Trust is the holy grail—once brands secure it, U.S. consumers are loyal for life

by | Feb 28, 2019 | Public Relations

U.S. consumers play hard to get, but once brands secure their trust, the majority of U.S. consumers are loyal for life, according to a global survey from open source digital experience firm Acquia.

The company’s inaugural global report, Closing the CX Gap: Customer Experience Trends Report 2019, examines the gap between consumers’ and marketers’ perception of CX through the lens of three frames: people, technology, and data—and the results uncover several areas where marketers and consumers don’t share the same view of the world.

The research found that U.S. consumers can be difficult to capture

Seventy-eight percent said they do not think brands should be able to use their personal data to market different things to them. Another 56 percent are not confident that brands have their best interests in mind when they use, share and/or store their personal data.

Trust is the holy grail—once brands secure it, U.S. consumers are loyal for life

However, if you win them over, they will stick around

Three quarters of U.S. consumers agree that if a brand understands them at a personal level, they are more likely to be loyal. Moreover, 59 percent of U.S. consumers—the highest of all countries surveyed—reported that once they are loyal to a brand, the brand has their loyalty for life. U.S. consumers also were the least likely to move on from a brand they are loyal to after having a bad experience, showing that marketers can reach their audiences if they have the insight, tools, and resources to compete.

“It’s critical to maintain a good relationship with customers—to reach them on their terms with messages that resonate,” said Lynne Capozzi, Acquia CMO, in a news release. “Our research proves that this is more important than ever. At Acquia, we know marketers need solutions that are easy to work with—to give them the freedom to create experiences without technology getting in the way.

Trust is the holy grail—once brands secure it, U.S. consumers are loyal for life

Other key findings uncovered in the report include:

Quality of experience seen as poor

U.S. consumers care about quality of experience, but they aren’t seeing what they want from brands. More U.S. consumers experienced purchasing-related issues during major online events such as Black Friday and Click Frenzy. Fifty-six percent of U.S. consumers feel that in their total experience with most brands, their marketing is mostly ineffective. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. consumers (63 percent) feel that brands interact with them the right amount—indicating that it is not the cadence but the quality of interaction that is impacting them.

Trust is the holy grail—once brands secure it, U.S. consumers are loyal for life

Technology is falling short

Nearly seven of 10 of all U.S. marketers (69 percent) believe technology has made it harder, not easier, for them to offer customers personalized experiences. Despite using technology designed to improve CX, 80 percent of US marketers feel their customers wants higher levels of personalization than they can currently offer. Compared to other countries surveyed, U.S. marketers disagree most that they have a way to capture customer data in real-time and that they have a way to act on customer data with real-time insights and actions. Marketers in the U.S. are least confident that their technology vendors with services supporting customer experience will support them if there is an interruption of service.

Trust is the holy grail—once brands secure it, U.S. consumers are loyal for life

U.S. marketers lack enthusiasm about technology innovation

Compared to other countries, U.S. marketers are less likely to be focusing on artificial intelligence, machine learning or Internet of Things technologies in the next 12 months. They also are least likely to be working toward linking with in-home devices such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s iHome, when compared with other countries.

“It’s essential to know how and where customers connect, and to have insight into their motivations,” the report concludes. “While technology and data are key elements to measuring success, they’re also tools to help better engage customers—but only if used effectively.”

Download the full report here.

Trust is the holy grail—once brands secure it, U.S. consumers are loyal for life

The Closing the CX Gap: Customer Experience Trends Report 2019 was commissioned by Acquia and conducted by Regina Corso Consultingbetween August 14 and August 28, 2018. Respondents to the online survey were 5,003 consumers (1,000 from Australia, 1,000 from France, 1,000 from Germany, 1,000 from the United Kingdom, and 1,003 from the United States) and 501 marketers (100 from Australia, 100 from France, 100 from Germany, 100 from the U.K., and 101 from the U.S.) The consumers are all 18 and older and the sample is balanced by age and gender for each country. The marketers are director-level and above, and their company has annual revenue of $10 million (U.S.) or more.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter