Customer Service and the Competition for Sales


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Retailers Compete for Holiday Customers 
shoppers at shopping center The holiday season brings out more examples of how competitive the retail landscape is in a sluggish economy. For example, stores start well before the traditional start of the holiday season to advertise offers. They hope that by starting earlier, they will entice customers to purchase from them, as opposed to the competition. Another reason stores increase early efforts is the fear that customers will be more reluctant to spend as weeks go by.

Some examples of early and competitive retail marketing this year:
  • Abercrombie and Fitch began holiday email efforts on October 24th, encouraging customers to check out products and offers before the stores and website offered them.
Read the full article here.

Retailers Find Creative New Ways to Capture More Sales

customer satisfaction feedback form

Developing creative ways to capture more sales and increase customer satisfaction is essential for all retail companies during tough economic times, and especially during the holidays. Borders Books recently announced an initiative to win more customers with its "Customer Commitment." In an effort to capture the sale, even if the store does not have the item in stock, Borders makes an offer to customers to find the item online and ship to them with free shipping. A low-price promise is also part of the Customer Commitment, because Borders promises to match a competitor's advertised, in-store price.

Read the full article here.
How Do You Say "I'm Sorry" to Customers?I'm sorry 2
Good service can break down more easily during the busy holiday season, making it even more important to know how to say "I'm sorry" to customers. Inc. Magazine's article, "How do you say I'm sorry?" highlights the importance of handling customer issues smoothly in the worst possible scenario. Diners at the upscale restaurant, Jean Georges in New York, encountered a roach on their table. The restaurant manager quickly relocated them to another table and their meal was on the house. What does your company do when faced with tough customer situations? Do you train staff on how to appease customers when they are dissatisfied? 

Read the full article here.

December 2010: Low Hanging Fruit: These Stats Show Opportunities to Best the Competition


  • "Studies show that 85% of a company's brand image is driven by sales interactions...not marketing campaigns." (American Marketing Association)
  • 56%-70% of the customers who complain to you will do business with you again if you resolve their problem. If they feel you acted quickly and to their satisfaction, up to 96% will do business with you again, and they will probably refer other people to you." (Customer Service101--Ruby Newell-Legner)
Read the full article here.
Monitoring Feedback Through Twitter
twitter bird
Customers express their dissatisfaction with companies in many ways: in person, via customer satisfaction surveys or through e-mail. But how do companies address customers who voice their negative opinions online without communicating complaints directly to the business? If you're AT&T, you seek out unhappy customers who vent elsewhere. New software allows AT&T to monitor what customers say via Twitter. With the software, AT&T managers gain additional data on customer complaints and put solutions into action faster.

Read the full article here.
Confero's Quote to Appear in Women's Advantage Calendar2011 calendar
Elaine Buxton's quote will once again appear in the Women's Advantage Shared Wisdom Calendar. The 2011 calendar features daily advice from successful women, who share tips on marketing, growing a business, team building, finance and other topics. You can visit the Women's Advantage Website to learn more about the calendar, and to order one online.
Confero Goes Red!Go Red for Women Logo
Confero is pleased to sponsor the "Triangle Goes Red for Women" Luncheon again this coming year, which will be held on May 6, 2011 at the Sheraton in Raleigh.  Elaine Buxton, Confero CEO and President, serves on the Triangle Go Red for Women Executive Leadership Team, which leads local efforts to raise awareness of heart disease in women.

Read the full article here.

December 2010

Issue: 10
In This Issue
Retailers Compete for Holiday Customers
Retailers Find Creative New Ways to Capture More Sales
How Do You Say "I'm Sorry" to Customers?
December 2010: Low Hanging Fruit: These Stats Show Opportunities to Best the Competition
Monitoring Feedback Through Twitter
Confero's Quote to Appear in Women's Advantage Calendar
Confero Goes Red!


Mystery Shopper Comments of the Month

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

"I was very impressed by the friendliness of all the employees I interacted with. They all seemed very positive and proud of the store."

"None of the tellers looked up to greet me as I came in."

"Our server was wonderful. She was helpful and knowledgeable about all parts of the meal."

"The new accounts representative called to me from across the foyer, inviting me into her office. She did not get up from her chair to greet me when I walked over to her desk."

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Elaine Buxton

President & CEO


Confero, Inc.     1152 Executive Circle, Suite 100     Cary, NC 27511

(t): 800-447-3947     (f): 919-380-7136