6 Ways to Compete with Amazon

Posted on September 30, 2014 by Kevin LeiferComments

Despite recent dips in stock prices, it doesn’t look like Amazon is going anywhere any time soon, and the company continues to expand into new markets. Competition with Amazon is fierce, but the good news is that the company’s broad focus leaves many gaps in customer experience, allowing both large and small retailers to compete.

But how can your brand retain more customers and draw new ones away from online discount retailers like Amazon?

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Topics: Customer Experience, Customer Satisfaction, Blog, Brand Experience

How to Overcome Consumer Channel Overload

Posted on September 26, 2014 by Nanette BrownComments

A few years ago, mobile shopping was big news in the retail world, and businesses had to respond quickly in order to survive. Rather than lose access to their customers, many became omnichannel retailers to court savvy mobile consumers.

But the omnichannel marketplace has its challenges.

More and more, customers expect a seamless experience across all devices and channels. They expect brick-and-mortar stores to match the online price of a product. They expect to be able to experience a product before purchasing online. They expect to get timely notifications of new products and discounts.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Omnichannel, Blog, Brand Experience

How Effective Company Branding Has Made Apple the Leader in Innovation

Posted on September 23, 2014 by David RichComments

On September 9, Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the iPhone’s next evolution, the iPhone 6. Among the expected upgrades—new A8 chip, iOS, iSight, etc. — comes a new feature: Apple Pay, powered by near field communication (NFC) technology.

The thing is, Apple Pay is far from original. Android users are already familiar with this technology, and it has been available to them for years.

Many Android users have openly mocked Apple’s “innovation” with ads welcoming Apple to 2012. For example, smart wearables, “the next big innovation,” are already here.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Customer Satisfaction, Brand Experience

How Clienteling Strategies Increase Revenue and Customer Retention

Posted on September 19, 2014 by Kevin LeiferComments

According to KISSMetrics, 71% of consumers have stopped buying from a company because of poor customer service. Whether or not you tell your customers that you care about their experience with your brand, their perception is reality when it comes to your bottom line.

While it’s common knowledge that customer retention is much cheaper than finding new customers, many (perhaps most) companies focus on customer acquisition, even though it’s around 7 times more expensive.

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Topics: Clienteling, Brand Experience

The Critical Role of the Associate in Today’s Digital Path to Purchase

Posted on September 16, 2014 by Bill CarmodyComments

Last week, while I was speaking at the Connected Consumer Summit, an interesting question was raised about the role of the retail associate in an increasingly digital world.

While technology can and does play an important role in engaging customers and driving them from social media and mobile into retail stores, it’s important not to underestimate the critical role the associate will play in the future.

Beacons, for example, have become a key strategy for engaging customers on their mobile phones during their shopping visit (for more on this topic, please download our Beacons Whitepaper). 

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Topics: Customer Experience, Brand Experience

5 Valuable Insights You Can Learn From a Journey Map

Posted on September 12, 2014 by David RichComments

In today’s retail environment consumers have short attention spans and their interests change like the seasons. Learning from your customer’s habits can help you predict their next move.

Your carefully cultivated focus panel tells you what their dream handheld device is. When you felt like you delivered this dream device, it barely cracked a return on investment. Even worse, your competitor created something completely different and is selling out on pre-orders.

A marketing campaign that worked before, failed to deliver the traffic into your stores.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Journey Mapping

Customer Service versus Customer Experience: What's the Difference?

Posted on September 10, 2014 by Nanette BrownComments

Last week, Mark had to battle downtown traffic at rush hour for a tux fitting. He had gotten a fitting with this company before, at a different store location, so he knew what to expect.

Would’ve been nice for the two stores to have had a central database so that this other store had his measurements which would have prevented the need for another visit. Then he wouldn’t have had to tack on another errand at the end of his workday.

The tux shop was pleasant enough. Efficient even. They had him sized, tux ordered, and sent on his way before too long.

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Topics: Mystery Shopping, Customer Satisfaction, Brand Experience

The Cost of Waiting to Invest in Customer Experience

Posted on September 4, 2014 by Kevin LeiferComments

When businesses talk about their customer experience strategy, it usually boils down to collecting customer-initiated responses to an interaction, whether through a survey on a receipt or a customer service representative.

What if you looked at customer experience not as another report file away in a trend binder, but as a tool to drive profitable sales growth?

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Topics: Clienteling, Customer Experience, Customer Satisfaction

The Secret to Successful Clienteling

Posted on September 3, 2014 by Kevin LeiferComments

“Clienteling” has become something of a buzzword lately. However, the focus is usually on mobile apps or other software, and how businesses can use them to effectively store customer information.

For example, tablets and mobile technology are now widely used to help customer-facing associates better serve customers by creating profiles, storing previous purchases, and more. The common assumption is that if they know previous purchases, associates can better assist the customer.

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Topics: Clienteling, Customer Satisfaction

4 Simple Methods to Make Company Meetings Profitable

Posted on August 28, 2014 by Kevin LeiferComments

Company meetings are a great platform for sharing best practices, gaining insight from your colleagues, and maintaining alignment between the top of the organization and the front lines. They also give you a chance to hear feedback and get real-time answers from your team in the field.

However, it’s very easy for those meetings to devolve into a routine where there is more lip service than action, preventing important strategies from being executed as well as expected.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Customer Satisfaction

5 Suggestive Selling Techniques for Better Customer Experiences

Posted on August 25, 2014 by Kevin LeiferComments

If you're like most people, there are certain stores that you dread going into, and you have to mentally prepare yourself for before entering.

You know the ones I’m talking about - where the sales associate sprays fragrance in your face as a form of greeting. Where associates magically appear beside you to show you electronics you aren’t interested in or to squirt hand cream on you that you don’t want to try. Where you duck and weave your way through a gauntlet of sales associates like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, just so you can grab the one product you want and hightail it to the register.

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Topics: Mystery Shopping, Customer Experience, Customer Satisfaction, In-Store Marketing

No Sales Growth? Take Another Look at Customer Experience

Posted on August 21, 2014 by Kevin LeiferComments

For retail store operations, consistent customer experience at every touch point is essential to attracting and retaining a loyal clientele.

We’ve all experienced this before…

You go to a new franchised coffeehouse location, and even though it’s the same company, the workers here are indifferent. When you finally get your drink (which you had to tell them how to make), it tastes odd.

Or, you stop into a bookstore across town instead of your usual one. Rather than the lively conversation you expected with a knowledgeable bookseller, you roam the stacks blindly. 

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Topics: Customer Experience, Blog

Why Engaging with Your Customers Will Almost Always Increase Revenue

Posted on August 20, 2014 by Kevin LeiferComments

A successful business thrives when the sales teams understand how to attract and retain loyal clientele.

They know that the best way to convert “lookers” into “buyers” is to create an engaging, in-store customer experience that begins with the first interaction.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Customer Satisfaction

Maximize the Value of Your CSAT Program With Mystery Shopping Data

Posted on August 12, 2014 by Kevin LeiferComments

Have you ever decided against an evaluation program because you already have another currently in place?

If you find yourself torn deciding between several options, you may be looking at it the wrong way.

While each method is different in how it gathers data, the results aren’t altogether unrelated. In fact, these programs are designed to complement each other when carried out together.

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Topics: Mystery Shopping, Customer Experience, Customer Satisfaction, Blog

3 Ways To Empower Your Retail Sales Associates Today

Posted on August 5, 2014 by Nanette BrownComments

There’s a big problem plaguing retail these days:

Many times, smartphones seem smarter than the sales associates as they make a wealth of knowledge available about the products you’re seeking in a flash.

If you’ve ever experienced this for yourself while shopping, it’s not hard to imagine why this issue alone can mean the difference between gaining a loyal new customer and losing one after failing to help them find what they needed.

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Topics: Clienteling, Customer Experience, Customer Intercepts

Customer Experience Update