LOYALTY AS A BRIDGE TOWARD ECONOMIC VALUE
A February 2009 Forrester Research report takes this one step further: It demonstrated a direct link between customer experience and loyalty—and not just amorphous loyalty, but specifically a high correlation between loyalty and:
• Willingness to repurchase
• Reluctance to switch
• Likelihood to recommend
Overlay this against the flipped-funnel methodology, and you should clearly see three distinct ways to grow the business (acquisition) via the process of engaging and harnessing the power of existing customers (retention).
Willingness to Repurchase
You can get everyone in the world to buy your product once. The operative word here is “once,” and when I say “you,” I am referring to marketing in general. All things being equal, acquisition marketing should generally be able to entice anyone—over enough time and with enough repetition—to consider, if not commit to, a purchase. But if the experience does not live up to the oft-hyped promise, it’s often a very abrupt end of the line.
That thinking is actually kind of outdated. In the days of yore, the end of the line was typically characterized by a silent vote of no confidence. Until recently, we had no way of knowing if we failed to live up to our customers’ expectations. And in an environment of constant churn, the flow of newly purchased customers often masked the gaping holes in a company’s ability to hold on to its customers.
Today, of course, we have the exact opposite situation,—namely, ...