A 2014 Customer Service Hall of Fame Survey

As we have reported before (see 1, 2), in this highly competitive marketplace, superior customer service is often the key to business success.
Thus, customer service rankings are quite important as external validation of how well companies are doing in this area.
Recently, Zogby Analytics and 24/7 Wall St. surveyed 2,500 adults about service at 150 well-known U.S. companies in 15 industries.
According to their results, these retailers ranked among the top 10 firms for customer service:
1. Amazon.com — It “leads the 2014 Customer Service Hall of Fame for the fifth consecutive year. In addition to receiving by far the highest percentage of ‘excellent’ responses, less than 2% rated the company ‘poor,’ the smallest negative perception of any company reviewed. As the largest online shopping site in the world, it offers a level of convenience that is difficult for other businesses to match. The site maintains the customers’ purchase history and makes suggestions accordingly.”
4. Chick-Fil-A — Its “customer service track record includes a number of innovative ideas,” including adopting “the policy of responding to customers with the phrase ‘my pleasure’ from Ritz-Carlton, the luxury hotel chain. More recently, in an effort to demonstrate transparency in the food preparation process, Chick-fil-A began allowing customers to take tours of its kitchens.”
6. Trader Joe’s — It “has developed a unique identity in a very competitive industry, despite spending remarkably little on advertising. In addition to providing a unique selection of wines and food, the company offers a unique atmosphere.”
Click the image for a USA Today video on this study.

 

 

Posted in Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Amazon.com: The King of Retail Data Analytics

Although most retailers have dramatically ramped up their data analytics efforts, Amazon.com still leads the pack. This is one of the retailer’s biggest competitive advantages.
As Anna Papachristos writes for 1to1 media:
“When it comes to the retail industry, customer data certainly aren’t in short supply. Yet, while retailers may have an abundance of information at their disposal, few have the necessary systems in place to bring insight to action.”
“Of those retailers polled [in a study by EKN Research], the majority (80 percent) believe they lag behind Amazon when it comes to analytics maturity, with 71 percent of retailers performing only basic analytics reporting or none at all, thereby highlighting the inefficiencies throughout the industry.”
 Click the image to read more.

 

 

Posted in Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Technology in Retailing | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How Should You Respond to Negative Social Media Comments?

One of the main social media challenges for all companies is how to respond to negative comments. It is imperative that negative comments be tracked and understood.
In general, there are three options for dealing with negative social media comments: (1) ignore the comments; (2) point out why the comments are wrong; and (3) constructively reply to the comments. Although many firms choose option (1) or (2), it is more appropriate to choose option (3).
As High Powered SEO puts it:
“You have spent hours preparing an amazing post or share something worth a meaningful discussion. Then, you notice that a couple of people are saying the complete opposite from what you have shared. This is normally fine except they express their opinions in a way that may rub you the wrong way. How do you handle this type of situation? Do you lash out in order to get your point across, not respond at all, delete the comment, or just flat-out ignore it?”
“There are plenty of ways you can handle this type of situation, but if you don’t handle it the right way you could be doing much more harm than good. It is best to handle this situation tactfully.”
Check out the infographic of tips from High Powered SEO.

 
RESPOND TO NEGATIVE COMMENTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND BLOG POSTS  INFOGRAPHIC
 

Posted in Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Social Media and Retailing | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fast Food with “Integrity”: A Slideshow

As McDonald’s and other traditional fast-food chains have seen slowing growth in sales, a new generation of fast-food restaurants is gaining popularity.
Consider these observations from Julia Moskin, writing for the New York Times:
“The numbers were startling: Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill shot up 12 percent on Tuesday after the company reported a nearly 26 percent spurt in its quarterly profit. For the fast-food industry, this was fresh evidence that the world of Big Macs and Doritos Locos Tacos has room for a menu with healthier-than-average food and higher-than-average prices. But it came as no surprise to a new generation of smaller fast-food chains that are coming up fast behind Chipotle and its peers, and taking its ‘food with integrity’ mantra even further.”
A handful of rapidly growing regional chains around the country — including Dig Inn, Tender Greens, LYFE Kitchen, SweetGreenand Native Foods — offer enticements like grass-fed beef, organic produce, sustainable seafood, and menus that change with the season. Most promise local ingredients; some are exclusively vegetarian or even vegan. A few impose calorie ceilings, and others adopt service touches like busboys and china plates. And despite the higher costs and prices, all are thriving and planning national expansions, some directed by alumni of fine dining or of fast-food giants like McDonald’s.”
Click the image for a NY Times slideshow.

 

 

Posted in Part 1: Overview/Planning, Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer, Part 8: Putting It All Together | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Understanding and Marketing to the Long Island Consumer: A Small Business Perspective

Take a look at a recent interview I did with Fios1. There are lots of nice graphics, too.
 
 

 

Posted in Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Video Clips (non-career) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Starting a New Job the Right Way

Starting a new job can be a stress-filled time. So, what can you do to reduce your anxiety and optimize your relationship with your boss?
According to Careerealism:
“Building a relationship with your new manager isn’t complicated. It must be intentional, genuine, and built on a foundation of respect. As a new employee, ideally you should be spending some time with your manager every day for the first couple of weeks, even if only for a brief check-in. These meetings are ideal opportunities to jump-start the dialogue. Here are five simple conversations you need to have with your boss when you start a new role.”

 

 

Posted in Career Useful Information, Careers in Retailing, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How Brands Can Do Better on Vine

bermanevansretail:

Vine is for retailers too!

Originally posted on Evans on Marketing:

Vineis “the best way to see and share life in motion. Create short, beautiful, looping videos in a simple and fun way for your friends and family to see.” It has about 50 million users, many of whom are teenagers, who are attracted to the six-second videos.

Stephanie Castillo, a digital marketing specialist atVisually, reports that:

“Given its accessibility and low cost,this form of micro-contentgives marketers a chance to get some hands-on video production experience. But don’t be fooled: though the app promotes a quick and raw form of capturing video, you shouldn’t take this as a cue to wander away from quality content. Rather, the stakes for a quality video with a strong story are now higher, simply because you have anever shorter amount of time to get your point across.”

“By now, brands have had the chance to explore the many…

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Posted in Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Social Media and Retailing | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment