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March 2010

Welcome to the Confero Connector Newsletter! It is delivered free to your e-mail address. This publication offers insight into customer experience measurement best practices and initiatives. You may subscribe or unsubscribe at any time.
In This Issue
Customer Experience in the New Economy
10 Ways to Use Recorded Telephone Mystery Shops
How to Plan for a Mystery Shopping Program Pilot
Mystery Shops Tell Part of the Customer Experience
Customer Experience in the New Economy 
The recent issue of Enterprising Women Magazine featured articles about The New Business Model: How to Emerge from this Recession Stronger than Ever.  In it, Confero CEO Elaine Buxton's article Customer Experience in the New Economy highlights some consumer and economic trends that have an impact on customer experience, including:
  • A New Frugality
  • Higher coupon use
  • An increased need for transparency and trust
  • Social media instant reviews
  • Pent up demand for employee movement
  • Supplier consolidation
  • An innovation slowdown
Read the full article here.
10 Ways to Use Recorded Telephone Shops
While telephone mystery shop reports obviously do not capture the visual aspect of a customer interaction, they can be a cost-effective way to discover how your employees conduct themselves with customers.   Better yet, recorded telephone mystery shops  provide managers with the detailed information  needed to coach employees, since the recording  allows you to review both sides of the conversation with the employee.  There are many ways that companies improve operations through the use of telephone shops. Here are ten:
  1. Turn Calls into Sales: Ensure that a prospect's initial point of contact is positive:  For many businesses, an employee who answers the phone is a new prospect's first point of contact with the business.  It is critical to evaluate how employees sound and what wording they are using when making a first impression.
 Click here to read our entire list. 
How to Plan for a Mystery Shopping Program Pilot
Some companies prefer to conduct a pilot before entering into a full-scale mystery shopping program.  This is a great way fine-tune your mystery shop program and to narrow down exactly what your team would like to accomplish by using mystery shopping reports as a way to measure employee behaviors and front line performance. 
 A pilot mystery shopping study will help you determine and finalize your goals.  Results of a pilot program give your management team a chance to fine tune the program questions, the expected outcomes and the potential communication about the program with employees. Here are some things to consider when putting together a pilot mystery shopping study:
  1. Test All Unit Types: Think about conducting shops randomly across your footprint during the pilot. It may be tempting to test within a defined area, such as one region. If this approach is taken, make sure that one region contains all types of location configurations and any potential one-offs.  If your company operates with freestanding units, in-lines, on military bases, in institutional settings, in limited service settings or within airports, make sure that selected test region has units meeting those criteria. An alternative choice is to conduct pilot shops randomly across with footprint, to include all unit configuration types.  Testing in all unit types allows your company to get a feel for results in all venues and in all circumstances. 
Click here to read the entire article. 
All of us at Confero hope you enjoy this newsletter. Feel free to share this information with colleagues and friends. We would appreciate your comments about the articles and suggestions for future issues.  
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Elaine Buxton
President & CEO
Confero Customer Experience Research
Mystery Shops Tell Part of the Customer Experience
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Confero is best known for mystery shop services, which report on specific performance observations made during on site visits or phone calls.  Our other services can add vital elements to your company's customer experience knowledge.  Not all research methods will benefit every business, but for some, these can provide valuable knowledge and more in depth insight into the customer experience.  
Click here to continue reading.
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