Getting Satisfaction

Posted on November 19, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

With an increasing number of positive reports on economic conditions, to some, one that ties the customer experience directly to the recovery is the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Although the index fell 0.1 percent in the third quarter compared to the second quarter, it is up 1.4 percent from Q3 2008. For Q3 2009, the index recoded a score of 76 out of 100 possible points.

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Topics: Blog

Getting it Right in the First Place

Posted on November 18, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

When discussing a truly great customer experience, it's a natural reaction to focus on a specific customer service situation or service recovery. It is true that all organizations have problems to solve at one point or another and the way they solve them goes a long way toward establishing long-term customer relationships. But we should never lose sight of the easiest and least expensive form of service recovery which is getting it right in the first place.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Tips for Holiday Retail Cheer

Posted on November 16, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

It's a funny time in retail. The Holiday's generally bring a surge of business as consumers splurge on gifts and other items to help brighten the season. However, this coming Holiday season feels very different. Nielsen tells us that consumers continue to make fewer trips to the store.

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Topics: Mystery Shopping

Don't Discount the Discount

Posted on November 12, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

Much is being made out of the necessity to build brands using social networking tools like Twitter and Facebook. A recent study tells us that they key tactic to building such networks may be the same as building the brands in traditional marketing. In other words, if you want to build your on-line network, offer the consumer a deal.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Is it Live? Does it Have to Be?

Posted on November 9, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

Everyone uses Google and, because the service is free to the user, no one expects anything more than some FAQ screens and forums for customer support. But it doesn't stop there for Google. Because it offers Google AdWords and some premium Google Apps, the company is adding live, human contact as part of its customer experience.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Measures Matter

Posted on November 6, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

Everybody wants to improve customer service. Some pay it lip service and others take definitive steps to improve the customer experience. However, even well intentioned managers can miss the mark if they merely employ tactics without setting achievable and measureable goals and then employ a method for applying the learning. A recent article provides a vivid example by breaking customer service down into primary elements of greeting the customer, responding quickly to their requests, fulfilling their orders in a timely manner and dealing with problems.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Souping Up Product Position

Posted on November 4, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

An amazing image appears in Drew's Marketing Minute. Author Drew McLellan shares the result of what happens when BBDO asked grocery stores if they would be willing to place chicken noodle soup in the cold medication aisle. Not only does this tactic seem incredibly smart, but it also makes a consumer connection by offering a choice in a direct, and yet entertaining and informative way.

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Topics: Customer Experience

A Ballad of Bad Service

Posted on November 2, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

There is no shortage of stories that chronicle a truly bad customer experience, but not many reach almost mythical status. The application of social media makes this possibility stronger than ever. Case in point: "United Breaks Guitars."

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Topics: Customer Experience

Is The Customer Always Right?

Posted on October 28, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

In an article that appeared in Progressive Grocer, columnist David Diamond vents about an unbelievable series of events that happened to him on a recent trip to the drug store. He is quick to point out that the actions he describes don't necessarily define a corporate culture, but uses the isolated incident to make a point.

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Topics: Customer Experience

The Great Differentiation

Posted on October 28, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

Is it the great depression, the great recession or the great differentiation? A recent article by Mike Wittenstein spells out the differences and what that might mean to new opportunities to enhance the customer experience for your store or your brand.

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Topics: Mystery Shopping

Shoppers Get More In-Store

Posted on October 26, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

What kinds of marketing activity really make the difference for consumers? In a recent survey, 69 percent of those polled called the in-store experience a "make or brake scenario." According to 60 percent of the respondents, brand decisions are still being made at the store despite the presence of a shopping list.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Customer Choices to Take Holiday Hit

Posted on October 26, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

The answer for many retailers to counter last Holiday season's margin killing discounting is to slash inventory. According to a story in the Boston Globe, Saks Fifth Avenue has cut inventory by about 20 percent, JCPenney by 14 percent and Wal-Mart by about 6 percent. The thinking on the side of retailers is that they are willing to run low, or even out of stock, rather than be left with a pile of discounted merchandise. The message to consumers is that, "if you don't buy it, it's not going to be there next time.''

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Topics: Customer Experience

Employee as Brand Ambassador

Posted on October 22, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

In most cases, especially at retail, the customer's first touch point with your store or brand is the store employee. If you subscribe to the results of a survey from the Human Capital Institute and Monster.com, this is troublesome. This study identifies a pretty significant misunderstanding in that 84 percent of employers believe their workforce is content to just have a job, when in reality only 58 percent of the workers feel the same.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Indifference vs. Difference

Posted on October 15, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

It's pretty easy to spot poor customer service and even easier to identify trends because we see the same mistakes made in retail locations everyday. In an article on HospitalityNet.org, Steve Curtin points out three behaviors that we all see on shopping trips and gives a simple explanation for why these unacceptable practices live on.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Customer Loyalty Up in the Air

Posted on October 14, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

Imagine a time when the battle for consumer loyalty becomes so intense that even the airlines begin to focus more on the customer experience. Amid many recent horror stories from passengers, and a movement to pass a passengers bill of rights, it appears that even this traditionally unresponsive industry is beginning to warm to the idea of treating its passengers like valued customers.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Customer Experience Update