Five Mistakes Companies Make When Choosing a Mystery Shopping Provider

Posted by October 1, 2010 by myadminComments

Choosing a Mystery Shopping Provider can seem like a daunting task. There are many to choose from who all seem to offer more or less the same services. What are the best criteria to use when making your choice? Are there specific points to consider? Of course there are. Here are the top five mistakes many companies make when choosing a provider.

1. Conducting an RFP
In this case, the company turns over the job of choosing a provider to purchasing. Why not? They buy supplies, negotiate deals, handle vendors. But this is different. Purchasing does not have the necessary background and understanding of the mystery shopping process to take on this task. Your mystery shopping program, when done correctly, will literally touch every person in your organization AND your customers. This isn't the same as purchasing pens in bulk or negotiating a maintenance contract. Most programs with high turnover rates are ones in which RFP's are involved. Bottom line? Some things are just too important to leave to an RFP"¦your mystery shopping program is one of them.

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Topics: Mystery Shopping

A Wellness Marketing Strategy That Works Well

Posted by September 2, 2010 by myadminComments

Wellness is alive and well in consumers’ minds, but what does that mean for retailers? And what do consumers mean when they shop with wellness on their mind?

According to research firm The Hartman Group, people have a broad view of the definition of wellness. When polled, 67 percent of participants defined wellness as “not being ill” and “being able to deal with stress.” More than 70 percent described wellness as “being physically fit” and “feeling good about myself.”

In an interview with Adweek, Shelley Balanko, VP of Ethnographic Research at The Hartman Group explains what retailers can take away from this study‘s results.

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Topics: Customer Experience

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