According to the latest consumer research from Voice of the Customer specialist eDigitalResearch, customer loyalty remains low across the majority of all consumer-facing UK industries.
Last year, eDigitalResearch investigated how loyalty levels vary across UK sectors and found that the majority of consumers were not loyal to any one brand across the majority of consumer-facing industries, despite the number of loyalty schemes that existed on British high streets.
Over one year on, eDigitalResearch have continued their investigation in an attempt to see how things have changed. In the 18 months since the original results, there has been increasing talk and emphasis on the overall customer experience – eDigitalResearch wanted to better understand if all this talk was effecting customer loyalty.
Perhaps surprisingly, the results indicate that loyalty across industries remain low, despite marginal increases in some sectors here and there. Consumers still feel that they are most loyal to brands in the grocery and supermarket sectors, with 55% saying that they almost always visit one brand over any other. Along with supermarkets, clothing, footwear and accessory retailers, banking and finance, and personal electronic device manufactures are the only sectors who have managed to convert over a quarter of the customer base into loyal customers.
eDigitalResearch also explored the relationship between loyalty and customer experience and found that for many consumers, the overall customer experience is more important to them than their loyalty to a brand. It therefore means that if a customer sees or hears that the experience with a rival brand is better than that at a brand they are currently using, then they are likely to make a switch, no matter how many times they’ve shopped with a brand previously.
Derek Eccleston, Commercial Director at eDigitalResearch, comments, “Our research suggests that the customer experience really is king. Although price, customer effort and product still have an important role to play, the overall customer experience is sometimes the only way to set two rival brands apart – our findings show that if one brand offers a better customer experience than another, then customers are likely to switch.
“It really is vital therefore that brands are properly managing their customer experience. It’s about listening to what your customers have to say during their experience, actively monitoring results in real-time and taking action where necessary to ensure that your customer experience is the very best it can be. At eDigitalResearch, our bespoke Customer Experience Management programmes can be easily tailored for brands of all shapes and sizes and are a cost-effective way of ensuring that your customer’s leave delighted and likely to return”.