ‘find the best deal’. Yet 52% of businesses admit that they do not currently offer new or existing customers discount codes as an incentive. The study shows that, if what a merchant is selling is identical to that of its competition, the primary consumer driver will always be price. The number one customer service priority for consumers is being able to speak to a live person, followed by the first person they contact resolving their query and receiving a faster response. According to Mark Pritchard, Business Development Director at Kcom, “While customer service may not have come out top in the survey, it is still a deciding factor in why people choose one company over another. If you offer a low price, but a customer is unhappy with customer service, they are unlikely to return. Companies need to decide which area they can best compete on, whilst also keeping in mind the other two.”
This article is copyright 2012


Loyal Partner Associates