shopping bags

August 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.
Head to Head--Customer Satisfaction Surveys vs. Mystery Shops
 head to head
Misconceptions about customer satisfaction surveys and mystery shopping, and their differences, exist.  Would you answer the following "yes" or "no"?


Are customer satisfaction surveys a substitute for mystery shopping? No.

Mystery shopping results reveal how well your employees meet company standards in measurable areas.  Customer satisfaction surveys uncover customer opinions, or the "voice of the customer", regarding impressions of employees, products and services, and locations.  Companies can usesatisfaction survey data to revise mystery shopping standards as needed.


Do customer satisfaction surveys deliver more results than mystery shops? No.

Customer satisfaction surveys can gather a higher number of  responses, but that doesn't mean that the research should stand alone.  Consistent mystery shopping provides value by measuring the actual delivery of key customer experience areas.  For example, a customer can tell you on a satisfaction survey that their wait time was "reasonable."  On a mystery shop report, a mystery shopper would indentify exactly how long the wait was.  Also, customer satisfaction surveys don't always inform you about missed opportunities.  A customer would not likely report dissatisfaction that a restaurant server did not suggest an appetizer. However, a mystery shop report would clearly indicate this missed step as an operational issue with potential revenue impact.

Read the full article here.
US Government Uses Mystery Shopping to Ensure Compliance

Pharmacy PhotoIn two recent cases, the U.S. government used mystery shopping techniques to audit what individual consumers were told during one-on-one interactions.  These cases highlight the consequences of giving inaccurate or incomplete information to customers.  Auditing the information given to customers could have perhaps helped these companies avoid the costly consequences of wrongdoing or unintentional misrepresentation. 

In the first case, school officials at 15 for-profit colleges made unsubstantiated claims about their schools in order to increase enrollment.  The Government Accountability Office (GAO) used secret shoppers to investigate the unethical practices, and now has evidence that will encourage tougher laws and enforcement for these types of institutions.


Read the full article here
Can YouTube "Haul Videos" Replace Customer Experience Research?

YouTubeYouTube "haul videos" are powerful, as evidenced by the recent success of the Blair and Elle Fowler video, featuring two sisters who talk about a Forever 21 watch. These videos produced over 75 million views, plus a big increase in sales for the product.  The online evaluations are especially influential for the younger demographic, who receive most product recommendations via social media these days.  As far reaching as these testimonials are, are they enough to communicate all that you desire about your brand?

The answer is no.  While videos can direct positive attention to your merchandise and even strong recommendations to buy, the comments may not always deliver a consistent brand message.  They may even convey untrue facts about the brand's pricing or features. To ensure communication of consistent company and brand information, it's important to use customer experience research in tandem with tools such as YouTube hauls.

Read the full article here.
August 2010: Low Hanging Fruit: These Stats Show Opportunites to Best the Competition

bar graph with red arrowWe continue to seek out fundamental customer service statistics that impact various industries.  This study shows the rising importance of service quality for banking customers: 
"The recession has obviously changed customers' relationships with their banks.  The amount of importance users give to services like free checking, low minimum balance and the proximity to ATMs all dropped slightly between 2009 and 2010. What has become more important, significantly more important? Customer service, which rose 18 points in the last year, with 22 percent of respondents rating it as important in 2010, versus 4 percent who did so in 2009." 
Read the full article here.
The JetBlue Example: Are Your Employees Preparing to Slide Down the Chute?
 businesswoman leaving
By now, everyone has heard the story about the JetBlue Flight attendant who became frustrated with a passenger, expressed his anger over the public address system, and exited the plane via the emergency chute.   While it's still not clear exactly what transpired on the plane, one thing that is clear is that many took his side, despite his bizarre actions.  Why did people praise his behavior?  Is it that airline customers empathize with airline travel stress, since they know firsthand the stress and overcrowding of many flights?
To us, it shows the connection between the employee experience and the customer experience. We've found the following three things to be true: 
  1. Companies that recognize, reward and respond to employee feedback have employees  who are more satisfied in their jobs.  But these are not enough.  To keep employees satisfied in an industry that is constantly changing, ongoing communication and explanations of changes will help maintain employee satisfaction.  More satisfied employees are less likely to "blow up" in difficult customer situations and are more likely to provide a positive customer experience. 
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.  
eb signature
Elaine Buxton
President & CEO
Confero Customer Experience Research
In This Issue
Head to Head--Customer Satisfaction vs. Mystery Shops
US Government Uses Mystery Shopping to Ensure Compliance
Can YouTube "Haul Videos" Replace Customer Experience Research?
August 2010: Low Hanging Fruit: These Stats Show Opportunities to Best the Competition
The JetBlue Example: Are Your Employees Preparing to Slide Down the Chute?
Mystery Shopper Comments of the Month

Chat Blue Icon

What would you do if one of your employees made one of these comments to a customer?____________________ 

"The employee asked me for various personal information while filling out the paperwork.  When I inquired about why she needed this information she responded, 'Because the computer asked for it.'
 That was the only reason she gave me."
"Sure, I can do that for you, as long you aren't a mystery shopper! I don't want to get in trouble for doing this."
Quick Links
How Can We Help Grow Your Business?
Case Studies
Check out our case studies for your industry!
Confero in the News
Connector Archive
Join Our Mailing List
   Send to a Colleague