Customer loyalty is on the most coveted list of all corporates, yet it is so difficult to achieve – or is it? Internationally acclaimed customer loyalty expert Dr Lawrence A Crosby threw light on the subject at the Business Today Knowledge Management Forum on July 12.
Addressing senior honchos of India Inc at the day-long seminar, Crosby said, “Companies today want more than a satisfaction score; they want to know ‘why’ – what drives and determines those numbers; they want information that will help them know how to invest resources – and that requires causal modeling (cause and effect measurement).”
Elaborating further, he said, “Through causal modeling we can see how customer experiences and brand associations activate rational and emotional motivation; which combine to influence customer loyalty.”
“To raise the bar and move an organisation forward requires embedding customer loyalty into the fabric of the organisation. Leading companies have learnt that they are more involved than just distributing information through the organisation,” Crosby added.
He emphasised that in order to produce a perceptible change in an organisation, it was imperative to align an executive team around customer loyalty. According to Crosby, employee engagement was another key area. For Employee Engagement to be successful, it was important for every employee to understand the strategy and why customer loyalty was significant to an organisation.
To a question on whether corporates can still retain customer loyalty on the face of promotion-push marketing, wherein freebies and discounts are used to lure customers, Crosby said that such “bought loyalty is not sustainable in the long run. It can be easily copied and once that happens freebies and discounts won’t give any additional advantage.”
He laid stress on the emotional quotient of a brand in the consumers’ minds. Citing research data, Crosby said that across several product categories the emotional motivation equaled or exceeded rational motivation. He, however, added “a brand has to deliver on both sides of the equation – rational and emotional – in order to be truly successful and command brand loyalty.”
Citing further research, Crosby said that higher the customer loyalty index, higher was the repurchase.
Crosby is the founder and CEO of Symmetrics – global practice in the area of customer loyalty of Synovate – research arm of communications behemoth, Aegis Group Plc.
The seminar was co-hosted by Synovate and Avaya Global Connect; while exchange4media was the online media partner.