Exceptional Customer Service: The Most Important Aspect of Customer Loyalty

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Recently VIPdesk and Affinion Loyalty Group conducted a survey of Loyalty Marketing Professionals which revealed the importance of exceptional customer service, exclusive rewards and concierge service as the most important aspects of customer loyalty programs geared towards affluent consumers.

Over 50 percent of loyalty marketers identified exceptional customer service as the most important aspect of customer loyalty programs geared towards affluent consumers and over 40 percent identified exclusive rewards or concierge service as the most important aspect of customer loyalty.

Other key findings indicate that affluent consumers are most influenced in their customer loyalty decisions by recognition/personalization (52%), followed by desire for exclusive access (32%) and desire for status (15%). Nearly half of survey respondents already have a loyalty program in place.

This survey was conducted during a webinar presented by Affinion Loyalty Group and VIPdesk, and produced by Loyalty 360. The webinar, “What Do Affluent Customers Want From Their Loyalty Programs?,” offered participants insights and best practices for fostering customer engagement with the discerning affluent customer base.

Record registration and attendance numbers for this Loyalty 360 webinar provided further evidence that loyalty marketers are focused on capturing the increased spending power of the valuable affluent market.

Charles Christianson, Group Vice President of Sales & Account Management at Affinion Loyalty Group said it’s imperative to understand how affluent consumers behave. “Our research shows that the affluent tend to be brand loyal, tech savvy and travel focused. The differentiating factor in all three areas is service. The affluent consumer will be loyal to your brand, but only if you provide the best service. Furthermore, they seek to simplify their lives with technology. From a travel perspective, they expect their loyalty program to help them go where they want to go with fewer hassles. The bottom line: companies must create an experience that delights the affluent consumer.”

The results of this survey support our belief that the affluent customer base puts a high premium on exceptional customer service. Through 12 years of experience providing concierge and customer care solutions to affluent customers, we have maintained that a one-size-fits-all loyalty program is ineffective for this influential market segment, shown by survey results indicating that over half of affluent consumers prefer a personalized loyalty program that takes their own personal needs into consideration.

A recording of the webinar, “What do Affluent Consumers Want from their Loyalty Programs?” can be accessed for playback at http://info.vipdesk.com/what-do-affluent-consumers-want-from-their-loyalty-copy/

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Erika Blanchard
Erika Blanchard is the manager of digital marketing and social media for VIPdesk, a leading provider of Virtual Contact Center, Concierge and Loyalty Program Solutions. She is an experienced marketing and management professional with a passion for customer service and social media who has authored several eBooks and guides on Social Media and Web Apps.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I love finding statistics and research like you covered here, Erika. I thought it was particularly compelling that over 50% of affluent considered exceptional customer service the prime aspect of a customer loyalty program. While I agree with them, I do wonder how accurate it is from the affluent members viewpoint. Too often in sales and marketing we think we know what customers want just because we're professionals. Sometimes we are wrong.

    What I do know, though, as both customer and marketer, is that there is an underlying, all important foundation, trust. I describe a scenario that drove this home to me In “What I Learned as a Customer About How to Avoid Blowing Your Sale.”

  2. This is an interesting set of statistics. I agree with Mr. Aberle that surveying providers of anything can have widely different (and often eye-opening) results than surveying the end user. But what caught my attention is that over 50% of the respondents listed customer service and over 40% of the respondents listed concierge service. To me they are one in the same. Concierge may be a fancier name that implies service for higher end customers – but it is still customer service. That said – over 90% of the loyalty professional group identify customer service as what their client base is looking for. It’s not rocket science. It’s taking care of our customers / clients / patients / patrons as we would like to be taken care – no matter their socio-economic level.

  3. It’s always possible to get lucky in sales. However, the people who want to maximize the lifetime value of their customers and to benefit from positive word of mouth will do everything possible to show the customer they care. Customers at McDonald’s don’t expect the same type of customer service that those at Ruth’s Chris do. But they still expect excellent customer service. It’s up to you to decide how to make them feel appreciated.

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