Customer satisfaction overall is not a pretty picture these days. Something like 92 percent of companies reported a decline in customer satisfaction recently. Eighty nine percent of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service. And customers are four times more likely to buy from competitors if problems are service related vs. price or product related.
On the other hand, some customers are so satisfied with certain companies or products that they willingly – and often without any clear reward – act as brand advocates for those brands by sharing their positive experiences via social networks or other channels.
An ITEXPO (News - Alert) session today called “Creating Brand Advocates through Contextual Customer Experience” addressed both ends of that spectrum, and how more companies might move further away from the dark side in an effort to keep and win customers, and perhaps even turn some of them into brand advocates.
The session’s guest speaker was Bob Zukis, CEO of knowledge-based collaboration company Bloomfire, and author of the book called “SOCIAL INC.: Why Business is the Next Social Opportunity Worth Trillions.”
Zukis says business has grown up in a world in which it paid not to reward customers, but rather to limit their choices to keep them locked in and paying premium rates. The new business environment in which customers are able to convene and share experiences online, and more easily shop for competing products, however, is pushing companies to be more responsive.
That might not sound so great, but there’s also good news, Zukis added. Previously companies had to advertise to connect with customers and prospects, he said, but now brands can establish a direct relationship with their customers via connected technologies and services. The smartphone, tablet, and social networking also open the door to brand advocates, he said.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi