Market Force Perspectives

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I went shopping this weekend, visiting all types of stores, both brick and mortar and online.  My in-store customer experience was all over the place — from a home improvement retailer who made me wait in a line of six people, even though I could see associates not helping anyone, to a national beauty supply chain where not only did I have to chase down someone to help me, but was also told, “we’re not carrying that anymore,” to a shoe purchase experience where the...
2017 is now in the books and while the year saw many prognosticators predicting the end of retail as we know it, I am happy to report that according to a MasterCard SpendingPulse report released the day after Christmas, retail spending in the United States was up 4.9% in 2017 compared to the same period last year.This data has everyone in the retail space feeling optimistic that our new economy will help them overcome some of the headwinds they faced...
We all know how important data is to any business. In today’s world we are collecting and storing more data than ever before. In fact, in the last two years we have generated 90% of the world’s data.This has been fuelled by the breakneck speed of the technology sector. Innovative startups and a highly competitive landscape constantly driving new and exciting technologies—all leading to the data explosion we see today. This pace however, has had a flip side; In order to keep...
Having worked in the CX space for 14 years across a variety of multi-location brands, I have seen a common thread in customer experience programs that are successful in improving customer satisfaction and driving business results. Not coincidentally, these programs follow recommended best practices: Strategy: The program is aligned to strategic objectives Multiple Lenses: Various performance measures (mystery shop, audits, customer surveys, employee surveys, etc.) are...
The results of Market Force Information’s 2017 Customer Experiences and Competitive Benchmarks Study should serve as a call to action for banks across the country. Despite the best of intentions and millions of dollars invested for customer experience improvements, customer loyalty scores at traditional banks have declined across the board. And not surprisingly, the percentage of consumers who say they intend on switching banks in the next 6 months has edged up to...
Many restaurant chains are claiming their traffic is down because of Millennials' changing dining habits. And it is true that we are becoming a nation of “autonomous customers” who research restaurant reviews and move easily between brands. Another change affecting Millennial restaurant traffic is an increase in food-delivery services (see “Food-delivery services are exploding," October 10, 2017.)However, flying in the face of the assertion that Millennials are the...
If you’ve felt like food-delivery service is exploding, you’re right. According to investment firm Cowen, this trend is expected to continue."All in, we forecast delivery to grow from $43 billion in 2017 to $76 billion in 2022, 12% annually over the next five years," said Cowen chief analyst Andrew Charles. "Our Survey data shows plenty of room for Online to take share." (Thomas Frank, “Home food delivery is surging thanks to ease of online ordering, new study shows,”...
Mystery shopping programs: Driving brand standards across all locationsMost organizations leverage mystery shopping to “inspect what they expect” on a recurring basis. They implement programs that enable the business to understand where brand standards are being met and where opportunities exist for coaching. These programs are typically focused on basic customer service and brand compliance matters such as greeting and engaging customers, adherence to appearance...
We continue to be told that brick and mortar stores are going the way of the dinosaur, that they will all be gone before long and that Amazon will be the one-stop shop for all purchases that we make. And to look at the number of retail store closings for 2017, there is certainly strong evidence to support that conclusion. Source: "There's one major thing everyone gets wrong about Amazon and the retail apocalypse," Hayley Peterson, Business Insider, July 22, 2017.And...
A Common Mistake—Focusing on the Wrong TargetWhen I was a franchise operator, the franchisor was excited about creating a successful new CX survey program. After using the system for a few months, the executives reviewed their progress and identified five key drivers of satisfaction. They believed that if all of their locations would focus on the five drivers, CX scores and revenues would naturally increase. They were so confident this would happen that they decided to set a...

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