10 November 2016

BUSINESS - Brands That Make Customers Feel Respected

With the customer experience growing in importance for business success, it’s essential to understand how to gain consumers’ trust and respect.

The customer quotient (CQ) study tries to assess what draws customers to certain brands.

It describes and measures five attributes that consumers value in a brand: openness, relevance, empathy, experience, and emotion.

A brand’s performance on these measures predicts loyalty outcomes and correlates to profit (ROA) and growth (revenue).

The creators of the CQ study believe customers respect companies that they believe respect them in return.

The outdoor clothing and gear co-op, REI, ranked at the top of CQ's ‘companies customers feel most respected by’ list this year.

Last year REI encouraged employees and consumers to spend the day outdoors with their friends and family and closed all its stores on Black Friday.

This initiative paid off. At the end of 2015 REI reported a 9.3% increase in revenue and that digital sales were up 23%.

The study also rates a brand’s authenticity, and companies that “mean what they say” had high scores.

While some basic level of quality is essential, consumers surveyed place a premium on brands that they believe to be “direct, forthright about their values, and consistent in acting on them.”

REI also topped the authenticity category and, interestingly, five of the top ten performers were grocery stores.

The CQ ratings are also applied to industries, with household/beauty/grocery, amusement, technology and non-government organizations ranked as most respectful.

Health care insurance, government and telecommunications are perceived as respecting customers the least. 

These rankings can help businesses in the animal industry understand where they fall on the scale and the amount of effort needed to build customer respect and loyalty.

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