Corporate Eye

This Just In – Customer Experience Affects Brand Loyalty

lego_loyalty_cardIn a new study, Forrester reports the obvious – customer experience affects loyalty.  In case you were wondering if there was any correlation between experience and future action, you needn’t wonder anymore.  Forrester surveyed 4,500 U.S. consumers about 100 brands to come up with this finding.

However, there is more to it than the obvious.  The more interesting part of the survey is the comparison of the data to the results of a similar Forrester survey conducted in 2007.  Across all 12 industries included in the survey, the degree of correlation between experience and loyalty increased in 2008 over 2007.  The cause?  The tanking economy.

Every marketer and brand manager knows that it costs more to acquire new customers than it does to keep existing customers.  The results of this report tell us that this fact is even more true during an economic downturn.  If you thought you could cut advertising or skimp on customer service to save a few dollars during the economic downturn, you better believe that those actions will have significant negative affects on your bottom line by disappointing customers and driving them to your competitors to find a better experience.

It’s all about experience and service when the economy is weak.  Let’s face it – you can only drop your prices so low.  What’s left to compete with?  The answer is added value and that manifests in a great customer experience, which leads to brand loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing.  Word spreads fast.  Why not come up with a way to enhance the brand experience for your customers and give them something positive to talk about?  According to Forrester’s statistics, the strategy works.

What do you think?

Image: Flickr

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

While Forrester might be stating the obvious, you’d be amazed how many of the decision-makers won’t move until a Forrester or Gartner report corroborates what their own personnel or common/business-sense may indicate.

What you mentioned about word-of-mouth marketing is so true and considering how quickly word (especially bad) gets around in this technological age, companies should never forget about keeping customers happy.

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