The Holy Grail: A Link Between Customer Experience And Loyalty
March 25, 2008 12 Comments
I just published a report called The Business Impact Of Customer Experience that I think will have a significant impact on how companies think about customer experience. Here’s an excerpt from the executive summary:
Executives know that customer experience is important, but they can’t always tie it directly to business results. So we examined the correlation between the customer experiences delivered by 112 US firms (as defined by Forrester’s Customer Experience Index) and the loyalty of their customers. Our analysis shows that good customer experience correlates highly to loyalty.
Most of us already intuitively knew that good customer experience is good for business; that’s the basis for My Manifesto: Great Customer Experience Is Free. But there’s no longer a need to debate the issue. This research objectively shows a strong tie between customer experience and consumer loyalty. Here are some more of the specific findings in the research:
- For all 9 industries that we examined, there was a strong correlation between customer experience and loyalty.
- Bank customer experience was the most correlated with loyalty, followed by wireless carriers.
Health plan customer experience was the least correlated with loyalty, followed by investment firms and retailers.
Companies in the top quartile of customer experience have a much higher level of customer loyalty than do those in the bottom quartile: 15% increase in customers that are willing to make another purchase and a 18% decrease in customers that are likely to switch providers.
Customer experience quality was most highly connected to the purchase plans of Fifth Third’s customers and the intentions to switch of Cablevision and Nextel customers.
When we examined how this might affect the annual revenue of individual companies, we found that customer experience quality could cause a swing of $242 million for a large bank and $184 million for a large retailer.
In case you’re interested, here’s how we did the analysis:
Determined the customer experience levels of 112 firms across 9 industries based on Forrester’s Customer Experience Index (CxPi) which examined responses from nearly 5,000 US consumers.
Calculated the correlation between each firm’s CxPi and two measures of loyalty: 1) the willingness of customers to purchase another product from the firm; and 2) the likelihood that customers would switch business away from the firm.
What should you do now? Chart a path to Experience-Based Differentiation.
The bottom line: As my blog says, Customer Experience Matters. Really!