According to a recent report issued by industry analyst Forrester, customer experience is directly linked to customer loyalty for 55% of bank patrons and 46% of retail shoppers.

The message here for brands is simple: Get your customer experience right or else you’ll lose business.

In a day and age of omni-channel experiences, customers are viewing brands through a kaleidoscope of touchpoints. As a result, brand marketing strategies with the aim of serving a 360-degree customer perspective must be well conceived and executed to acquire and retain customers.

Customers engage in online dialogue, offer reviews that either recommend or condemn a brands, and have instant access.

A couple of speakers at the 6th Annual Loyalty Expo, which was presented in March by Loyalty 360 – The Loyalty Marketer’s Association, shared their views with Loyalty 360 about the absolute critical necessity of excellent customer experience for brands.

Jim Dicso, President & Chief Revenue Officer for SundaySky, shared his thoughts about customer experience.

Most everyone can think about a situation where a bad experience may have inspired disloyalty -- cancellation of an order, termination of a service, telling friends how horrible it is to do business with XX company,” Dicso said. “On the flip side, we tip very well for good service at a restaurant; and with great service, I not only leave a great tip, but I also take the time to tell the server and management about the experience. Further, my wife is a connector and she makes it a point to proactively encourage friends to frequent the restaurant. Products can be commoditized, but outstanding and memorable service cannot.”

- Phil Rubin, CEO & Founder, rDialogue, said loyalty programs, in and of themselves, are generally one-dimensional and transaction-oriented.

“But the customer experience creates, impacts, and reflects the emotional connection between the brand and customer, particularly when it’s positive,” Rubin said. “A transactional loyalty program provides reasons to engage in a customer experience. A published loyalty program that goes beyond one-dimensional transactional loyalty does even more to engender real customer loyalty.”

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