“The gulf between satisfied customers and completely satisfied customers can swallow a business.” – Harvard Business Review
Indian Retail industry seems to be growing rapidly with the increasing transition of people from low income to mid income groups. Amidst the exponential growth of the e-commerce space in India (~150 million users) and the changing economic environment, customer loyalty has assumed renewed prominence and expectations from consumers have gone up significantly from a customer satisfaction perspective.
Research by marketing experts suggests that it costs approximately 8-10 times as much to acquire a new client as it does to sell to an existing loyal customer. In addition, a loyal customer also increases your brand awareness through word of mouth. 5 Effective Healthcare Marketing Strategies
While there is no definitive correlation between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, bad customer satisfaction leads to significant loss in sales due to negative word of mouth. Companies have to spend a lot of money on marketing to overcome such bad publicity. Realizing this, retailers in India are making conscious efforts at trying to increase customer satisfaction and correspondingly customer loyalty. However, the efforts do not seem to follow an organized methodical approach.
An analysis done by us interviewing over 100 customers at few of the top Retail Stores in India has revealed the following insights into Customer Satisfaction:
While traditionally, Product Quality, Price, Service and Presentation (product layout) have been the most important attributes from a customer satisfaction perspective, today several other aspects such as home delivery, parking options and staff assistance (attributes less important in the western countries) are driving purchase decisions in the Indian context.
We have also realized that a few internet & tech savvy retailers have adopted simple yet smart digital marketing strategies to engage with their customer audience increasing their loyalty.
Sending a monthly email newsletter informing about new product options at the store & certain time-bound offers.
Having a formal loyalty program as well as a referral marketing program in place to make their customers feel valued.
Proactively seeking feedback from customers through feedback forms on multiple channels (online, Facebook, emails) and actively working on the feedback helps improve customer satisfaction score.
Running social media contests to keep their loyal customer base engaged and updated about all the cool stuff the retailer has been up to.
By engaging with their customers using multiple campaigns, retailers are able to gain insight into their customer base like never before. Using superior analytic, they are now able to deliver more customized services to their customers without spending as much time on it and increase their loyalty significantly.
We know that in reality, customers may not be always right. They might demand the best quality at the lowest price. However, it pays if you treat your customers as if they are always right through improved satisfaction levels and superior customer engagement. After all, if you do not take care of your customers, your competitors will.