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Overall Customer Experience: A Taste of the Top 100 Retailers

Retail Customer Experience recently issued its Top 100 retailers as far as overall customer experience. The results include online, brick-and-mortar, and omni-channel experiences. While the list is long, we’ll only focus on a handful of these worthy recipients, in no particular order, except for the top dog in retail, which is a repeat winner, Amazon. Everyone in retail envies its success. Amazon is just a fact of retail life that isn’t going away. 7-Eleven is another winner,...

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Consumer Satisfaction Way Down In Store and Online

Superior customer experience and service is the backbone of a successful business, especially for retail. 70% of consumers say they are willing to spend more with companies that provide excellent customer service, according to American Express, while 91% of disgruntled customers say they will shop elsewhere going forward. Amex also found that 90% of U.S. consumers share their good and bad experiences. In this competitive market, retailers consequently need to focus on the experience they offer their customers, across all channels, and...

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Delivering the Best Customer Experience

You can’t say it enough. Offering personalized customer experience is key in delivering retail sales and satisfaction. The world of brick-and-mortar is aware of this, but often the ability to improve on interaction and the will to do it are two different things. The benefits of online shopping have been publicized before: Variety and depth of assortment, offering millions of SKUs In-stock availability vs. physical stores Lower prices online The ability to shop anywhere, anytime 24/7 Pre-printed return forms...

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Delivering the Best Customer Experience

You can’t say it enough. Offering personalized customer experience is key in delivering retail sales and satisfaction. The world of brick-and-mortar is aware of this, but often the ability to improve on interaction and the will to do it are two different things. The benefits of online shopping have been publicized before: Variety and depth of assortment, offering millions of SKUs In-stock availability vs. physical stores Lower prices online The ability to shop anywhere, anytime 24/7 Pre-printed return forms...

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Whole Foods Expands the In-Store Experience

Whole Foods has always marched to their own drum. As a chain retailer of natural and organic foods, they have created a niche and story line that their loyal shoppers have embraced. With ecommerce gaining such a foothold, brick-and-mortar stores are meeting the challenges of communicating with consumers across multiple channels. Wall Street hasn’t exactly seen Whole Foods in a favorable light, as their stock has continued to decline this year, yet their earnings per share has grown...

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Unlocking the Sales Riddle

How your sales staff relates to customers is vital to your store’s success. Engagement starts the moment a customer walks through the door and it influences the rest of the shopping experience. Arming sales staff with key information regarding customers can augment the shopping experience and increase sales. Salesforce.com is a global web-based software and cloud computing company best known for its customer relationship management (CRM) software. They specialize in “software-as-a-service” (SaaS) to help users...

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Oracle’s Study on “The New Retail Democracy”

If you think the democratization of retail is far-fetched, think again. Oracle surveyed 4,500 adult consumers worldwide and found that having input in the retail process from sourcing to shipping is becoming a primary goal for the majority of people questioned. The consumer wants to initiate decisions concerning the supply chain—where to buy, ship, pick up and return orders; they want to determine merchandising operations—ethical sourcing, price, delivery times and item availability; being able to sell their...

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The Final Frontier: Location-Based Marketing

Of all the big data components, the most dominant this year will probably be location-based marketing, or “geo-targeting.” On the positive side for retailers, this GPS technology can help cater more specifically to their needs, promote their brand and specific products, and tailor promotions to prospective customers who are within proximity to their store (also known as geo-fencing). Among the many apps that deliver this valuable consumer data are Ban.jo, Path and Foursquare. But trend reports show...

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Why Lousy Customer Service Costs Millions Every Year

Technological advances in retailing—the systems, software, data collection—are changing at such an exponential rate and peoples’ senses are forced to adapt to so much at once, that the only one thing that remains constant is customer service. In a 2011 report done by Right Now Technologies, 89% (or nine out of every 10 customers) stopped doing business with companies with which they had bad experiences, and sought out the competition. The cost of losing customers is pretty staggering....

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People Skills – The Rest of the Story

So we’ve got the “Processes” thing down. We’re working on and maybe even doing a good job with “Customer Experience”, “Customer Satisfaction”, and “Customers For Life”. We’re all done and can expect things to be good – right? Maybe not. Here’s the rest of the story, and it concerns the people that work with us, but also report to us. Our “Store Teams...

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3 Tenets of Customer Exposure

When I’m working with my teams (District Managers, Store Managers, Associates), I try to break the “working with customers” issue into three separate parts. For the sake of this article, we’ll call them the “3 Tenets of Customer Exposure”. A “tenet” is a creed, doctrine, or code of belief (according to MicroSoft’s thesaurus). In other words, these are the three things we must always have in mind when we...

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It’s the Hap, Happiest Season of All (maybe…)

We’ve all heard that song. And, if you’re at a party with friends or family, or sitting in front of the fireplace with apple cider and your significant other, it’s probably true. But, what if you’re working retail? If you work retail, it can be somewhat stressful. Longer work hours (for those on the clock, that may not be a bad thing, though), more customers to handle, extra things you need to...

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So you’ve worked your retail job today – Does Your Face Hurt?

When my kids were young and they got a scrape on a knuckle or knee, they always came whining to me. What else are dads for? While checking to make sure it was actually minor (almost always, thank goodness!), I would ask them, “Does your face hurt?” Of course, they looked at me wondering why their face would hurt from a knuckle buster and answer, “No…” My immediate response was always, “Well, it&rsquo...

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Does Customer Service Matter Any More?

In an age of instantaneous streaming of information on products and price, where consumers can buy something on a computer or on a variety of mobile devices, is in-person customer service an antiquated notion? Many believe that price is the driving factor in purchases, but once price is equalized, customer service may be the tipping point that drives the final sale, adding perceived value. When shoppers go to a store, they want to touch, demo, sample, try on—in...

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The Buck Stops with You – Handling Customer Complaints

When customer service issues and complaints arise in the store, a sure way to lose a customer is to trivialize their problem and behave as if you’re not engaged in their concerns. When a customer has a complaint, it usually reflects a product or service and is not directed at you, personally. Some sales associates are unaware of this important difference and this can result in a war of words and misunderstandings that end up having nothing to...

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The Bricks and Mortar Keys to Success

Not long ago, my husband and I dined at restaurant we’d never been to. It was packed—there seemed to be a lot of regulars who were greeted warmly, but even amid the hustle and bustle of reservations and walk-ins on a busy Friday night, the hostess and manager found time to notice and welcome new customers.  We were seated fairly quickly. The staff could not have been more attentive or helpful. Most of the dishes...

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Mixed Reviews for Customer Service Among Retailers

If brick-and-mortar stores want to stay on top, they need to improve their customer service. According to the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ASCI), online retailers are receiving high marks in this area. In the e-commerce arena, more “real” people are answering phones, being responsive to customers’ needs and handling returns in an efficient manner. By contrast, big Main Street retailers have suffered criticism for being too impersonal, having poor rewards programs, overcharging customers, and having poor delivery...

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