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June 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
Low Hanging Fruit: These Stats Show Opportunities to Best the Competition
Five Customer Service Focus Areas Often Missed
Three Myths About Mystery Shopping--Don't Believe Them!
Low Hanging Fruit: These Stats Show Opportunites to Best the Competition
Last month, we highlighted a few relevant customer service statistics.  This month, we look at more that may surprise you and inspire you to contemplate where to deploy your training and other resources.   
  • 92% of all customer interactions happen via the phone. (Gartner)
Businesses are obviously aware that phone conversations are a piece of the customer experience, but they may not be aware of the extent of the impact that these contacts have.  Does your firm evaluate phone interactions and their effectiveness? Could you capture more business via the phone with added training? Do your employees make a lasting first impression over the phone?  What can differentiate your telephone customer service from your competitors?
Read the full article here
Five Customer Service Focus Areas Often Missed
number 5
Sometimes the simplest task is the hardest to do. Through our decades of experience and knowledge measuring the customer experience, five key areas stand out when thinking about areas employees frequently miss.  These five may seem simple, but they can be difficult to execute consistently across an organization. Consider these areas within your own organization to see if your company is where it should be:
  1. Welcome and Greet Customers to Establish a Personal Interest: Companies train employees to use strong and inviting greetings, but sometimes employees miss significant elements of the greeting. The most effective greetings are sincere, timely and welcoming.  When we see results where the employee does not meet the standard, usually the employee has rushed through the greeting, doesn't appear friendly or greets the customer in a mechanical way.
  2. Build a Connection Using the Customer's Name: Standing out among competitors is an ongoing battle, and an even tougher one in today's economic climate. To do it, you need to make sure that employees make the extra effort to connect with customers and prospects, so that customers feel good about doing business with you.  Using the customer's name is an important way to connect.  Many companies don't want employees to overuse the customer's name (it seems forced and unnatural), but they do want them to use it more than once in a conversation. 
Read the full article here
Three Myths About Mystery Shopping-- Don't Believe Them!
myth-istockMany people, both shoppers and clients alike, tend to make assumptions about the mystery shopping industry.  We are not sure how some of these myths began, but we hope to clarify some of them.  In this issue, we expose the following three myths:
Myth #1: The best mystery shoppers are "professional" shoppers who specialize in your industry. 
With the right firm and the right quality control mechanisms in place, professional mysteryshoppers are not necessary.  If you're seeking to gain objective information from a typical customer, look into a mystery shopping firm that deploys mystery shoppers with various backgrounds.  A good mystery shopping firm selects shoppers with a demographic profile that matches that of your typical customer in terms of gender, age, language and other factors. Mystery shoppers with the right demographics and various backgrounds provide a more objective view of what the customer experience is really like at your stores.  Those mystery shoppers who specialize in a certain industry can become just that - specialized - making them mediocre choices as shoppers who pose as average customers. If you seek critical feedback from an expert, send an auditor.
Read the full article here.
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
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