Hispanics consider quality the main reason why they like one brand over another and define quality as a product or service that does what it promises to do at a reasonable price. The word “promise” is key in this definition; brand loyalty is the result of managing expectations. Mintel’s Hispanics and Brand Loyalty US 2015 reports shows that half of all Hispanic consumers know what to expect with the brands they plan to buy and well over a third agree these brands never disappoint them.

It is when expectations are not met and consumers start feeling that they are overpaying for the product or service that they start looking other options.  The top reasons Hispanics switch from one brand to another include having a bad experience, a change in the quality of the product or service, and having a higher price.

What we think

Customer service plays many roles building brand loyalty:

  1. Reinforcing the value proposition the brand wants to portray.
  2. Helping to manage expectations. However, for customer service to be of any use, quality must be in place. If quality is not evident, customer service can do very little to improve the situation.
  3. Building trust; Hispanics value personal relationships and face-to-face interaction to be able to ask questions. Physical locations are important in this regard as it there where Hispanics can confirm everything they researched or decide whether they need to look further. Depending on the product or service, salespeople and client service personnel are also key to clearly explain plans to avoid future misunderstandings.

Having Spanish-speaking staff and Spanish-language materials at the store may likely help sales staff relate to Hispanic buyers even if they are bilingual, as they will be able to include and engage other household members who may feel more comfortable if the buying process is in Spanish.

As brands aim to build relationships with Hispanic consumers, it all comes down to the perceived quality of their products and services; in this regard, customer service can help reinforce the value proposition in a positive – but also realistic – way.

Juan is Director of Hispanic Insights at Mintel and a member of the US Multicultural Reports team. Juan has extensive experience working in the US Hispanic research market, helping clients understand the dynamics of the demographic.

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