July 26, 2013

Hispanic Customer Experience Satisfaction is often Higher than Non-Hispanic YET Churn Rate is often Higher. What?

For those who have worked with Hispanic marketing over the past few decades, the term “brand loyalty” was synonymous with Hispanic consumers. Recent customer experience and best practices research conducted across several industries has uncovered a surprising finding:

Hispanics show a much higher churn rate than non-Hispanic customers.

This churn occurs despite survey results that showed them “More Satisfied” than the Total Market. But still, Hispanics churned at higher rates. Where is the former Hispanic “brand loyalty”? At what point along the Customer Experience are we losing them? Where is the disconnect and is there anything we can do to correct course and retain customers?

While these figures were surprising, deeper examination of research data revealed additional unexpected findings:

- While Hispanic satisfaction “seemed” at par or higher than non-Hispanic, in actuality it was less when taking into account cultural behavior and interpretation of such terms as “Somewhat Satisfied”. Concerned with not offending others, Hispanic are more likely to check “Somewhat Satisfied” on a survey, when in actuality, they are “Neutral” or “Dissatisfied”.

- Hispanic repeat calls and call durations to call centers were often higher than non-Hispanics. This indicated more customer service barriers for Hispanic consumers across language preferences, including problem resolution, benefits understanding, extended hold times for Spanish-speaking staff, return/guarantee policies, and trust with the brand, product or program.

- Hispanic Word of Mouth - both positive and negative - was much higher than for non-Hispanic. When you consider that culturally, personal recommendations from friends and family have a higher importance/value among Hispanic customers, a negative experience can have wider reach and implications for a brand or product. Likewise, a positive experience can also be the extra push a brand needs to elevate itself to the next level with Hispanic customers.

While daunting and formidable, these challenges are not impossible to conquer. It isn't a simple matter of working harder to achieve customer satisfaction, particularly with restricted people, budgets, and IT resources. It's a matter of working smarter. Every company, products, and customer base is unique and variable, and it's important to understand which of the 360o customer service touchpoints is most important to your target customers.

Read more or view SSG's recent webinar “Getting C/E Right Across Segments: Driving Acquisition & Retention” at: http://santiagosolutionsgroup.com/getting-customer-experience-right/>

SSG is an econometric research & strategy consulting firm. We help marketers focus where the highest market opportunities exist, and which strategies advance maximum, efficient Total Market growth fueled by Hispanic, Multicultural & Millennial segments.

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