Target Sells a Service Experience with its Electronics

Posted by August 31, 2010 by myadminComments

Even during the recession, the electronics business continues to be hot as customers consider things like cell phones a necessity.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Women Pay Full Price at Ann Taylor

Posted by August 27, 2010 by myadminComments

It's no secret customers like a good sale, but a recent finding from Ann Taylor shows items can still sell--even with a full-price sticker.

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Topics: In-Store Marketing

Recession Resets Consumers’ Priorities

Posted by August 24, 2010 by myadminComments

What does the customer want? It's a question retailers ask themselves all the time.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Consumers Procrastinate Back-to-School Shopping

Posted by August 18, 2010 by myadminComments

Retailers, take notes. American families are putting off their back-to-school shopping in an effort to make sure they're getting the best deals.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Sam’s Club to Gift Wi-Fi This Holiday Season

Posted by August 10, 2010 by myadminComments

When Sam's Club begins offering free Wi-Fi in its stores this November, the retailer hopes shoppers will be more likely to purchase electronics, specifically new Internet-connected television sets.

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Topics: Customer Experience

The Real Customer Service Story

Posted by August 4, 2010 by myadminComments

Upon entering a retail store, the customer knows what's coming next: it's the standard greeting, followed by the current sales promotion and then the question, "Anything I can help you with today?" According to recent research published in the Harvard Business Review, that answer is often, "No."

Corporate leaders dramatically overestimate how much the customer wants to talk to a customer service representative. They believe customers value live service twice as much as self-service. HBR's data shows customers are significantly indifferent to that claim, and they value self-service just as much as they value using the phone. More interestingly, that indifference doesn't change across their demographic, issue type or urgency.

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Topics: Customer Experience

A Modern Day Customer Service Parable

Posted by July 30, 2010 by myadminComments

Too often you hear stories about people's customer service nightmares and commiserate with them as you talk of similar experiences. The Virgin Group founder Richard Branson recently shared a story about customer service himself, but the story ended with a satisfied customer and not a disgruntled one.

A Virgin Atlantic customer's free limo failed to pick him up at his hotel (apparently the customer waited at the wrong door). So, he called a cab and arrived at the airport angry, running late and nervous he would miss his flight. A Virgin agent spotted him and tried to calm him down, apologized for the limo mix up and rushed him through the security staff lane to get him to his gate. She even reimbursed his taxi fare out of her own pocket. The passenger boarded the plane on time thanks to the Virgin agent's ability to turn a negative customer experience into a positive one.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Do Location-Based Social Networks Work for Your Company?

Posted by July 27, 2010 by myadminComments

Should retailers check out location-based social networks and let their customers check in to their stores? An AdAge.com post on Forrester Research's recently released study advises companies to take a second look as to whether LBSNs are right to include in their current marketing mix.

The study reports that only four percent of U.S. online adults use location-based mobile apps such as Foursquare, Gowalla and Loopt. Only one percent update these services more than once a week. Even more, a good majority of respondents"”84 percent"”claimed they were unfamiliar with the apps, a number to surely make companies rethink how necessary it is to start a marketing campaign using LBSNs.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Mobile Applications Can Do More for a Retailer

Posted by July 23, 2010 by myadminComments

Shoppers are on the move, and they're taking their mobile phones with them.

Forbes Insights published a study that surveyed leading U.S. retailers' use of mobile applications in enhancing consumer's shopping experiences. Researchers discovered many retailers--almost fifty percent--are hoping to capture first-mover advantage as their customers go mobile. The levels of sophistication in mobile design and application vary depending on the retailer and its goals. For many, the mobile features are a scaled-back version of their website. Others have ventured into offering transaction-based and customer-oriented applications that use powerful GPS technology to pinpoint an individual customer's needs.

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Topics: Mystery Shopping

Using Storytelling to Keep the Customer Coming Back to the Store

Posted by July 21, 2010 by myadminComments

When people's time is precious and transportation costs are high, retailers can't rely on the thinking that if they build stores, people will come. Instead, retailers must offer more than just a physical space that stocks merchandise. They need to entertain, educate and engage consumers to bring them to the store and make them never want to leave.

PSFK advised retailers to think of all store locations as flagship stores and treat customer visits as opportunities to tell the story of the brand. Disney stores executed this idea by remodeling their stores to become a family entertainment hub where kids can interact and play with the merchandise. The New England grocery chain Stew Leonard's organized their stores by stocking merchandise needed for certain occasions together, such as a barbecue or birthday party. Customers then buy items for an experience and possibly pick up a few things they didn't think they needed, like birthday hats or corn on the cob holders. Stew Leonard's stores also have animatronic farm animals kids can play with, flat screens that show feeds of their own daily cows and bountiful offerings of free samples.

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Topics: Customer Experience