I just published a report called Customer Experience Correlates To Loyalty that examines the connection between customer experience and three components of loyalty:
- Reluctance to switch business from a company
- Willingness to buy another product from a company
- Likelihood to recommend a company to a friend or colleague
The analysis is based on a survey of nearly 4,700 US consumers in October 2008. The results are compelling. Across all 12 industries we examined, there was at least a medium level of correlation between customer experience and loyalty; in most cases the correlation was much higher.
This chart shows the level of correlation between customer experience (as defined by Forrester’s 2008 Customer Experience Index) and the three elements of loyalty:
I also did the same analysis with consumer data from Q3 2007 on nine of these industries (we added airlines, hotels, and PC manufacturers this year). It turns out that the correlation between customer experience and loyalty has increased in every industry.
I wasn’t surprised to find the link between customer experience and loyalty; I’ve worked with — and studied — enough firms to know that there’s a strong correlation. But I wasn’t sure how the economic downturn had altered this relationship. So it was very interesting to find out that the connection has become stronger in the recession.
The bottom line: Don’t neglect customer experience during the downturn.