Customer loyalty is not something to be taken for granted. Though a successful businessperson from the 1950s would agree with this statement, retaining customer loyalty is harder these days than it was back then when there were only three TV channels on the air. With the internet, the entire world has become a marketplace. The ability to research products, discover new brands, and find the best prices is literally in the palm of your hands. However, this very same technology can be used to engage with your customers and build loyalty despite the immense competition that exists out there. Today, I’d like to share seven fascinating statistics on customer loyalty and retention.
75% of businesses believe they are customer-centric, and just 30% of consumers agree (Source: Capgemini)
If this isn’t a reality check for business owners and C-level employees, then I don’t know what is. Though “the customer is always right”, let’s assume the truth lies somewhere in the middle with this statistic.
Either way, this is a fascinating look at how businesses see themselves compared to how customers see the very same businesses. What’s the solution for these businesses? Perhaps, some focus groups and surveys could provide these businesses with some valuable insights. Maybe they need to look deeply into their customer service processes. For starters, get on your social media accounts and your review systems. Read what people are saying about your business and see if there is a common denominator that needs to be changed.
13% of customers are loyalists who don’t shop around
29% of customers shop around, but ultimately repurchase from the same brand
58% of customers switch to a different brand (Source: McKinsey Research)
This is a 3-in-1 stat because I wanted to give insights into customer loyalty in general. These are some fascinating numbers from McKinsey Research. 13% of customers are so loyal to their brands that they won’t even consider shopping around (Mom, please at least consider getting an Android phone!). This may not be as true with younger consumers as they have different priorities, but we’ll touch on that demographic a bit later.
29% of customers will shop around, but ultimately stay loyal. 58% of customers, on the other hand, switch to a different brand. Though my mom is an Apple Fan-girl, my last three phones have been from different brands. Again, I can’t say that this is necessarily due to age as the McKinsey findings didn’t specify this, but some research from Customer Thermometer seems to show that customers are more likely to feel connected to a brand the older they get.
52% of Generation Z consumers will transfer loyalty from one brand to another if the brand’s quality is not up to par (Source: IBM)
It seems that IBM has found some more data about the views on loyalty within different age groups. According to their data, younger generations are much more finicky than their older counterparts. One factor is obviously their age. They lack the experience to simply place their loyalty into one brand. Another factor here probably has to do with their growing up in the digital age. Using Google is second nature to this generation, and therefore shopping, researching company ethics, and price comparisons are very easy for this age group. Perhaps the fact that their parents (Generation Xers) are also more sceptical than baby boomers has something do with this as well.
50% of customers quit doing business with a company immediately after a bad sales/marketing experience, one-quarter took to social media, and 54% started engaging with other companies. (Source: Accenture)
It appears as though it doesn’t take much for consumers to “take action” if they feel like they’ve had a poor customer experience. Loyalty is harder to come by these days with so much competition and so much information available online. Businesses have to try their hardest to make sure customers are and remain happy.
89% of customers begin business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. [Oracle]
This stat about customer service is similar to the previous statistic about sales/marketing experiences. You know what they say: you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Although many customers are willing to give your shop a second chance after some problems, this only happens if you handle the problem professionally and leave your customer satisfied. Still, it’s important to keep in mind that 89% of customers have begun shopping with a competitor following a poor customer experience.
57% of consumers listed “having a negative review unaddressed while continuing to receive offers for similar products” as the top reason they would break up with a brand (Talend)
It seems that another thing that really upsets customers is when their complaints go unanswered, yet they’re still marketed to. When companies do this, it’s like a double slap in the face to customers. It comes off like “We really want your money, but we don’t care about your complaints”.
Make sure that you address customer complaints and negative reviews in a timely fashion. Don’t forget, many shoppers will specifically search out the negative reviews for two reasons. Firstly, they want to see if the product has any disadvantages. Secondly, they want to check on the shop’s ability to handle a problem.
You’re job as a retailer is to address these issues promptly and in a friendly manner no matter the tone of the disgruntled customer. Customers are expected to be upset. Customer service departments are expected to handle upset shoppers calmly and politely no matter what.
79% of Generation Z would engage with a brand that could help them make a difference (Saatchi New York)
Again, Generation Z may have the right idea. For decades, we (teachers, parents, society) have been preaching to save the environment, to avoid companies that use child labour, etc. These are only two examples of ethical points that have been pointed out to us over the years. However, as some corporations are taking (green) action and the internet spreads the news, consumers have more opportunities to support a brand or take it down.
Tomorrow’s power-shoppers are very much aware of the politics of a company, whether that means being green, having fair wages, or having organic ingredients. It might be time to take similar steps for your company.
Although it may be easier for customers to change their loyalties these days, it’s not impossible to keep your customers happy and sticking with your brand. What’s important to remember for retailers is that they need to provide excellent customer service and keep their customers engaged with their brand.
For more tips on building loyalty through customer engagement, click on the banner below to download our free whitepaper.