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November23rd

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How often have you actually been asked by a luxury company, on a personal, relevant level how impressed you are with their products, brand, services etc.? Are you confidant that your customers are continually satisfied and will remain loyal?

Luxury brands are famously extravagant and controversial. Siberian sable fur coats at $100,000, the Hermes crocodile Birkin bag sold for $203,150 – never mind the six year waiting list for a ‘regular’ Birkin….it’s all part of the allure and there will always be a customer, but when these companies pride themselves on forming relationships that span years and even lifetimes – shouldn’t they value their customers’ opinion too?

Covert Critique originates from experience in the luxury markets of Monaco, Dubai, Sydney and London. They are trained to measure customer experience in line with the luxury philosophy of the brand. Services include personal interviews of key clients, business development and mystery guest assessments. ‘‘We understand the nature of the luxury consumer and how important it is to exceed rather than merely satisfy their expectations.’’ says founder Laura Ranson.

Luxury brands have struggled with the rise of social media – they have never had to interact with their customers in this way; they are meant to portray an untouchable image. Asking customers for their opinions isn’t necessary for them, whatever they produce, you should covet it. But we all aspire to a relationship with these brands, and there are few one-way relationships. However, despite their iconic nature, these brands do suffer with loyalty and Covert Critique aims to bridge the gap between luxury client and company; with discreet, professional services to show clients they are valued and coveted by the brand themselves.

While many luxury brands are founded on their attraction of lifestyle, the core product or service itself is key. The price, materials and peripheral services emit that the consumer should feel special, individual and valued by the company for spending their money and time there.

It applies to products, hotels, services and any other category that can reach luxury status.

China especially is the current target of the luxury market, yet they are struggling with building a stable network of clients loyal to particular brands, rather than buying into the accessible luxury items of many brands. ‘‘…improving customer satisfaction and increasing their loyalty has to be a priority. In these cities they need to pay particular attention to monitoring service at the point of sale and after, including effective systems for gathering and collating feedback and keeping an eye on customer satisfaction. They also need to improve service standards, particularly in after-sales service, which is the key to building brand loyalty.’’ reported China Daily recently Gong, J. ‘Luxury brands are thriving, but they need to change tack’. 09/11/2012 in China Daily

When you think of luxury goods and services the names that come to mind scream influence, quality and exclusivity. These features promote an aspirational longing to be part of such a luxury lifestyle, not just because of the tangible product itself, but because of the affiliation it gives your life. Rather than tuning themselves to the customers who buy from them, companies are often lacking when it comes to  responding to their ‘fans’, and improving customer satisfaction and increasing their loyalty should be a greater priority.

A project designed by Covert Critique and subject to the client’s requirements, can foster long-standing relationships between companies and key clients/suppliers and decrease loss of business through unsatisfied customers. We are a performance analysis company with a difference; we are original in our approach, trained specifically for the luxury market and enthusiastic in our creativity.

While luxury brands exude aspirational qualities, it is the consumers that drive them, support them and who they need to stay loyal to.

Article Written By: Covert Critique

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