Not Surprised, Not Delighted: Only a Third of Customers are Happy with their Brand Relationships

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R/GA’s latest research report uncovers the six brand attributes that outweigh “surprise and delight” in keeping customers satisfied

Published, R/GA’s latest Brand Relationship Design report shows that despite marketers’ shift to a focus on retention, just over a third (35%) of customers are completely satisfied with their brand relationships.

“Something’s clearly not working, and we set out to uncover what that is,” said Global CMO Ashish Prashar. R/GA’s proprietary research study of 13,500 US consumers comes with actionable insights that upend some conventional marketing wisdom, reveal what matters most to customers today, and provide marketers with steps they can take to improve their relationships as brands are pressured to get the most out of their marketing investments.

R/GA focused on four main categories – tech, financial services, retail, and hospitality – to see how different attributes stack up when it comes to customer satisfaction.

70% of attributes that contribute to customer satisfaction are linked to customer confidence.

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Here are some of our key findings:

  • Not surprised, not delighted: What customers really want are experiences that are easy to use, from onboarding to troubleshooting. Ease of use and first impression are the top contributors to customer satisfaction and retention.
  • What community? Only around one in five customers (21%) are a member of brand community initiatives and communities have little impact on satisfaction.
  • Customers don’t find reward programs all that rewarding: Less than a third (32%) of respondents strongly agree that they are rewarded with things that matter to them.

A confident customer is a satisfied customer.

“Our research showed that when brands harness the power of selective restraint and design experiences by being intentionally reductive, they’re more likely to achieve highly satisfied customers,” said Paul Turzio, Global Head of Data, Marketing Sciences & CRM at R/GA. “However, building customer satisfaction requires more than just conventional user-friendliness.”

When analyzing the data, R/GA uncovered that more than 70% of attributes that contribute to customer satisfaction are linked to customer confidence – not only in the quality of a product or service, but more significantly, in helping customers reach the greater motivation behind their purchases.

“Marketers must future-proof their experiences to retain customers ahead of an expected economic downturn. The results of our study make it clear — the experiences that boost buyers’ confidence while making their lives easier will achieve satisfied, and confident long-term customers,” said Yuliana Safari, Associate Marketing Director, who co-authored the study.

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