Being male, married and a millennial are the key traits of the most engaged, loyal customer, according to global research conducted into the relationships of more than 18,000 consumers with their bank, mobile phone provider and retailer.
The study, conducted by customer engagement specialist Affinion in partnership with Oxford Brookes University, set out to understand the factors that influence a customer’s overall engagement with a brand.
It finds that millennials (18 – 34 year olds) have the highest level of engagement with their bank, mobile phone provider and favourite retailer, with an overall ‘customer engagement score’ ranging from 67 – 70.
This shows that this age group reports a closer emotional attachment than older people, in particular the 65+ age range which had an overall score of 61.
The ‘customer engagement score’ is a mark out of 100 which was developed as a metric from the research to show how engaged a consumer is based on their responses to a series of questions about their relationship with their bank, mobile phone provider and favourite retailer.
The report shows differences between married and single people, married respondents report an average engagement score of 67, compared with 64 in singletons.
When it comes to gender, male respondents report a tighter bond with their banks (68) and mobile providers (65), while female respondents have a stronger bond with their favourite retailers (69).
Looking at the global disparities, Turkish, Brazilian and American consumers were the most engaged. Of the 13 countries involved in the research, these were the only ones to consistently exceed global metrics across all the industries, with an overall customer engagement score of 70-72 out of 100.
Scandinavian countries, Denmark, Finland and Norway, consistently host the lowest levels of customer engagement, with scores ranging from 58-60. The UK secured an average combined score of 63 against the global average of 66.
UK country manager of Affinion, Karen Wheeler, thinks that advocacy breeds advocacy, so turning customers into advocates should be a company’s ultimate goal.
Wheeler says, ‘This is a significant lesson from which all businesses can learn and understanding how to drive up these engagement scores is crucial for businesses if they are to increase customer retention and ultimately drive business growth.
‘Our study also proves that a loyal customer who buy additional products or services and interact more frequently via multiple channels are more engaged. But taking that further and offering products or services that add value to their daily lives is what will really help a company to build meaningful relationships with its customers.’
Professor in marketing and consumer psychology at Oxford Brookes University, Janine Dermody, comments, ‘The relationship between a brand and its loyal customer is complex, involving both emotional and rational thought processes that cover everything from attitudes and experiences, to trust, satisfaction and behavioural action.
‘The fact that Brazil and Turkey consistently exceed the global metrics across all three industries, points towards the increasing presence and importance of emerging markets and their impact on global economic growth.’