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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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."

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.''

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience

Emphasizing the Experience

Posted on October 12, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

It is extremely important to measure and discover ways to integrate customer experience data across your organization. But it is even more important to realize that metrics will not in itself create great customer service. Sometimes we forget that the data is a measure of the experience in the first place, not the other way around.

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience

SMART™ Social Media Assessment & Response Tool

Posted on October 12, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

Engage in the online conversation about your brand.

Discover how SMART™ can deliver valuable insights that can improve your customer’s experience.

Read More

Topics: Services

Putting a Value on a Highly Satisfied Customer

Posted on October 8, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

If you were told that a highly satisfied customer will spend $30 more per visit to your store, no matter what business you were in, wouldn't you go the extra mile to make sure that customer had a great experience? It is hard to quantify the exact value of a satisfied customer, but a recent story in Progressive Grocer reported on a study that does just that. The J.D. Power and Associates 2009 National Pharmacy Study, which gauges customer satisfaction with brick-and-mortar and mail-order pharmacies, ranked Wegman's best in the supermarket segment and Target tops in the Mass segment.

The study used seven factors that contribute to customer satisfaction at retail: non-pharmacist staff, store convenience, medication availability and information, store layout and design, cost competitiveness, remote ordering convenience, and pharmacist.

Beyond the retailer rankings, perhaps the additional findings of the study are more interesting. The study found that high satisfaction scores are financially beneficial to pharmacies in three ways:

Read More

Topics: Customer Satisfaction

Damage Control: Bad News Travels Fast

Posted on October 5, 2009 by Nanette BrownComments

The evidence continues to mount that on-line communication and social networking is playing and increasingly important role in the consumer's decision to buy your brand. It seems a day does not go by without another story about the importance of integrating social networking in your go-to-market strategy. The stark reality is that if you have any business at all, something is bound to go wrong. The key is minimizing service outages and, when something is amiss, pacifying the consumer to a) retain a loyal customer and b) prevent them from using the new mass media to campaign against your brand. Nothing makes an angry consumer happier than to take other people with them.

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience

Customer Experience Update