5 Strategies to Ramp Up Customer Engagement This Year

Posted on November 21, 2014 by Nanette BrownComments

Engaging holiday shoppers is critical for boosting end-of-the-year sales and increasing customer loyalty. Here are 5 ways you can ramp up customer engagement this holiday season:

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Topics: Customer Experience

Is Customer Experience More Important to Shoppers Than Price?

Posted on November 19, 2014 by Kevin LeiferComments

Sure, a retailer’s success depends on lots of things. Customer service, pricing, store presentation, and great discounts and offers are each important – but studies suggest that no single element of your brand’s performance is as significant as a shopper’s perception of the customer experience as a whole. 

Forrester Research conducted a five-year Customer Experience Index study, which found that customer experience is the single strongest factor in consumer loyalty. Based on their research, Forrester goes so far as to state that nothing else your business does matters as much as the customer experience

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Topics: Customer Experience

Crafting a Killer Holiday Omnichannel Strategy

Posted on November 13, 2014 by David RichComments

In the world of modern retailing, an omnichannel strategy is vital to staying competitive and building loyalty with your customers.

It’s even more important to have a solid strategy for connecting with your customers during the holidays, when your potential to make or lose sales is at its peak.

Just as the holidays are your busiest time, this season is the peak purchasing period for the average consumer, when their attention is more fragmented. 

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Topics: Customer Experience, Blog

Don’t Lose Your Brand Experience in the Holiday Rush

Posted on November 11, 2014 by Nanette BrownComments

As we’ve said before, consistency is the most important factor in designing a brand experience that generates customer loyalty.

The problem is that consistency is difficult to maintain during the holiday rush, but that’s no reason to let your brand slip. In fact, the holidays are the best time to prove that you’re committed to a great brand experience, as large numbers of both new and returning shoppers flood your stores.

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Topics: Brand Experience

How to Improve Black Friday Customer Experiences

Posted on November 5, 2014 by Kevin LeiferComments

Any shopper brave enough to venture out on Black Friday knows to expect some customer service delays and disappointments when items are out of stock, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to give them a better experience.

Instead of using the madness of Black Friday as an excuse for slipping customer service, why not use it as a chance to really 

impress your customers by making Black Friday less painful than they expected?

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Topics: Customer Experience

6 Ways to Train Seasonal Employees in Customer Service

Posted on November 3, 2014 by David RichComments

Enlisting seasonal employees to keep up with the holiday workload is a necessity for many retail chains, but it can have a huge impact on your customer experience. All of your employees are ambassadors for your brand, and the service they provide is an extension of your business.

That’s a scary thought, right? Even though you have limited time to train them, it’s vital that your seasonal workers know how to provide the level of customer service you expect.

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Topics: Brand Experience

Optimizing Your Mystery Shopping Budget

Posted on October 31, 2014 by Nanette BrownComments

One of the questions we hear most often about setting up a mystery shopping program is how to determine the frequency of mystery shops for a particular retail chain, but there’s no “one size fits all” approach to designing a successful mystery shopping program.

This is the problem with traditional mystery shopping programs – they typically spread the budget evenly across all the stores in a chain, shopping each store with the same frequency.

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Topics: Customer Satisfaction

Go Undercover: Improve Your Brand Experience with Mystery Shopping

Posted on October 27, 2014 by Kevin LeiferComments

Providing your customers with a consistently great experience across all channels helps them form a positive connection with your brand. When customers expect a great experience, however, their expectations have to be met or you risk disappointing them.

As this article from Entrepreneur highlights, a great brand experience means that customers are satisfied with each channel of your brand, including your website, branding, atmosphere, and employee interaction, but a single bad experience with one channel can ruin the customer’s perception of your entire brand.

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Topics: Mystery Shopping, Blog, Brand Experience

How to Combat Showrooming During the Holidays

Posted on October 24, 2014 by Nanette BrownComments

Reports after the holidays last year showed that the in-store strategies retailers employed to fight showrooming were working, but that doesn’t mean the effect will necessarily carry over into this holiday season.

In a recent survey, 96% of participants said that they would continue to research products in stores before buying online, so implementing effective strategies to combat showrooming will be essential for retailers this quarter.

So what can you do? Start with these 3 things:

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Topics: Customer Experience, Blog, Showrooming

Measurable Ways to Improve Your Customer Service

Posted on October 20, 2014 by David RichComments

Trying to improve customer service without collecting data on the success of your tactics is a wasted effort.

Many ideas for customer service improvements sound great on paper, but turn out to be meaningless to your customers. It’s even more problematic to stick blindly to with same old strategies when commerce is changing so rapidly.

Rather than investing time and money in every trendy customer service strategy, focus on ones that will allow you to continuously collect data and consistently improve the shopping experience.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Blog

Is Satisfied Enough? Learning from the Middle of the Pack

Posted on October 16, 2014 by Kevin LeiferComments

It’s a no-brainer that high customer satisfaction indicates a positive shopping experience, and dissatisfaction indicates a problematic experience, but what does it tell you about the shopping experience when customers report that they’re just “satisfied”?

Customer satisfaction is a spectrum, and customers who say they are satisfied can be describing a wide range of experiences – none of which they found remarkable. These customers don’t harbor any particularly negative feelings to keep them from shopping with you, but they don’t have strongly positive feelings about your brand either.

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Topics: Customer Satisfaction, Brand Experience

Are Pushy Sales Tactics Driving Your Customers Away?

Posted on October 14, 2014 by Nanette BrownComments

You’ve probably invested a great deal in creating strategies to increase your sales and get customers interested in your brand.

What you may not realize is that if your pushy sales tactics seem too aggressive, they may be driving your customers away instead of pulling them in.

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Topics: Customer Satisfaction

3 Things Your Customers Mean by “I’m Just Browsing”

Posted on October 9, 2014 by David RichComments

There’s no question that training your sales associates to engage your customers can boost sales and gain customer loyalty, but what do you do when your customers say they don’t want help?

It’s especially difficult to engage with customers who are just browsing because they can mean so many different things, from “leave me alone” to “I already know what I’m looking for” to simply “I’m just killing time.”

If you keep following up with a customer who isn’t interested, you risk annoying them and damaging their perception of your brand. How do you identify the customers who are open to assistance, and offer them the kind of service they prefer?

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Topics: Customer Experience, Blog, Brand Experience

What Do Your Customers Owe You?

Posted on October 3, 2014 by Kevin LeiferComments

Once you implement great service strategies to go above and beyond your customer’s expectations, they owe you their loyalty and will become repeat shoppers, right?

Wrong. Your customers don’t owe you anything. They can shop at any number of retailers and find similar products. If you don’t meet their needs, they’ll go somewhere else – and they have every right to.

I recently posted about the impact of customer retention on a company’s bottom line, and how clienteling strategies help you offer better service and earn customer loyalty. 

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Topics: Blog, Brand Experience

The Benefits of Engaging Your Unhappy Customers

Posted on October 1, 2014 by Nanette BrownComments

Every company receives customer service complaints. But did you know that for every customer who bothers to complain, about 26 remain silent?

The typical business only hears from 4% of its dissatisfied customers. Of the 96% who don’t voice their complaints, 91% will “quit” that business and never come back.

Instead of ignoring customer complaints, or worse, getting defensive, view them as a gift that can help you improve your business and overall brand image. They present a golden opportunity to include your customer as part of the solution instead of viewing complaints as a problem.

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Topics: Customer Satisfaction, Customer Intercepts, Blog

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