Big Deficiencies in Post-Purchase Service and Satisfaction for Buyers of Consumer Durables Threaten Long-Term Loyalty; Nearly 35 Percent of North American Homeowners Surveyed Rate Product Manufacturers as Poor or Needing Improvement
Only 17 percent of Consumers Think Manufacturers and Retailers Are Extremely Good at Caring for Their Customers After a Sale
SAN JOSE, Calif. (July 6, 2017)—The ownership experience should be a critical brand differentiator and revenue generator for both manufacturers and retailers. Yet only 17 percent of North American consumers believe brands truly care about them after the point of purchase, which might be an accurate reflection of the importance that acquisition-centric marketers place on the aftermarket service and support that drive and solidify satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy.
A new study by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and LiveTechnology—titled “Product Ownership: Lasting Satisfaction or Painful Distraction?”—reveals that 60 percent of homeowners rate their post-purchase experiences with manufacturers as underwhelming, and 56 percent were disappointed with service from retailers and eCommerce sites.
Insights were gathered from more than 2,000 North American consumers—all owners of one or more homes—by Pollfish in the second quarter of 2017. The 14-question online insight poll was conducted in May 2017 and asked about the post-purchase experience specific to any home appliances, power tools, electronics and other durable products acquired during the previous 12 months.
The results confirm that the aftermarket ownership experience remains dramatically under-served by most retailers and manufacturers in a landscape in which chief marketers are more focused on demand generation, customer acquisition and product sales—despite the fact that the aftermarket has shown to be a lucrative area of ongoing value creation, revenue growth, higher profit margin, relationship building, referral and customer enrichment.
“While moving product is the focus of many manufacturers and retailers, the post-purchase ownership experience is frequently overlooked and under-served,” noted Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director of the CMO Council. “Given the cost of acquiring customers and the desire to maximize customer lifetime value, the aftermarket should be an area of strategic focus for marketers seeking low-cost repeat or add-on sales, more service revenue, higher margin/profitability, and greater brand loyalty and advocacy.”
Overwhelmingly, the study reveals that both manufacturers and retailers, in general, are failing to integrate and unify their efforts and reflect a poor understanding of what satisfies and sustains lasting and valued relationships with customers. Other key findings from the Customer Ownership Experience Audit reveal that:
The report also suggests that a large proportion of homeowners don’t want the onus of keeping paper records of their purchases, untangling complex warranty conditions and fine print, or being the sole drivers of aftermarket action. One in three consumers does not register purchased products or return warranty cards—putting them virtually out of reach of aftermarket post-purchase engagement. More than one-third (36 percent) find the terms of returns and warranties confusing or complex while 16 percent actually discard paper receipts, manuals and records.
Customers have a clear call to action and are looking for brands to provide quick, easy, secure and on-demand information on their ownership. They also want relevant, personalized messaging that does not annoy—a responsibility shift that companies like LiveTechnology are pioneering with cloud-based app solutions specifically engineered to deliver accessible value and prevent the frustration of, for instance, rummaging through shoeboxes to find receipts and warranty information.
“Technology is changing the way companies interact with their customers. Consumers are looking for a single application to manage all the items they own and access information on this stuff,” notes Wayne Reuvers, CEO of LiveTechnology and the LiveStuff platform. “Brands now have the opportunity to manage this public facing material. With the ability to update and add new content connected to their products, brands can continue to created advocates for their products and simplify the way consumers get relevant information. This is why we built LiveStuff. A place where brands and consumers can continue their aftermarket affiliation for decisive insight for both,” Reuvers explains.
Most striking is the mutual win-win proposition that emerges in the post-sales process—one where retailers and manufacturers hope to monetize enduring post-purchase relationships and where consumers are quite prepared to pay for quality parts, service and upgrades…so long as their ownership experience is easy and founded on a shared responsibility for that product.
The report highlights three key questions every CMO needs to ask in order to optimize the ownership experience:
In order to help answer these key questions, the CMO Council has partnered with LiveTechnology to develop a product ownership experience assessment to identify where and how a brand’s ownership experience has taken shape, and evaluate aftermarket service effectiveness. Learn more at: https://www.customerexperienceboard.org/product-ownership-experience-assessment.
To download your complimentary report today, visit: https://www.cmocouncil.org/thought-leadership/reports/product-ownership.
About the CMO Council
The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council is dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership, and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide range of global industries. The CMO Council's 12,500-plus members control more than $500 billion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide. In total, the CMO Council and its strategic interest communities include more than 35,000 global executives in more than 110 countries covering multiple industries, segments and markets. Regional chapters and advisory boards are active in the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, India and Africa. The council's strategic interest groups include the Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness (CLOSE), Mobile Relationship Marketing (MRM) Strategies, LoyaltyLeaders.org, CMOCIOAlign.org, Marketing Supply Chain Institute, Customer Experience Board, Digital Marketing Performance Institute, GeoBranding Center and the Forum to Advance the Mobile Experience (FAME). For more information, visit www.cmocouncil.org.
LiveTechnology, a US technology innovator and marketing solution provider, is building the world’s largest, centralized product data repository with mobile application interface (LiveStuff) to advance the aftermarket service opportunity. It will enable consumer buyers of durable goods to easily register, store and retrieve essential product/parts information, warranties, owner’s manuals, and purchasing records on demand. LiveStuff consumer service will enable product owners to identify and source replacement parts, receive product alerts (e.g., recall information) and updates, and access crowdsourced guidance and self-help from other owners. The big-data LivePlatform will provide advertisers and marketers with valuable analytics and owner insights for cross-selling, repeat selling and upselling, as well as managing warranty and product return programs. It will also enable them to track satisfaction, advertise and promote their brands, and enhance many new aspects of the ownership experience. For more information, visit www.livetechnology.com.