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Attitudinal Approach to Customers Important, Allegiance Study Finds

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Attitudinal Approach to Customers Important, Allegiance Study Finds

September 23, 2008
By David Sims
TMCnet Contributing Editor
Charging that marketers "often ignore a critical measurement -- customer attitudes and emotions -- when examining customer behavior," Allegiance, a vendor of Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) products, is offering "Do You Know Why Customers Really Buy," described as a white paper explaining "how new feedback technology can provide essential attitudinal data to help determine how to present the right message to the right customer at the right time."

Most businesses focus on geographic, demographic or psychographic data to analyze customer behavior, the study finds adding that "many use systems such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to track customer transactions. However, an attitudinal approach to modeling behavior uncovers the reasons why people do what they do."
The paper helps to understand the "spark" of the relationship and what role emotion plays in customer decision making. "For example," they write, "what was it that interested them in the first place, and what drives them to remain interested and engaged? This information can be uncovered by asking attitudinal questions in the feedback process."

"Attitudes reveal the softer side of the business relationship. Knowing why customers do business with you is critical to maintaining that relationship and to adding new customers in the future," said Chris Cottle, vice president of corporate marketing for Allegiance. "Businesses can use feedback management, both solicited and unsolicited, to understand customer attitudes and increase engagement, which is the emotional connection to a company or brand."

Last month, another study found that in the global contact center industry, estimated to be worth some $130 billion per annum, organizations are not optimizing the value of their investments in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) practices.
That was one of the findings in the 2008 Datacraft / Dimension Data Global Contact Center Benchmarking Report, which includes survey responses from 300 contact centers in 36 countries across five continents. This year's report confirms that "only a minority" of contact centers have established CRM practices and capabilities.

Karina Majid, Datacraft Asia's General Manager for Customer Interactive Solutions, lamented that only "minimal" progress has been made in adopting a more customer-oriented, CRM-based approach within the contact center environment over the last 10 years: "When we compared this year's findings with those from our inaugural 1997 Report, the picture is not positive."

Ten years ago, 39 percent of participating contact centers possessed a single view of the customer, with a further 45 percent of centers planning to implement a single view within the following two years, study officials found, adding that "this year's results show that the percentage of centers with a single customer view has decreased to 34 percent."

In addition, in 1997 many organizations stated their intention to deploy a more sophisticated set of customer metrics within their contact centers. These metrics included customer lifetime value and profitability, study officials said.
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David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David's articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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