It's a very fundamental set of issue which, to me, are simple but hardly easy to execute. My work and experience have led me to conclude that there are three or four overarching factors - not necessarily trends - that are likely to drive the future of customer loyalty. Certainly, they will mark the differences between companies that succeed, and those that fail, at creating loyal customers and effective CRM programs.
1. Focus of corporate leadership and processes on customer loyalty and the customer life cycle
2. The identification, and provision, of optimum customer-perceived value in all programs and processes
3. Effective development and application of full-scope, user-friendly customer information systems (including registered and unregistered complaints, with origninal customer research built around loyalty rather than satisfaction)
4. Recognition of the inseparable relationship between customer loyalty and staff loyalty
Inherent in these factors is the basic and fundamental understanding that customers do, indeed, have a life cycle, principally acquisition, retention/loyalty, and recovery/winback, and that this must influence all strategic customer planning and activity.
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