Indians are some of the most demanding, but loyal customers in the world, according to new research launched by Collinson Group. The Group polled 6,125 of the top 10-15% of earners from Australia, Brazil, China, France, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the United Arab Emirates.
The study reveals that 83% Indian customers expect high quality, consistent customer service irrespective of how they interact with a brand, while 81% expect brands to be easy to do business with. The numbers compare with the global averages of 69% in both categories.
Further, the research states that once loyal to a brand, India consumers become dedicated customers. 81% agree that programmes make them purchase more, and 82% would recommend a brand that offered a loyalty programme. This is also well above the global averages of 66% and 65% respectively.
It can be noted that brands, however, are failing to tap into this loyal behaviour. In India, there has been a 24% drop in membership of loyalty programmes among the affluent middle class since 2014. Collinson Group surveyed attitudes to programmes run by supermarket and grocery stores, airlines, credit card providers, retailers, hotels, telecom and media companies, coffee shops, and banking. Membership was down across all industries. Some key findings:
– 47% hold frequent flyer memberships, down from 71% – 63% participate in credit card programmes, down from 69% – 65 percent are members of supermarket loyalty programmes, down from 77% – Retailers also performed poorly, with a drop in members to 59% from 75% – Telecoms and media providers were the only sector to enjoy a rise in membership, up 2% to 47%
“This is a critical wake-up call to brands using points-based programmes offering only generic rewards. Given the importance of affluent middle class consumers on the fortunes of companies, brands must lift their game and rethink how they recognise, engage and reward customers,” said Anurag Saxena, India country manager, ICLP, owned by Collinson Group. “Despite lower membership numbers, the results show that personalised and relevant loyalty initiatives do positively influence consumer behaviour. Three quarters of respondents who are actively engaged in a loyalty programme said it encouraged them to spend more.”
Globally, the affluent middle class is also now less likely to repeat purchase, recommend a brand to friends or refrain from switching to a competitor as a result of generic loyalty programmes. India, Brazil and China however buck this trend, as per the research, suggesting these societies are yet to experience the frustration of uninspiring programmes seen in more mature Western markets.
“There is a clear appetite for loyalty and customer engagement initiatives, but consumers are turning their backs on programmes that no longer resonate with them. The affluent middle class value spending time with, and providing for, their families, as well as saving for the future. These rank far higher than driving a good car or going on a luxury holiday. Brands should seek to tap into what motivates their customers, instead of reaching for only discounts or material goods as rewards,” continued Saxena. “Brands that are not innovating and addressing evolving customer expectation will simply be left behind.” Gabriel Gagne JerseyShare This