Undercover Boss Brings Exposure to Mystery Shopping

Posted on February 24, 2011 by blogComments

The television show 'Undercover Boss' sheds new light on the mystery shopping industry for those that have never contemplated the benefits of using this type of service. This show takes high ranking executives from major American companies and follows them as they step out of their comfortable offices and get their hands dirty. These executives work alongside entry level employees to get a better feel for what makes their companies tick. The show is entertaining for those that enjoy seeing some of the country's wealthy business people demonstrate a frequent inability to succeed while working in labor-intensive positions. But it offers much more too as it provides a unique look at how mystery shopping works and the benefits it provides.

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Topics: Mystery Shopping

Choosing a Mystery Shopping Provider: Five Essential Questions

Posted on February 17, 2011 by David RichComments

With literally hundreds of providers eager to help you implement a mystery shopping program, knowing where to begin and what to look for can feel like a mystery in itself. Fortunately, finding the provider that’s right for your and your business comes down to answering five essential questions.

1. What’s Their Track Record?

The increasing recognition that mystery shopping programs can be used as an indispensable tool for increasing revenue and improving service has recently generated a proliferation of fly-by-night providers. And, while many of these providers assuredly offer quality services, researching the history of your potential mystery shopping provider is vital.
To get a read on any potential provider’s track record, here’s what you should consider asking:
Where has the provider been doing business, and for how long? Look for a provider with proof of a six month track record, minimum (obviously, the longer the better!).
Can you contact satisfied customers for a recommendation? In the customer service world where the “customer is king,” be suspicious of any provider who can’t offer such a list.
What qualitative and quantitative data gathering and analysis measures does the provider use? If they can’t clearly outline such measures in the abstract, can they really do it with your actual data?
What they will offer you and how much it will cost? More importantly, how do their rates and services compare with at least one other provider?

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Topics: Customer Experience, Blog

Mystery Shopping Program Frequency

Posted on February 7, 2011 by David RichComments

One of the Most Frequently Asked Questions that I hear about setting up a mystery shopping program deals with frequency of shops. Should we choose once a day, once a week, once a month, or once a quarter? My answer is always the same: it depends on your program goals and your budget. Let's face it- all retailers want to meet or even exceed their goals, but not all have the budget to support daily or even weekly programs. So while my standard answer to the Most Frequently Asked Question may sound overly broad, it actually based on what I like to call the principle of Maximization vs. Optimization.

Maximization vs. Optimization is based on a very sound mystery shopping formula:

When budgets are limited, it is generally better to shop fewer stores on a more frequent basis than all stores less frequently. You may, for example, decide it is more important to shop your top 30 best-performing stores. Or you may want to establish different frequencies, or rotate your stores and districts. There are an infinite variety of ways to create the program that works best for you, but the bottom line is to remember that there are enough variations possible to allow you to get the most out of your program without sacrificing the crucial data you need to meet your program goals. When it comes down to whether you should conduct your program quarterly, monthly, weekly or daily, there are other factors to consider:

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Topics: Mystery Shopping

Ignoring Results of Customer Research

Posted on January 20, 2011 by David RichComments

Many companies use surveys to measure objectives like employee behaviors or brand perceptions. But the data collected is often ignored. So why collect the data if it is not going to be used correctly?

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Topics: Customer Satisfaction

ICC/Decision Services Partners with STELLAService to Launch E-Shops

Posted on January 10, 2011 by David RichComments

Will Provide a Customer Service Benchmarking and Competitive Intelligence Program for Online Retailers

New York, NY (PRWEB) January 10, 2011 -- ICC/Decision Services is proud to announce a new partnership with STELLAService, the authority for measuring and benchmarking online customer service performance. David Rich, President & CEO of ICC/Decision Services, explains: "STELLAService is the most trusted provider of customer service evaluation programs for Internet retailers. The opportunity to team up with STELLAService to deploy the E-Shops business solution, in conjunction with the brick and mortar analysis we already provide to some of the world's most recognized brands, will allow us to offer a genuine 360 degree view of the customer experience to our current and future client base."

Jordy Leiser, CEO and Co-Founder of STELLAService, agrees. "This partnership offers online retailers unique and compelling insight into their online customer service performance while simultaneously benchmarking that performance against their peers. In today's marketplace, the competitive advantage lies with those who continuously evaluate and obsess over the online customer experience. From website features to shipping, delivery, and returns metrics to customer support capabilities and performance, the leaders in e-commerce closely monitor their service proposition and how it stacks up to the competition. Working with ICC/Decision Services to combine our comprehensive approach with its time-tested process of measuring and reporting on customer experience data will enable retailers to gain crucial insight into the quality and consistency of their online service."

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Topics: News

ICC/Decision Services’ SMART tool helps retailers track and manage their social media image

Posted on January 9, 2011 by David RichComments

By: Joseph Tarnowski, Progressive Grocer
But just as social media can spread a negative message like wildfire, it can do the same for positive messages, too, and the natural and organic foods retailer leveraged this fact to get back into consumers’ good graces, by posting a note on its Facebook page that explained its position, and then by actually thanking those who provided feedback, and by reassuring consumers that they are priority No. 1.

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Topics: Customer Experience

ICC/Decision Services’ SMART tool helps retailers track and manage their social media image

Posted on January 8, 2011 by David RichComments

By: Joseph Tarnowski, Progressive Grocer
But just as social media can spread a negative message like wildfire, it can do the same for positive messages, too, and the natural and organic foods retailer leveraged this fact to get back into consumers’ good graces, by posting a note on its Facebook page that explained its position, and then by actually thanking those who provided feedback, and by reassuring consumers that they are priority No. 1.

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Topics: Resources, Articles

Human Sigma: Managing the Employee-Customer Encounter

Posted on January 5, 2011 by myadminComments

The groundbreaking methodology Six Sigma changed the face of manufacturing quality. Now, HumanSigma is poised to do the same for sales and service. In the face of widespread perceptions of abysmal customer service and disengaged employees — and all-too-real declining profit margins — the need for change is obvious. Human Sigma addresses this need with an exciting new method for managing customer-employee relations that increases both productivity and profitability. It incorporates cutting-edge research in the neurosciences and behavioral economics — including brain imaging research into customer’s emotional connections to the companies they love — with proven techniques for improving workforce performance and revenues generated from existing customers.

This practical handbook appeals to senior leaders and line managers alike who are looking for a way to dramatically increase productivity, retain high value customers, and enhance organizational performance.

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Topics: Books

Loyalty Myths: Hyped Strategies That Will Put You Out of Business -- and Proven Tactics That Really Work

Posted on January 5, 2011 by myadminComments

In Loyalty Myths, the authors have assembled 53 of the most common beliefs about customer loyalty – all of them wrong or misconceived! Each of the beliefs in this book is debunked with real-world examples. While other books speak in platitudes; this book is the only one to validate each proposition with real data.

Granted unprecedented access to customer records from a variety of multi-national corporations. Through these records, Ipsos Loyalty was able to precisely track the impact of this customer-centric construct on actual purchasing behavior. The authors’ findings and conclusions will stun business leaders around the world. The lessons learned from these provide a true guide for the proper use of customer loyalty.

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Topics: Books

The Customer Delight Principle : Exceeding Customers' Expectations for Bottom-Line Success

Posted on January 5, 2011 by myadminComments

The Customer Delight Principle shows how customer delight -- not mere satisfaction -- drives repeat purchasing and customer loyalty. The book details how your company can build a customer delight-oriented organization and reveals many of the roadblocks that you are likely to encounter. How to monitor customer delight results, including measurement and validation against revenue, is covered, as is formulating payback curves for a customer delight investment, allocating resources for continued customer delight improvements, and the continued benchmarking of results.

Statistics show that customer satisfaction alone is not enough. Over 60% of customers lost by companies have reported that they were at least "satisfied," in their experience with the company.

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Topics: Books