Drive revenue with CX

The US Customer Experience Index For 2016, Part 3: Emotion Holds The Key To CX-Fueled Loyalty

Roxana Strohmenger
VP, CX Index
August 5, 2016

Over the past two weeks, my colleagues Harley Manning and Rick Parrish have discussed the rising tide of CX quality, stagnation among top brands, and CX-fueled digital disruption in the results of our US 2016 Customer Experience Index™.

In this post, I’ll explore another big finding from our research: The way an experience makes customers feel has a bigger influence on their loyalty to a brand than the effectiveness or ease of the experience.

CX professionals often think that getting emotion right is simple: Make your customers happy, not angry. However, we find that anger and happiness do not have a very strong influence on customer loyalty. What does?

  • Making customers feel valued, appreciated, and confident drives loyalty. Consider the hotel industry, which had the largest percentage of customers that reported feeling “valued.” We found that 88% of these “valued” individuals will advocate for the hotel brand, and over three-quarters of them will keep their existing business with the company as well as enrich their relationship.
  • Annoyance, disappointment, and frustration weaken loyalty. On the flip side, the TV service provider industry had the largest percentage of customers that reported feeling “annoyed.” We found that only 8% of these “annoyed” individuals will advocate for the TV service provider, and just above 1 in 10 of them will keep their existing relationship with the TV service provider as well as enrich their relationship with additional products/services.

These results show that customers are nearly 5 times more loyal when they feel valued than when they feel annoyed. Take note – you will miss the biggest potential gains to customer loyalty if you don’t pull the right emotional levers. Emotion matters.

These three blog posts by Harley, Rick, and me merely scratch the surface of the deep, actionable insights that Forrester’s CX Index provides. If you are interested in digging deeper into our data and insights, find out more here.

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