Don’t Rain on Customers’ Loyalty Parade [Infographic]

When it comes to driving customer loyalty, marketers are all about making it rain. But their focus on repeat purchases can wash away the thing that matters most: creating positive experiences that keep customers coming back for more.

Consider the following data from IBM and Econsultancy’s latest studies: 91% of marketers (including commerce managers) strongly or somewhat agree that personalizing the customer experience is critical to their success, and 81% say that they have a holistic view of individual customers and segments across interactions and channels. Contrastingly, less than half (47%) of marketers surveyed say that they’re able to deliver relevant communications. And consumers are taking notice. According to the studies, only 21% of consumers say that the communications that they receive from the average company are “usually relevant,” and more than one third (35%) say the same in regards to the messages that they receive from their preferred organizations. What’s more, just 22% of consumers believe that the average retailer understands them as an individual and only 37% say the same for their favorite retailers.

Although marketers are dripping with multichannel data, they appear to have slippery on- and offline connections. In fact, only about one third (34%) of marketers say they do a good job linking online and offline experiences. This could be a technical issue, considering that just 37% of marketers have the tools needed to deliver exceptional customer experiences, according to the studies.

Grouping consumers under one general umbrella can cause them to give their favorite brands the boot. According to the studies, 49% of consumers changed service providers (such as bank, cable, Internet, or mobile service companies) in 2014. Thirty percent of these respondents switched due to a provider failure—with 51% of consumers citing the customer experience as their top letdown. In addition, 59% jumped ship because a competitor offered something better. Of this group, 42% cited receiving better products and 29% claimed to receive better experiences.

However, there’s a silver lining to the clouds dampening customer loyalty—and that’s consumers’ willingness to share data with trusted brands. Seventy-two percent of consumers say that they would share geographic data with companies they trust, and 61% of respondents would be willing to share personally identifiable information with faithful brands.

So, as long as brands keep the customer at the center of their marketing strategy, they should be able to weather the loyalty storm.

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