Delighted customers aren't always the most loyal

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on January 1, 2009

Delighted customers aren't always the most loyal

While 89% of customer service executives believing that delighting the customer will lead to increased loyalty, the Corporate Executive Board's 'Customer Contact Council' argues that this approach results in almost no loyalty gain and that service and support centres have little value in building customer loyalty.

In fact the council's latest research found that the probability that any given customer service interaction will actually drive disloyalty is currently about four times greater than the chance that it will create any positive loyalty impression. This suggests a disconnect between the ideal of surprising and delighting customers with excellent service and the currently reality of customer contact points.

According to Matthew Dixon, managing director for the Customer Contact Council, "Most service executives are using traditional customer satisfaction scores or the Net Promoter Score (NPS) to gauge loyalty in service interactions, but we found that these metrics are failing to capture the most powerful driver of disloyalty: the amount of personal effort a customer has to put into the service experience."

As a result, the council has developed its own disloyalty metric, the Customer Effort Score (CES), based on a single question that determines the degree of required customer effort during a service request.

The Council's research into the impact of customer service on loyalty included data from more than 61,000 interactions with customer service and support organisations. Dixon concluded: "A finding this powerful - that customer effort is so intricately linked to loyalty - really forced us to think critically about where and why customer effort exists, and what customer service organisations can do to reduce or eliminate that effort."

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