For years, Forrester’s Customer Experience Index (CX Index™) has tied how successfully a company delivers customer experiences to creating and sustaining loyalty. And while brands have been looking at traditional behavioral metrics to measure loyalty, more recently, they’ve attempted to use emotional metrics, as well. So are emotional loyalty metrics a measure of a customer’s actual loyalty? Forrester believes so but with some caveats:

  • Brands must use both behavioral and emotional metrics together to measure true loyalty. While we know that loyalty entails transactional behaviors and how a consumer feels about a brand, marketers rely most on metrics such as retention, purchase behavior, and incremental sales to assess how effective their loyalty strategies are. But those measures don’t help us understand why a consumer continues to — or stops — choosing a particular brand. Today, some brands are starting to measure emotional loyalty (often with the help of service providers and vendors), but just like with behavioral metrics, emotional loyalty alone doesn’t complete the story. We must look at the combination of both types of measures to really understand why someone is loyal and how to keep them that way.
  • Emotional metrics are more than a single NPS score or customer satisfaction survey. A single survey or one-time Net Promoter Score℠ (NPS) isn’t enough information to calculate emotional loyalty. Every interaction a consumer has with a brand can be different, and their pleasure — or unhappiness — with the interaction weighs on their loyalty for some time. Brands that are regularly surveying their customers, doing sentiment analysis on social posts, and capturing feedback in their call centers are expanding the breadth of data to enable measurement over a cycle of time.
  • Brands must make customers feel appreciated, happy, and valued to grow emotional loyalty. Forrester’s CX Index data has consistently showed that these three emotions bind customers to brands. The data further shows that when a company makes customers feel appreciated, 76% indicate they’ll keep their business with the brand, 80% say they will spend more with the brand, and 87% will recommend the brand to friends and family members. This defines the challenge to brands: They must determine what to do, offer, change, etc., to help their customers feel happy and valued. And this extends beyond customer service and ease of purchasing — brands need to consider their corporate values and those of their customers.

How important is measuring emotional loyalty — and what benefit can you get from it? Join us at this year’s CX North America, a live virtual experience from June 7–9, to learn more about the value and impact of measuring both rational and emotional loyalty. I will share new research that pulls together what we know about it, including what data brands are using to calculate loyalty, how they are leveraging the scores, and what results they are seeing. You’ll also hear about the extra risks brands take — and benefits they may earn — when they appeal to the emotions of customers.