Brand Loyalty Comes From Corporate Follow-Through

    Now that ecommerce has taken off, companies need to be sure that they have websites and other tools in place that cater to today's digital consumers. However, maintaining a functional mobile and conventional website is not the only thing that should be on an executive's mind, especially as the holidays roll around. Prospective and existing customers are the key factors that differentiate a successful enterprise and one that is failing and many clients expect to be treated as a priority.

    This means that contact centers, sales and other client-facing departments need to have a comprehensive set of technologies at their disposal to meet the evolving needs of the consumer. By adopting sophisticated communication platforms that enable real-time collaboration between corporate representatives and customers, organizations can improve the odds of converting prospective onlookers into loyal clients.

    Establishing brand loyalty is one of the best ways to continually generate revenue. Still, consumers demand to be wooed before fully committing to one company or another. This was highlighted in a recent LivePerson study of more than 6,000 online consumers who make at least one purchase every month. According to the survey, 69 percent of respondents said they are more likely to be loyal to a brand if an organizations provides live assistance -- from a human -- during crucial interactions.

    The findings suggest that while updating old phone systems for more innovative products can be financially rewarding, doing so can also create clients who will pick a certain brand over others for no reason beyond faithfulness.

    A Lot Can Happen in Two Minutes

    Consumers today are much more fast-paced than they were in the past. This is largely because individuals now have mobile devices to access crucial resources on demand from virtually anywhere. As a result, prospective and existing customers are generally less patient. According to LivePerson, the average person will only wait about 76 seconds before taking action elsewhere. After less than a minute and a half, people will either take their business to another company or try another method of communication with a corporate representative.

    The study also revealed that individuals are also less likely to call a business phone system for fear of being put on hold. Instead, many consumers will reach out to contact center agents through live chat. In fact, more than 80 percent of respondents said they tend to be more loyal to a company that offers them real-time chatting capabilities.

    "The digital era is massively de-personalizing, so anytime brands can engage their customers with a more personalized, human touch, it makes a meaningful difference," said Anurag Wadehra, chief marketing officer at LivePerson.

    Businesses are also forced to deal with increasingly complicated consumer expectations. LivePerson revealed that many individuals continue to struggle when navigating websites and continue to demand new solutions in contact centers and other help desks.

    New Communication Expectations

    Businesses that want to improve sales effectiveness need to consider adopting new communication tools that will help keep customers -- and agents -- engaged and content. In fact, having employees who are willing to go above and beyond standard expectations will be a key differentiator in today's business world. However, many organizations focus solely on clients and neglect the demands of the workforce, according to a study by the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI).

    "Happy and engaged agents don't just create happy and satisfied customers; they can create extremely engaged customers. And everyone should be striving for that level. Our research shows that only 25 percent of companies feel their customers are extremely engaged with their brand. How can you fix that? Arm the agent with the knowledge, channels and tools they require to best service customers," said Sarah Stealey Reed, content director for ICMI.

    The study found that roughly 90 of customers believe social customer service solutions could be useful to improve their experience, though not many companies have these tools available. Meanwhile, another 93 percent of consumers said they would be more happy with an organization if it offered them innovative phone system features and other applications that they want.

    Business leaders need to get their heads out of the sand and identify what their prospective and existing clients want and take initiative to meet these demands. If organizations make no effort to concede to the needs of consumers, those firms will find it increasingly difficult to not only improve their current standing, but to create loyal customers who can be a saving grace in an otherwise unpredictable and fast-paced corporate environment. Forward-thinking decision-makers must take the time to understand how updating certain operations in the contact center and other outward-facing departments will make a long-term difference.

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