Customer Experience & Churn: The Multicultural Disconnect

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.

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 often 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 “Dissatisfied”.
  • Advanced analytics of numerical data revealed that Hispanic repeat calls and call durations to call centers were higher than non-Hispanics.  This indicated more customer service difficulties, including problem resolution, benefits understanding, extended hold times for Spanish-speaking staff, or comfort with the 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.

Few would disagree that in today’s world, with Hispanic and non-Hispanics, achieving high levels of customer satisfaction is particularly challenging for two reasons:

Too Many Customer Touch-points – In today’s complexly connected world, customer touchpoints are almost too many to count.  Customer interaction is no longer linear, but appears more like the spokes of a bicycle wheel that keeps moving and evolving with each new channel of media and information that is introduced.  Each of these various touch-point presents an opportunity to satisfy a customer – or not.

The Customer Has Options – With the Internet and global media, the world has gotten much smaller. No longer are people limited to purchasing locally; there are almost limitless brand and purchasing options available to consumers from anyplace around the world.  Because of those options, customers are not only much more value conscious, but they can easily change brands if they are not fully pleased.  These options make the customer much less forgiving if their issues are not quickly and effectively resolved, whether at a Call Center or a retail location.  They can easily move onto an alternative brand.

smart-graphicWhile daunting and formidable, these two 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. This can be accomplished by employing an arsenal of what we call S.M.A.R.T tools; tools which provides information to develop intelligent customer service growth plans which are Sustainable, Measurable, Aligned, Responsible and Timely.

S.M.A.R.T. tools, such as advanced analytics and econometric modeling, allow businesses to factor in company, product, customer, and multicultural variables, including: sales & enrollment process, contact center, cultural orientation, age, technology access, emotional engagement, and community involvement.  The resulting insights allows the multifaceted customer service efforts to be focused and prioritized, based on the target customer’s needs and desires. Working smarter, and perhaps harder, companies are able to improve and exceed their customer experiences along the strategic touch-points that are most important to their specific customers, increasing satisfaction and delivering results.

Achieving the Holy Grail of “Extremely Satisfied” customers is within reach.  Customized advanced analytics research may not only uncover surprising findings, but also result in unanticipated growth.  We invite you to come and be surprised!


About SSG
SSG is a strategy consultancy driven by management P&L experience and predictive analytics. We develop fact-based business models, growth roadmaps, insights and segmentations for the Total Market and the evolving Hispanics, Multicultural & Millennial segments. We help clients focus their limited resources where the highest market opportunities exist, and which strategies advance maximum, efficient Total Market growth.

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