Brand loyalty has been declining for several years now. No longer are people flying just one airline, washing with only one type of detergent, or wearing only Nike sneakers.

In the age of the empowered customer, people have more options and more influence than ever, and customer retention is difficult to maintain. And it's becoming even more challenging for companies as spending power increases among Millennials and Gen Z—two groups that are fickle, impatient, and extremely tech-savvy.

Customer loyalty has slipped for three years in a row, according to a recent Deloitte report. Customers are choosing cheaper private brands that are just as good as national brands—a trend predicted to continue with customers unwilling to spend more. That means companies need to focus more than ever on becoming customer-centric. Amazon, Cisco, and Sprint have all proclaimed customer-centricity a top priority, and it's a mandate to be shared by many other businesses.

So where are companies missing the mark?

Here are three strategies brands should apply to become truly customer-centric.

1. Get omnichannel right

With the many choices customers have available to them, companies must provide an omnichannel experience.

Empowered customers expect a seamless experience with brands. In the retail sector, that means there must be consistency when a customer wants to buy a product in a store, online, or through direct vendors. Customers expect the same prices, promotions, and product range on whatever channel they interact with a brand.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Andrew Reid

Andrew Reid is founder, president, and chief product officer of Vision Critical, a provider of a cloud-based customer intelligence platform that allows companies to build engaged, secure communities of customers they can use continuously, across the enterprise, for ongoing, real-time feedback and insight.

LinkedIn: Andrew Reid