Customer loyalty and brand trust are getting harder to come by according to new research from Salesforce.
The latest findings from the State of the Connected Customer Report, reveal that 61 per cent of customers have switched brands at least once in the past twelve months.. Of these close to half (42 per cent) made the switch dues to dissatisfaction with customer service. While 51 per cent of respondents suggested there was a disconnect between sales, service, and marketing departments
The report suggests the pressure to perform online and offline is increasing for business owners as more and more customers expect a seamless experience. Eight out of ten respondents said they would be more loyal to companies that provide consistent interactions across platforms.
Paul Zahra, CEO, Australian Retailers Association said customers are now more impatient than ever before.
“If they don’t have a positive experience when they enter your store or go on your website, they’re very quick to move on and search out rival brands and products.”
Jo Gaines, Area Vice President for Retail and Consumer Goods, Salesforce said the report revealed that customers are reassessing established brand loyalties as their priorities and behaviours shift.
“At a time when it’s never been easier for customers to switch brands and loyalty proves elusive, retailers need to focus on creating great experiences across digital and physical and appreciate their customers’ recency and history with their brand.”
Issues matter to customers
The rise of the conscious consumer is also impacting businesses as customers vote with their wallets and champion brands that share their values. It’s a trend that Gaines says is not going away any time soon.
“Shoppers are increasingly shifting to more values-driven brands that align with the issues that matter to them such as climate change. While people want brands that are clear about their values and stand up for them, they don’t want to pay much more for it.”
Zahra agrees; “Consumers are becoming more values-driven and are shopping with brands that reflect their social and environmental concerns, so issues like sustainability and climate action are growing in importance for businesses in terms of strengthening their customer relationships. The debate over climate change is over, and it’s not ‘if’ but ‘how’ and ‘when’ businesses can meet their sustainability targets.”
Personalisation and customer experience
The rise of digital first has seen more consumers willingly parting with their data, but it comes with a trade-off. Customers expect a retailer to understand their needs and wants.
“[They] want a humanised, thoughtful and personal touch from providing personalised offers to recommendations based on their previous purchases. Those retailers who don’t create these experiences run the risk of damaging hard-won relationships,” said Gaines.
“As more and more shoppers seek out completely connected experiences across in-person and offline, retailers need to create moments and interactions that stitch together all elements of their brand. It’s never been more important to do in order to earn, build and maintain customer trust.”
Who is buying?
ARA CEO Zahra says the research is an important reminder for businesses to know their customers.
“What products they like, the communication channels they prefer and the personalised offers that work best…”
“More and more Australians are purchasing the things they need with a few taps of their fingers and people now expect the best of in-store experiences to be delivered online and vice versa. Social media is also playing a greater role as part of the integrated online shopping experience, which means investments in the digital and innovation space are incredibly important for businesses if they want to remain relevant.”
Want more? Get our newsletter delivered straight to your inbox! Follow Kochie’s Business Builders on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Now read this