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The Silent Death of the Brands

Julio Zilli and Paul Alves - Auditor Service

Many businesses suffer the loss of its customers without even knowing it. The most affectedcompanies are precisely those that do not have mechanisms to hear and resolve the problems of their clients.

The results of AQS* (Auditor Quality Score), a study conducted in Mexico, showed that 14% of the customers from 20 different categories had a problem in the last experience with a product or service purchased. However, very few have reported the problem: 80% did not report their complaint to the responsible company. Some of these customers end up leaving their brands soon.

On the other hand, companies that meet and resolve consumer complaints, have greater opportunity to retain its customers. According to the survey results below, when the response

time is immediate, there is no negative impact on customer satisfaction. But if there is a delay on the promised solution, the client satisfaction decreases 25%!

Another measure of the survey has showed that the problem occurrence is one of the major factors in customer dissatisfaction. This type of occurrence may be relatively simple to identify and possibly resolve than other customer expectation breaking reasons (these other reasons are usually brand and category specific, making it difficult to treat in a short article like this, but should not be forgotten for mitigation programs).

In addition, the studies of the National Quality Research Center (NQRC) of the University of Michigan (ACSI - American Customer Satisfaction Index **) set forth that companies maintaining over time good levels of customer satisfaction would be able to achieve better economic results than companies with lower satisfaction rates.

All the above results point out to situations that are well known for most companies and require increasing effectiveness of customer contact points. The basic rule is to keep adequate quality of products and services, lower level of complaints and services correctly done on the first time.

More than that, one of the pillars to avoid loss of customers and to maintain the company's growth is related to how actionable the program to listen to the voice of the customer can be. Nowadays, it is necessary not only monitoring client satisfaction and understanding whether expectations are met, but also identifying situations in which the brand can act quickly, reverting initially negative perceptions. The brand differentiation in the area of customer relationship depends on the ability of identifying possible problems (after facilitating the client expression) and acting as quickly as possible to solve the issues, generating the feeling that the brand really cares for the client.

* AQS (Auditor Quality Score) is a parameter that allows comparison between brands and categories of the main economic sectors, incorporating measures such as the level of satisfaction with the product or service, the fulfillment of consumer expectations and intention to recommend the brand to other people. The survey was conducted in 2010 in the major cities of Mexico with a sample of 8.754 telephone interviews, evaluating 103 brands from 20 product categories, grouped in six economic sectors.