A guide to surprising and delighting customers

From our recent work on loyalty we’ve extracted some valuable insights into why people switch suppliers/providers. Perhaps more importantly, we’ve identified what brands need to do to retain those precious, loyal customers – those so often overlooked in favour of new custom.

Surprising and delighting customers

We’ve pulled these nuggets of information together into a brief guide for your ‘surprise and delight’!

We hope you find the results of the study of interest*. Please do get in touch with your thoughts – or to find out more about what we do.

  1. Decide whether you want to be totally price driven or focus on rewarding loyalty. It’s very difficult to do both. While offering the lowest prices might work as an enticement for the 40% of consumers who, according to our research, are hell bent on the next deal, they know the offer won’t last and are not going to be loyal when it ends. By pursuing new custom with sweeteners you also risk alienating existing customers. Understanding your customers and their inclination to switch will help define the best strategy for your business. Reward custom, not switching.
  2. ‘Surprise and delight’ your customers. During our research, few consumers spoke of being surprised or delighted by brands. Most did not trust brands and many were disappointed by service providers’ attitudes towards them. Some brands are experimenting with not offering anything to a new customer that they won’t offer to existing customers. This is a start, but a better strategy would be to reward existing customers simply for remaining loyal.
  3. Provide a seamless approach to customer service. Organisational silos hamper operational efficiency, frustrate customers and will, ultimately, hurt your competitive edge. Even well-known and respected companies have inadvertently created barriers between customer care, finance, marketing and IT departments, preventing them from having a complete picture of their customers across touch points. It is only by embedding customer satisfaction into every part of the business that you will be able to understand fully the customer journey, measure the right things at the right time and adjust your strategy accordingly to give you the competitive advantage.
  4. Develop strategies that empower customer service staff to deal with situations and treat customers as intelligent people. By doing this you will continually build trust with your customers and demonstrate you have their interests at heart. Understanding your employees’ experiences and views should form part of this strategic approach.
  5. Understand the psychology of consumer decisions and ensure your advertising is going to work for both existing loyal customers as well as new customers.

Download a PDF summary of the findings or simply get in touch to find out more.

These findings were published in Marketing Week on 17th October 2013 – Marketing Week Trends | Lessons from the loyalty losers

Research methodology

Quantitative online survey: 1,977 nat rep sample from Panelbase used to investigate customer switching behaviours as well as their attitudes towards switching, loyalty, service and brands.
Qualitative online community: 30 consumers selected from the loyalty/switching segments to take part in an online community to explore their attitudes, behaviours and motivations in greater depth.

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