ICC/Decision Services, an international Customer Experience Management firm based in New York City, recently concluded a survey across 381 chain retailers to determine the current state of measuring the customer experience. The study went across channels in the retail vertical, and included, but what was not limited to the apparel, supermarket, specialty, office supply and mass merchant sectors.
The retail and restaurant industries are entirely service-based. As a result, it is imperative that businesses in these industries receive feedback in order to deliver what their customers want to remain successful. There is, however, one major roadblock. It is difficult to get adequate feedback from customers.
Customers visiting retail and restaurant establishments care primarily about walking out with what they came for. In the case of retail, it is whatever consumer good they were seeking. In the case of restaurant, it is a good meal and a full stomach. If they get their product, they aren't as worried about what happened on the journey to it.
Topics: Customer Satisfaction
David Rich, President & CEO of ICC/Decision Services, will speak on October 18-20. The MSPA (Mystery Shopper Providers Association) will be conducting their 13th annual conference in Atlanta. The panel will discuss the future of social media in mystery shopping. The panel discussion will be held from 1:30 pm, to 3:00pm on Oct 19, 2011. Social media has created a revolution, and an evolution. The decisions that were only available to those in corporate offices is now decided directly by consumers. These changes have not only changed the customer service experience in retail, but social media has also changed the mystery shopping experience as well.
The discussion panel will share how social media will become an increasing part of the mystery shopping reporting experience. The experts will also discuss the ever-increasing changes in social media, and in SEO (search engine optimization). The mystery shopping companies will learn how to use social media, in order to gain new clients, and to keep their clients satisfied.
ICC/Decision Services offers a superior level of professionalism. Their online reporting has allowed our field organization to give immediate feedback to store personnel, which has enhanced our ability to exceed our customer service objectives.
We have been very satisfied with our relationship with ICC/Decision Services. On every occasion the execution has been thorough with excellent reports and follow-through. I have had the chance to work with several people at ICC/Decision Services and each person has brought valuable insights upon their own areas of expertise. The reporting as been detailed and we have had the ability to cross tab the data every which way we wanted to slice it. ICC/Decision Services has also been really good about giving us nice "sound bites" that we were able to use for our presentations.
Our company, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, currently contracting with ICC Decision Services for completion of our secret shops. As you can imagine, dependability of a company is a major concern when engaging services that are compliance related.
We have done business in the past with other secret shoppers companies, none of which lived up with their claims, or our expectations. Those previous companies were promptly terminated for poor performance, which is something that the world's largest retailer cannot afford.
Eddie Bauer has had a long-standing business relationship with ICC/Decision Services, dating back some 5+ years. The genesis of our partnership began as Eddie Bauer has been and continues to be focused on customer experience. ICC/Decision Services really assisted us in shaping our objectives such that their customers experience management solutions could effectively work as part of our overall strategy.
Over the years, ICC/Decision Services has continued to demonstrate additional value added by working closely with us to understand our business, challenge our thinking and bring new ideas on the table. The team has been very hands on and flexible in taking their standard service offering and customizing them to our business need - from program design, to project management, to ongoing reporting and management. Their programs provide us with near "real time" information about the customer experience thus allowing us to react to customer specific AND global issues.
We appreciate the timeliness, quality and value of ICC/Decision Services.
We are convinced that ICC/Decision Services' survey feedback has a direct impact on our bottom line results.
ICC/Decision Services is more than another mystery shopping vendor... they are our partners in success. Their efforts have been crucial to the success of Rite Aid's customer service initiatives.
I have found them to be professional, experienced and honest. Their willingness to listen and "can-do" are hard to beat.
On behalf of the entire CSO organization, please let me extend you an immense thank you for your wonderful support over the past several months.
The feedback we have received, thanks to ICC/Decision Services, is invaluable to us as an organization. This extremely helpful tool is allowing us to retrieve active feedback from our patrons. We are using this feedback to change the way we conceive of and communicate about the concert-going experience. Nanette Brown and Kevin Leifer have provided fabulous support to our marketing staff.
I cannot say enough about their abilities.
Their ideas are endless and their service is unmatched. We would not have been able to achieve our success without their help. They are hands down one of our best investments, and I'm proud to recommend them to everyone.
Who said TV can't teach us anything?
If you watched Grey's Anatomy over the past few seasons, then you were probably introduced to their "patient care" dummy, Stan, commanded by the chief in one episode. The goal was to deal with a frustrating patient -- one who wasn't effectively describing his symptoms -- and to provide a diagnosis while keeping the patient calm. It may have just seemed like a learning opportunity turned prank on the show, but it was actually a lesson in how mystery shopping can be used in medicine.
Mystery shopping is most often associated with retail and often takes a creative mind to envision it branching out to other industries. It is not just businesses selling a specific product that can learn from the experiences of their customers; it's any industry that is selling a service that relies on returning customers.
Topics: Mystery Shopping
This week, Marc Cenedella, the CEO & Founder of TheLadders.com, announced in a blog post and email that it was expanding to help anyone who was looking for a job or someone to fill a job, regardless of salary level. Previously, TheLadders.com served $100,000 jobs and above.
I think that was a misstep.
TheLadders.com was uniquely positioned from the start to serve exclusive, executive jobs and job seekers. Its brand promise was it would screen each job listing and only accept listings that qualified to be in the $100K range and above. Similarly, its brand promise to recruiters was it would only show them resumes for candidates who were qualified to fill those positions.
Topics: Customer Experience
When you call an airline and try to rebook a flight, minutes can seem like hours. When you are calling in advance of a natural disaster while the Weather Channel is spinning apocalyptic predictions and the news ticker is scrolling by saying that the three major airports you can fly into are closing, those minutes can seem like days.
Those perceptions turn into realities that you tell your friends and family. Or maybe you tweet and Yelp! about your experience. You exaggerate the facts. You're human. It happens.
This past weekend there were thousands of airline passengers who experienced this scenario with Hurricane Irene. And many recounted their perceived experience as fact to anyone who would listen.
Topics: Customer Experience
Would it be a surprise to you if I said consumers are critical? Probably not - but you may be thinking "who, me?" According to the Walmart cashier that rang me out this evening, angry customers are available at a dime a dozen, just as they were years ago when I personally worked in retail.
Sometimes, the way customers treat employees is just a reflection of their own bad days. Other times, they're extreme reactions for justified reasons. For example, said Walmart cashier said that customers often get upset at her when a sale item doesn't ring through on sale. When they mention it and act like the cashier should have caught the mistake, she thinks to herself "well how would I know that?"
Topics: Customer Experience