Building Customer Loyalty in a Virtual World

The multichannel revolution goes on. I often hear customer service experts speaking about the difficulties of managing so many new customer channels and then the subsequent demands for an omnichannel, but I rarely hear many thinkers looking further out.

In my view the way that people themselves communicate has changed dramatically over the past 5-10 years and this has fundamentally change their relationship with brands. This is really important because of the way they relate to a company is changing rapidly then that means trying to manage any loyalty is also a moveable feast too.

In my own area of focus I can see several issues ahead:

  • Changes in financial product and service regulation have already made it easier for customers to swap and change products between providers.
  • Further changes to those regulations will make it quicker for customers to change from one provider to another.
  • A vast amount of the product switching that already exists relies on the customer researching their options and then using an online tool to switch – missing out on the chance to retain customers by meeting their requirements or changing an option in a way that might encourage an undecided switcher.

This needs product providers to better appreciate what it is the customer wants and needs when it comes to a relationship. Some products drive a minimal and transactional relationship but product providers should create options that customers appreciate – in fact customers are demanding an easier way to manage financial products today and simple choices are a key factor.

Offering a simple choice builds trust and trust leads to loyalty.

In many ways it would seem that the providers are making it easier to lose customers, but I believe that if they can introduce a more conversational element to the switching process, a clearer and simple appraisal of their product choices then the better products will retain more customers.

What do you think about the way loyalty in financial products is changing today? Leave a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn.

Stirling Branch - main floor

 

Photo by HSBC UK licensed under Creative Commons

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