Customer Promiscuity

  • 03 Dec 2018

Most companies run customer surveys and look at repeat business to demonstrate satisfaction, but the vast majority of companies are now digitally transformed (or at least on the transformation path) and use technology to make things easier, faster and more flexible. All of which is great and essential in todays world, but in doing so have inadvertently made it easier for customers to leave.

But as long as we continue to keep our promises to our customers then why would they leave?

Holding that thought for a moment - what has happened out there to us as consumers? – both individually and in business?

We have come to expect almost instant gratification of our needs. No matter what your business, technology has enabled it to be searched, ordered, delivered with greater ease, flexibility and speed. So, today’s customers, want that instant gratification – I need that flight now, I want to order that item, so it will be delivered tomorrow, I need that insurance, that loan, that information, that hotel room …etc.

As long as your staff and business infrastructure involved in delivering the service, product or experience are available when they need it, your customer will stay loyal.

But what if something interrupts that (believe me it is a case of “when not if”) – Will they wait?

I would argue in the vast majority of cases NO!! Instant gratification means I want it and want it now, even more true if it is my first experience with a specific company and you have all made it very easy for me…so off I go and get what I need elsewhere. Not only that but elsewhere now becomes my initial go to place for my next need.

So, due to the interruption in service, our position as first - first on the customers favourite list, first on their speed dial number, first app they go to, first to be thought of for that next order – has now been usurped by a competitor. Customer promiscuity is born out of that customers need for what they want and the frustration they feel from your inability to be there when they want it!

When Not If! – “that won’t happen to us!”. To put this in context, let’s look at just one of the many risks – Cyber-attacks.

Action Fraud (funded by the Met Police) say they have 1200 cyber-attacks reported each month! Now while 1200 sounds high let me add that is ONLY in London AND that 80% of attacks go unreported, meaning that there are over 6,000 attacks in London alone per month or 72,000 per year. When Not If!

All this means you need to protect your service delivery infrastructure and the way that your customers, employees and suppliers interact with it, and be prepared for the inevitable.

A complete Workplace Recovery Solution, enabling your staff to continue delivering a service to your customers in a secure environment (GDPR is everywhere) whatever the event, is an essential part of that strategy to prevent your customers becoming promiscuous. It enables your employees to ensure those customers remain loyal – they will then never even see if the grass could be greener on the other side.


By Keith Tilley, Non-Executive Director of Fortress Availability Services Ltd

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