Customer loyalty is fleeting as expectations are at an all-time high

Photo by Austin Distel

Half of customers worldwide will switch to a competitor after just one bad experience, and 80% will leave after multiple bad experiences, according to the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2020.

The annual report is based on data from more than 45,000 global companies using Zendesk, surveys and focus groups gauging attitudes of customers in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The research also reveals that service is a primary driver of customer loyalty, second only to price in determining whether customers feel loyal to a brand.

“To build a loyal customer base and truly differentiate themselves, companies of all sizes across industries and geographies must provide an easy and frictionless customer experience, earning and re-earning a customer’s business with every interaction,” said Elisabeth Zornes, chief customer officer at Zendesk.

The repost shows that companies aren’t living up to these expectations. Many of the channels people want for fast, efficient resolution aren’t being offered — only a third of companies offer self-service options like knowledge base help centres, and less than a third offer chat, social messaging, in-app messaging, bots or communities.

According to the report, the most successful companies do the following. First, those that maintain one seamless conversation.

Customers today expect uninterrupted conversations that don’t start or stop in the middle of their interaction or get lost in a different communication channel.

Second, customers are less concerned about data privacy than they were a year ago. The report  finds that customers prefer companies to keep track of their data if it leads to better experiences, with more than 75% of customers wanting the personalisation that comes with better insights.

Third, more companies are realising the value of prioritising the customer experience and forward-thinking companies are bringing in leaders who can understand and champion the customer. The report shows that newer, forward-thinking companies that were started in the past five years are 64% more likely to have a chief customer officer (CCO) that owns the customer experience.