How Does Mobile Fit in Your Customer Experience?

Posted on December 29, 2015 by Kevin LeiferComments


If you haven’t connected with your customers via mobile yet, you’ve missed out on a huge opportunity.

If you’re not going to connect with your customers via mobile in 2016, they’ll move to a competitor who offers an omnichannel experience and who knows how to interact with them.

In-store interactions won’t be enough in 2016. Customers expect that you’ll follow them with each stage of the sales funnel and help them make educated decisions about their purchases. You need to find out how to extend the in-store experience for your customers following a store visit.

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience, Omnichannel, Mobile

Did You Achieve Your 2015 Customer Experience Goals?

Posted on December 23, 2015 by Nanette BrownComments


It’s that time of year again; time to take a critical look back on 2015.

I’m sure that when you planned your last year’s customer experience resolution, you wanted to make a difference this year. The question is, were you able to do that?

To find out how 2015 was for your customers, you’ll have to answer three questions first.

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience, Omnichannel

5 Ways Retailers Can Improve Suggestive Selling by Millennials

Posted on December 21, 2015 by Kevin LeiferComments

Suggestive selling can boost retail revenues significantly. But to succeed at it, you must ask yourself:

  • Are our associates doing all the right things to boost in-store sales?
  • Are we doing all we can to encourage, train, and empower them?

These questions are particularly important for your millennial workforce. There are two reasons for this. First, millennials are now the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, and they will occupy roughly 75% of all jobs by 2030. Second, millennials bring a unique perspective and set of expectations to the sales floor, leading many retailers to change the way they operate.

Read More

Topics: Mystery Shopping, Customer Experience, Suggestive Selling

Prepping for the Returns season

Posted on December 17, 2015 by Nanette BrownComments


The week following Christmas is notorious for a mass quantity of returns. More than 20% of your customers will return gifts during the holidays and the following period according to recent surveys.

Retailers don’t usually get hit only financially during this time of year; long lines, angry customers and boxes piling up at your stores can hurt brand image as well.

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience, Brand Experience, Customer Service

How Retail Giants Bring Their Brand Promises to Life

Posted on December 15, 2015 by Kevin LeiferComments


Ask not what your customers can do for you. Ask what you can do for your customers.

Urban Outfitters answered that question for itself in early November, when it announced it will buy The Vetri Family, a group of nationally renowned Italian restaurants. If the deal proceeds as planned, every Urban Outfitters store will feature a Pizzeria Ventri by year’s end. The company is counting on its new gourmet pizza offering to entice more shoppers to visit and give hungry shoppers a reason to stay.

Read More

Topics: Mystery Shopping, Brand Experience

Best Practices for Customer Satisfaction Survey Invitations

Posted on December 10, 2015 by Nanette BrownComments


Anyone who ever conducted a customer satisfaction survey knows, drafting the questions for the survey is easier than drafting customers to answer them.

Surveys are important; they regulate processes, they can help you improve the customer’s experience, and they can provide valuable input.

But alas, they’re the last thing on the customer’s mind.

Read More

Topics: Customer Satisfaction

3 Ways Retailers Can Still Win Holiday 2015

Posted on December 8, 2015 by Kevin LeiferComments


Before the holiday 2015 shopping season officially kicked off late last month, one truth was already universally acknowledged: Shoppers were going to spend more on e-commerce channels than in 2014.

Of course, that predication came true. Media outlets reported Cyber Monday sales – the biggest day of the year for online spending – exceeded $3 billion in 2015. That event saw a 50% jump from last year, though still is far under the industry’s total sales of $10 billion on actual Black Friday.

Read More

Topics: Mystery Shopping, Customer Experience, Customer Service

How to Focus on the Store, Not on the (Mystery Shopping) Score

Posted on December 3, 2015 by Nanette BrownComments


Not everyone is open to feedback; even constructive feedback can signal our brain to go on the defensive. When we feel threatened, our first instinct is to focus on the threat. That’s why we will do anything in our power to deflect what we may feel is an attack or provide excuses when we feel threatened.

When it comes to mystery shopping, the mystery shopping score is often perceived as the threat, and as with all threats, our first reaction will be to do what we can to change or challenge it.

Read More

Topics: Mystery Shopping

Why Retailers Should Rethink “Self-Service”

Posted on December 1, 2015 by Kevin LeiferComments



What four words best capture the state of retail today?

Consumers run the show.

Consumers are more informed, more demanding, and freer than ever before. The balance of power has shifted. Brands are no longer in charge of the buying process.

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience, Omnichannel, Brand Experience, Customer Service

Shipping deals can help retailers boost their in-store sales

Posted on November 25, 2015 by Nanette BrownComments


The final two months of the year are critical to the retail industry, with some retailers pulling in as much as 30% of their annual sales for that holiday period. And this year, prevailing trends are expected to remain consistent. Retail sales growth will increasingly come from online channels, with traffic and demand at the physical stores expected to be less impressive.

Read More

Topics: Brand Experience, Customer Service

StellaService Issues Comprehensive Omni-Returns Experience Report Citing Huge Opportunity for Retailers to Grow Revenue and Enhance the Customer Experience

Posted on November 24, 2015 by Kevin LeiferComments


Highlights Buy Online, Return In-Store as One of the Year's Most Important Omni-Channel Offerings

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Nov 24, 2015) -StellaService, an independent provider of customer service performance metrics for online retailers, today announced findings from The Omni-Returns Experience Report, a new study exploring the benefits and challenges of omni-channel offerings including buy online, return in-store (BORIS).

Read More

Topics: News

Customer Experience 2016: Is It Time to Rethink Your Loyalty Program?

Posted on November 23, 2015 by Kevin LeiferComments


It’s hard to imagine a world without loyalty programs.

Retailers everywhere are jumping on the bandwagon, and for good reason. Shoppers love bonus points and special offers, they love feeling valued and connected, and their purchase histories are full of opportunities to upsell and cross sell. No downside to that, right?

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience, Customer Satisfaction

More retailers are closing shop for Thanksgiving

Posted on November 20, 2015 by Kevin LeiferComments


Next week, a shopping bonanza will unfold across the country as many Americans begin buying gifts for loved ones (and themselves) for the upcoming holiday season.

One interesting trend we’ve spotted: Many retailers are promising to close their doors on Thanksgiving. That is a pivot from the past several years, when many were opting to open their doors on Thanksgiving to generate buzz before the official “Black Friday” kickoff.

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience, Brand Experience

The Next 5 Strategies for Ramping up Customer Engagement

Posted on November 19, 2015 by Nanette BrownComments


In our previous post about strategies to ramp up customer engagement, we suggested the following ways to engage customers during the holiday season:

  1. Personalize customer experience with mobile technology.

  2. Gamify shopping experience by introducing tools that will interact with shoppers.

  3. Reach customers via social media.

  4. Engage customers on a non-tech level.

  5. Single out your most loyal customers and create special events just for them.

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience, Customer Engagement

Our 4 “Cs” of Quality Customer Experience

Posted on November 17, 2015 by Nanette BrownComments



Today’s retailers have to aim higher than only providing customer service that we would deem “satisfactory.” That’s not enough in a world full of competition – including many online retailers that focus only on providing a low price for the goods they sell.

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience

Customer Experience Update