April 9, 2013 — ClickFox, the pioneering leader in customer experience analytics, today announced findings from its second brand loyalty survey. Just in time for customer loyalty month in April, the survey examines drivers of brand loyalty and the industries to which consumers are most loyal.
ClickFox research this year identified Apple as the top brand consumers can’t live without, while Starbucks, Google, Microsoft and Amazon rounded out the top five most revered brands in the study. Amazon fell to fifth place from second in customer loyalty, per ClickFox’s 2012 research. Starbucks and Microsoft grew in customer loyalty in 2013, climbing to second and fourth place, respectively.
Consumers identified food and beverage, airlines, cellphone manufacturers, retail stores, hotel chains, and automakers as the brand categories to which they are most loyal. Although research indicated that brand image and advertising are important in determining loyalty, poor customer service and brand quality are always the biggest deterrents to brand loyalty (48 percent and 35 percent, respectively). Most importantly, a majority of consumers revealed that they can only remain loyal to three brands they engage with on a daily basis, proving that consumers are only truly loyal to a few brands despite habitual usage of products and services.
“Our research shows that consumers have a negative disposition to service agents,” noted Marco Pacelli, CEO of ClickFox. “This lingering sentiment often centers on service teams having inaccurate or incomplete data regarding a consumer’s experience with a brand, leading to customer frustration as they repeat their inquiry to multiple agents. While the first brand experience may be the tipping point for customer loyalty, businesses need to better analyze trends in negative service inquiries to fully capture the hearts, minds, and wallets of consumers.”
Customer Service and Loyalty
The study noted that consumers strongly dislike unsolicited outreach from agents representing the brand. Survey respondents identified in-store representatives and phone agents as their lowest preference for learning more about products (29 percent and 36 percent). Additionally, 66 percent of consumers do not want to be contacted over the phone for special offers, information and upgrades; however, nearly three-quarters of respondents revealed that they would prefer to be contacted via email and text messages from companies.
Consumers continue to discover new products on their own, with 45 percent preferring to find information, upgrades and help with products via email and text messages, and 41 percent preferring websites, chats and online advertising resources. Ironically, 35 percent of consumers identified loyalty programs as trivial when selecting their favorite brands.
Drivers for Loyalty
ClickFox’s research revealed that benefits drive brand loyalty with consumers, identifying brand quality (60 percent), ease of use (46 percent) and features (40 percent) as crucial in deciding their favorite brands. Moreover, first impressions matter: brands have one chance to win customers over, according to 56 percent of consumers who say that the first purchase or beginning of service is the deciding moment in establishing brand loyalty.
Survey findings highlighted shifting loyalties among consumers as they mature:
- Loyalty to cell phone manufacturers peaks among younger consumers ages 21 and under.
- Despite being a relatively new market, brand loyalty to PC/tablet manufacturers is correlated with consumers ages 22 to 34.
- Loyalty to banking/credit card companies dominates consumers ages 35 to 64.
The economy continues to divide consumer behavior: 57 percent of consumers are more focused on price, while the remaining 43 percent are less focused on price when switching and selecting brands.
The ClickFox 2013 Brand Loyalty Survey audited 304 consumers in March 2013 on their preferences when selecting brands. Respondents were 58 percent male and 42 percent female. The research evaluated a broad range of generational attitudes with 27 percent ages 22 to 34, 31 percent ages 35 to 44, 28 percent ages 45 to 54, and 11 percent ages 55 to 64. Consumers polled leaned towards the affluent with 14 percent earning less than $50,000, 13 percent earning $50,000 to $69,999, 12 percent earning $70,000 to $89,999, 20 percent earning $90,000 to $124,999, and 41 percent earning $125,000 or more per household.
- Discover the results from the 2012 Brand Loyalty Survey here
ClickFox is the market leader of a new breed of experience analytics software and solutions, analyzing behavior for more than 17.6 billion consumer journeys across every channel available to consumers. Transcending a limited single channel view, ClickFox patented behavioral analysis engine provides a visually intuitive mapping of all customer interactions — from IVR, retail, Web, and email to agent CRM desktops, mobile devices, and interactive kiosks — delivering unparalleled visibility to uncover hidden connections and reveal bottom-line customer insights. Deployed by some of the nation’s largest telcos, financial institutions, among other Fortune 500 enterprises, ClickFox has a proven track record of helping world-class service providers dramatically boost operational efficiency and profitability.