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Customer Engagement: How to win trust and loyalty

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​Why do supermarkets operate loyalty schemes that translate into cash or real products? Could virtual assistants replace consumers as the decision makers? Read the latest research.

Consumers are pulled in two opposing ways - on the one hand more distrustful and suspicious of brands but at the same time with an entrenched loyalty to certain brands.

Consumers today are:

  • Habit and value seeking
  • Sticking and switching
  • Loyalty and promiscuous

This may seem counterintuitive. It's the reality brands must accept.

Shoppers like to get the best possible deal, but sometimes familiar brands make the most sense, even for a value-sensitive shopper. Consumers are habitual creatures, but they have developed heightened price sensitivity, driven by disruptive start-ups, deals and more. Loyalty is in a fragile state.

Driving this duality:

  1. Consumers find it difficult to know who and what to trust
  2. Consumers are experts at evaluating brands and know which of their preferred brands to choose, and when
  3. When brands competitively match each other on price ,this places less pressure on consumers but raises expectations of what great value means
  4. In a broader climate of uncertainty, consumers may be more likely to gravitate towards the familiar and safe.

According to DMA MD Rachel Aldighieri said brands have to work hard in order to, "satisfy constomers' functional needs, but to gain deeper trust brands must focus on building authentic connections.

"From chatbots taking care of your account admin, voice assistants taking on the role of price comparison tools, or location-based messaging giving real-time and relevant promotions, AI-led interactions will eventuall perfect much of the functional engagement consumers crave.

"At this early stage of AI-led communication, this report points to the need for more research to understand what changes will be needed for industry self-regulation to keep pace with these new channels."

 

Download 'Customer Engagement: how to win trust and loyalty'

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